Following details from criminal court proceedings against Zuneth Sattar in United Kingdom, Malawi’s Vice President, Saulosi Chilima, got named as a participant in the corruption transactions that Sattar made in Malawi.
Since the mentioning of his name, Malawi’s Vice President, whose tiny political party purchased a fleet of cars from corruption proceeds, has been restless with actions aimed at pulling out his name from the scandal.
A latest approach has been to divert the public attention from the scandal to a remote affair of a political agreement between himself and the Malawi President, Lazarus Chakwera.
Among others, Chilima organized a press briefing where he drummed that the two agreed a candidature relay deal and to seek an end to Presidential immunity.
While some commentators have described his press briefing as a desperate act to divert attention from his corruption allegations, some have argued that Chilima’s main purpose was to create an impression that his senior is equally a suspect and should not hide behind presidential immunity.
Elevating his approach higher, Chilima recently sponsored national wide demonstrations through proxy operatives largely from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.
A chronology of events below clearly demonstrates his hand in the recent demonstrations which largely failed to run according to plan.
Step 1: A network of new CSOs emerges out of nowhere over the course of six months, Concerned Citizens, Nzika Zokhidzidwa, etc, with unknown sources of funding, but all with a singular narrative of calling for nationwide demonstrations to force President Chakwera out of office
Step 2: SKC delivers a national address calling for the removal of presidential immunity, a clear attack on President Chakwera designed to set the new CSOs on a war path against his presidency
Step 3: Sylvester Namiwa, a DPP operative hiding behind the banner of a Civil Society Organization, calls for nationwide demonstrations demanding that Chakwera should remove presidential immunity, an issue he has never cared about before, thus picking up the narrative crafted by SKC, when the logical thing would have been to call for nationwide demonstrations to demand SKC’s resignation for his alleged role in Sattar’s corruption scheme
Step 4: On the eve of the scheduled demos, Namiwa holds a press conference to dramatize the presidential immunity issue as if it is the President and not SKC who is accused of corruption, clearly showing that he is pushing someone else’s agenda to scandalize the President instead of the already scandalized Vice President, all designed to start a national revolt against the President and force him out of office to give the corrupt SKC the presidency, where he can have presidential immunity from his crimes
Step 5: Immediately after Namiwa’s presser, an abduction is staged, followed by a press statement from his pseudo-CSO, accusing President Chakwera’s Government of persecuting him and calling on all CSOs in Malawi to join the demos the next day in solidarity with a fellow activist
Step 6: A set of demos clearly sponsored by someone with deep pockets and Sattar money begin in different parts of Malawi, but the most organized and sponsored are those in Ntcheu, SKC’s homeground
Step 7: Pro-SKC social media mercenaries spread footage of the demos all over Twitter, Facebook, and Whatsapp, to amplify the demos against President Chakwera and to scandalize his Government internationally
Step 8: A set of opposition MPs are positioned to stage a walk-out in Parliament in protest against the President on the basis of unsubstantiated claims that his Government is behind Namiwa’s alleged abduction, and threatening to bring down the President, which would give the corruption-accused SKC the Presidency and immunity from prosecution