Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has relieved his Vice President Saulos Chilima of all delegated powers after he was named in a corruption scandal.

The country’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has investigated the procurement fraud and concluded that 53 current and former public officers received money from British-Malawian businessman Zuneth Sattar between March and October 2021. Sattar is being investigated in Britain and Malawi on corruption, fraud and money-laundering charges.

In a national address, Chakwera also fired the country’s top police officer George Kainja, who was caught on tape discussing deals and kickbacks with Sattar.

Chakwera also suspended his chief of staff and the chairman of the country’s procurement directorate, who are also mentioned in the ACB report.

Additionally, another 31 individuals from the private sector, the media, civil society, and the legal fraternity also received money from Sattar.

He added that the anti-graft body has found that Malawi’s police and army awarded 16 contracts worth more than $150 million to five companies belonging to Sattar between 2017 and 2021.

Several serving and former ministers have already been arrested in connection with the investigation.

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