Martin Thom: Former presidential aide’s trip to India raises suspicions


President Lazarus Chakwera’s former advisor Martin Thom has travelled to India days after he was arrested on allegations of smuggling a money bill into Parliament.

Thom served as  Chakwera’s special advisor for over a year and was fired on Tuesday this week after he was arrested over the loan authorization bill.

The bill was for the borrowing of 98,360,000 euro (about K93 billion) from Bank of Baroda in India to finance construction of houses for security agencies such as the Police and Malawi Defence Force (MDF).

Following his arrest on 3 August on charges of abuse of office and making false documents, Thom was released on bail the same day.

He has since travelled to India and Malawians on social media are wondering how he has been allowed to travel.

“We joke a lot as a nation. How can you let a suspect to travel,” said one person.

Other social media users argued that Thom many never return to Malawi to answer the charges he is facing and that he is still workin for the President.

But Thom has released a statement saying he has not fled the law in Malawi and has not been sent to India by President Chakwera.

Thom said: “As for the charges leveled against me, I will face these in court and answer them like a man. Though I have temporarily traveled abroad to attend to private matters that were long overdue but have nothing to do with my case or my former employment, I have every intention of returning and the authorities already have this assurance.

“One thing is for sure: Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera will succeed in executing his vision to transform Malawi, and I wish him nothing but success, even though I am no longer serving him as Special Advisor. This is a fact. My devotion to him goes beyond and deeper than politics and government work. This is also a fact.

“No amount of lies people spread about him, no slander people believe about him, and no arrest of people close to him changes these facts. The Lord is with him, and though his enemies attack him with great force and devilish venom, they will be scattered in shame in a thousand directions.”