Chilima arrest: Malawi urged to tackle corruption regardless of political affiliation

Saulos Chilima at the Lilongwe Magistrates court
  • Chilima arrested, questioned and released on bail

The United States government has urged authorities to continue efforts to address the issue of corruption by identifying, prosecuting and punishing all those who engage in fraudulent practices regardless of political affiliation.

This follows the arrest of the Vice President Saulos Chilima who has since been granted bail by the Lilongwe Magistrates court following his interrogation by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on corruption related charges earlier in the day.

A statement from the Embassy has hailed the efforts of Malawian institutions including the ACB of investigating and pursuing accountability for corruption cases.

“This requires courage and commitment to the rule of law.  These cases are a matter for the Malawian judicial system, and we encourage a fair, transparent, and expedient process by the courts for all those accused of crimes.  We urge the Government of Malawi to continue efforts to address the issue of corruption by identifying, prosecuting, and punishing all those who engage in corrupt practices, regardless of political affiliation”. reads the press release

The vehicle carrying Chilima captured on arrival at the court

The Biden administration has since pledged continued to support Malawi’s corruption drive.

Chilima has been charged with six counts bordering on corrupt practices allegedly committed between March and October 2021 to influence the awarding of food rations to the Malawi Police service.

A statement from the ACB  indicate that some of the charges range on corrupt practices by a public officer on allegations that he received US$280, 000  from UK based Malawian businessman Zuneth Sattar.

“On 25th November, 2022, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi on allegation that between March 2021 and October 2021, he received advantage in form of money amounting to USD 280,000 and other items from Zuneth Sattar as a reward for Dr. Chilima to assist Xaviar Limited and Malachitte FZE, which are companies connected to Zuneth Sattar to be awarded contracts by the Malawi Government:  

Pictures from social media

He will be answering to six charges; three on corrupt practices by a public officer, two on receiving advantage for using influence in regards to  contracts and the final one on failing to make a full report to a police officer or an officer of the Bureau that an advantage had been corruptly given.

Chilima becomes the highest ranking official in the Tonse administration to be arrested on corruption related charges.

Security was tight at the court premises where Chilima appeared before Chief Resident Magistrate Madalitso Chimwaza

Among the bail conditions for the VP are a K1 million cash, K2 million non-cash bond  and was told to surrender his travel documents and report to ACB offices once every three months.