MZUZU—Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima has urged citizens to help the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in fighting corruption which has become rampant in government departments.
Speaking at the International Anti-Corruption Day (IAD), Chilima said “Corruption has the power to rupture a country and its people beyond repair. Corruption has the power to make a government lose its legitimacy over its people.”
He adde: “Let us help the ACB with information that it needs in the fight against the vice. Let us avoid waking up in the morning and decide to label someone as corrupt for different reasons that we have with them. ”
The Tonse administration, he says is working tirelessly to convince investors to come, hence the need for integrity among all players.
Ironically, the Vice President is entangled in business mogul Zuneth Sattar’s probe being carried out by Anti- Corruption Bureau and British anti-corruption agencies.The National Crimes Agency of Britain, which deals with issues of corruption, in conjunction with ACB have recently established that Chilima pocketed a whopping $1 million in form of a bribe in exchange for speedy payment to Zuneth Sattar by the Government of Malawi.
Some social commentators have taken a swipe at the VP for taking Malawians for granted, saying he is not the right person to preach against corruption.
“Today, I hear the same beneficiary of corruption is preaching against the vice. Imagine a corruption practitioner advising that the practice has the power to make a government lose its legitimacy over its people. Should we conclude that SKC participated in corruption solely to make the current Government lose its legitimacy?
“The Vice President assured Malawians in Mzuzu today that Tonse Administration is working tirelessly to court foreign investors to come hence the need for integrity among all players. One may question SKC’s seriousness in coaxing investors, here is a whole Vice President wanted by the UK graft- busting body for participating in corrupt activities. Can investors trust such a leader?” wondered one facebook user.
“As the second in command, Chilima must set a good example by fighting corruption in earnest, and not practicing the same in secret,” he added.
Sattar has been at the centre of a graft war after he was arrested in the United Kingdom by Britain’s National Crimes Agency for alleged corrupt dealings in Malawi and the UK. He is currently on bail.
According to transcripts in our possession, Sattar was owed US$64 million by Malawi Government and has been knocking on people’s doors to facilitate quick payment of the same. He then approached the Vice President asking for a similar favour.
Between May and September this year Chilima conversed with Sattar back and forth, 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.
ACB Director, Martha Chizuma, has repeatedly told the media that the bureau will first wait for conclusion of investigations before moving in to prosecute those involved.