Mutharika’s interview postponed to next week

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) says its interview with former President Peter Mutharika will be conducted next week and not today as earlier planned.

ACB spokesperson Egritta Ndala has said this in a statement today but she did not provide any reason for the postponement.

The bureau was expected to question Mutharika today as part of the on-going investigation into the cement-gate scandal.

“We would like to inform Malawians that as part of the on-going investigation process into the allegations of abuse of the former President’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN), the ACB interview of the former President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has been postponed from 20th July, to 27th July, 2021,” said Ndala.

Mutharika is not a suspect in the cement-gate but, according to the bureau, the interrogation is part of a normal and legal process which started in 2020.

Former State House chief of staff Peter Mukhito, Mutharika’s former bodyguard Norman Chisale, former Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) deputy commissioner general Roza Mbilizi and businessperson Mahmed Shafee Chunara are the suspects who have so far appeared before court over the issue.

They are suspected to have used Mutharika’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN) to import 800,000 bags of cement worth K1.5 billion, duty free.

The bags of cement were imported between 2018 and 2019 under the pretext that they were for the personal use of Mutharika.

The suspects are answering various charges including money laundering, abuse of office, falsifying documents with intent to deceive, smuggling, aiding and abetting smuggling.

Mutharika, 81, has always denied any involvement in the illegal importation, saying he did not did not instruct anyone to import cement on his behalf.

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