In the wake of alarming revelations of corruption from London’s Uxbridge Magistrate Court involving billionaire Zuneth Sattar and current and former top government officials, United Democratic Front (UDF) President Atupele Muluzi has stepped down as the party’s President.
Atupele is rumoured to be implicated in the evidence that the National Crimes Agency (NCA) has been investigating Sattar on an array of corruption charges.
Muluzi was briefly the Minister of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development in 2017 when the ministry is reported to have sold strategic patches of land to Malawians of Asian origin in the country’s major cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
In 2019, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) had hinted that the UDF leader could face a probe over the role he might have played in the dubious sale of the government land, including land at Livimbo Schools in Lilongwe.
Atupele’s resignation coincided with the disappearance of a top official in the ministry, who was at the center of such corrupt land deals. The officer, who is yet to be identified, is said to have fled to Canada.
Atupele stated in his resignation letter that he is stepping down to focus on his business, and has subsequently appointed Lillian Patel as acting President.
His father, former President Bakili Muluzi, is also answering corruption charges in court over alleged theft of Government money during his term of office.
Recently, Atupele Muluzi was presidential running mate to erstwhile President of Malawi Arthur Peter Mutharika when they lost the fresh presidential election in 2020 under the DPP-UDF Alliance. Mutharika is also under investigations by the ACB on allegations of misuse of his tax-free status Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN) in cement imports.