Malawi has arrested its Vice President Saulos Chilima and accused him of taking bribes in a bribery scandal involving a British-Malawian businessman, Malawi’s anti-corruption watchdog said.

The anti-corruption agency said the deposed presidential deputy has been charged with multiple counts of corruption and taking bribes to influence government contracts.

“He received $280,000 in money and other items” from (British-Malawian businessman) Zuneth Sattar, whose company will be awarded the Malawi government contract, ACB spokeswoman Egrita Mdala said in a statement. .

Chilima was due to appear in court on Friday afternoon. Officials and supporters of his United Transformation Movement party have gathered outside in support.

President Lazarus Chakwera stripped Chilima of power in June, when details of alleged graft first emerged.

Under Malawi’s constitution, the president cannot suspend or remove Chilima because he is an elected official.

Several ministers and former ministers have been arrested in connection with the case, in which 53 public officials are accused of receiving money from Sattar between March 2021 and October 2021.

Chilima teamed up with Chakwera to win the 2020 presidential re-election, a sweeping victory on the anti-corruption platform.

He also joined Chakwera in challenging a rigged election in 2019, which led to court-sanctioned polls the following year in which Chakwera defeated former leader Peter Mutharika.

AFP

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