Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Justice Affairs

ACB Ready With Chilima-Sattar File  

Chilima being welcomed by Martha Chizuma at ACB function months ago (both are answering to court charges)

Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) is now ready with a dossier to prosecute Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima, months after it was discovered that he got $1 million from embattled businessman Zunneth Sattar.

Chilima’s file had gone dry after ACB director Martha Chizuma seemed not interested to pursue the matter when the Director of Investigations and Director of Legal Services had submitted their findings.

Chizuma’s silence sparked speculations that she was shielding Chilima, a friend she had known since college.

Chilima’s name emerged in the Sattar probe when a phone transcript traced by British National Crimes Agency revealed that he pocketed about US$ 1 million (approximately K820 million) from Sattar who is currently answering money laundering charges in the United Kingdom.

Sattar has been at the centre of a graft war after he was arrested in the United Kingdom by the NCA for alleged corrupt dealings in Malawi and the UK. He is currently on bail.

According to the transcripts, Sattar’s companies were owed a total of US$64 million by Malawi Government at the time Tonse Alliance assumed power in June 2020.

To expedite payment, he went knocking on people’s doors to facilitate the process and that is how he approached the Vice President asking him for help.

Between May and September last year Chilima was in contact with Sattar, a dialogue in which the Vice President promised to push for payment in exchange of $1 million as his token. Sattar quickly agreed to the arrangement.

The Vice President kept updating Sattar on the progress he was taking in pushing relevant government offices to initiate the dubious payments.

In one instance Chilima is quoted as saying he had approached the Secretary to the Treasury and Budget Director among other key personnel to materialize the deal.

The trail of the conversation went dry for some weeks only to reemerge with Sattar thanking the Vice President that he had received his $64 million payment.

He went further to inform Chilima that his $1 million was ready and would advise who to contact to get it.

Sources at ACB say though many people benefitted from Sattar’s generosity, the  act by Chilima smells corruption because it involves inducement by a public officer and solicitation of kickbacks.

Besides the friendship with Chizuma, others believe that Chilima was behind a leaked phone call that had the ACB director revealing sensitive information to an outsider.

The outsider was later identified as one of Chilima’s close friends and handlers.

Interestingly, Chilima has spoken against the government on his way to the United States, where he has been delegated by the President.

The Vice President feels unprotected by the president, according to those close to him, and has turned against his administration as a result.

According to sources close to him, the attack on the Chakwera administration is a ploy that when the ACB begins pursuing him, people will believe he is simply being politically persecuted,.

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