BLANTYRE—Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator for Thyolo Central, Ben Phiri and former finance minister Joseph Mwanamveka have been arrested.
Sources indicate that Mwanamveka was nabbed on Tuesday night in connection with the sale of Malawi Savings Bank (MSB). Mwanamveka was the secretary to treasury at the time of the sale of the bank.
Ben Phiri handed himself to the Police at the National Police Headquarters at area 30 after police came to arrest him at his Blantyre residence on Tuesday afternoon but did not find him as he was in Lilongwe.
According to Phiri, he spoke with the police officers over the phone and he was informed about a warrant of his arrest.
Phiri said he was not told the reasons for his arrest.
This comes just over a day after government announced that it would probe the 2015 sale of Malawi Savings Bank.
Speaking in Parliament recently, Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda had also warned about possible consequences for those he said were responsible for cooking up figures which were presented to the IMF and World Bank.
Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, in the company of Minister of Information Gospel Kazako during the maiden ‘Government Faces the Press’ initiative set to be a weekly event to update to the public on national issues, also said his office will investigate how some politically-exposed persons obtained the loans they defaulted from MSB.
Nyirenda said: “This is disposal of public assets which has to follow the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets law . You need to advertise and people bid and once disposed of, money has to be deposited into account number one. But did Account Number One get that money?
“There are also some loans that government inherited that were given under MSB. Did we recover that money? And those politically-exposed people who were getting those loans, was there some interference?
“We want these questions answered and if we find some criminal elements, people involved will be prosecuted accordingly.”
He said there are a number of investigations that government will embark on, including claiming back money from dubious transactions such as where government paid for services that were never delivered.
It is alleged that more arrests will follow with many senior DPP officials topping the list.