Malawi‘s President Lazarus Chakwera has stripped his Vice-President Saulos Chilima of all his delegated powers after the his number two man was allegedly involved in a $150 million corruption scandal.
The vice-president has not yet addressed the accusations as of the time this news was filed.
The president stated that 53 current and former officials were identified in a study by the nation’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) as having received money from British-Malawian businessman Zuneth Sattar between 2017 and 2021.
This relates to 16 contracts that Sattar’s five companies received from the Malawi Police Service and the Malawi Defence Force.
The vice president and the police chief, who was fired, are among the authorities mentioned in the study.
However, because the vice-president is an elected person, Malawian law forbids the president from dismissing or suspending him.
“The best I can do for now, which is what I have decided to do, is to withhold from his office any delegated duties while waiting for the bureau to substantiate its allegations against him,” the president said in a national address on Tuesday.
Recall that Chakwera joined forces with Chilima to defeat incumbent Peter Mutharika in 2020 presidential elections. The pair had promised to fight corruption in government.
Chakwera, who also doubles as the country’s Ministry of defence, has been leader of the Malawi Congress Party since 2013, and was previously Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly following highly controversial elections held on 21 May 2019 which were overturned by the Constitutional Court.
He was appointed chairman of the Southern African Development Community, SADC, on August 17, at the SADC 41st Annual Summit held on 9 August to 19 August in Lilongwe, Malawi.
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