Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau has arrested Energy Minister Newton Kambala energy minister along with presidential adviser Chris Chaima Banda, and Enock Chihana, a partner in the governing Tonse Alliance, for alleged corruption involving a state oil contract.
Martha Chizuma, director Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) told a press conference the arrests were as a result of investigations into complaints from the National Oil Company (NOCMA) of Malawi about interference in awarding of contracts to fuel suppliers.
Chizuma said that the other part of this investigation was alleged serious political interference and some corrupt practices in the procurement process and those involved must face prosecution.
The investigation found that Energy Minister Kambala attempted to influence NOCMA to award contracts for 2020-2021 fuel supplies to three potential oil suppliers. The probe also revealed that Chihana and Banda aided and abetted Kambala when he attempted to influence the award of the contract to supply 40,000 tons of fuel to one supplier.
Political analysts said the arrests of President Chakwera’s allies, show anti-corruption drive is targeting not only members of the former ruling party.
Chakwera previously had been accused of targeting only officials of opposing parties in the anti-corruption campaign when he took power in June of last year.
The Bureau stated that the three suspects will appear in court soon after it finishes interrogating them. The charges against them would include abuse of public office, and aiding and abetting crime.
Chakwera has relentlessly fought relentlessly against corruption in his country since he took office in June last year by arresting top government officials and his close allies, showing that he is living up to his anti-graft manifesto.