CDEDI questions competence of NIS boss following Sattar’s visit

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has questioned the competence of National Intelligence Service (NIS) Chief, Dokani Ngwira, following revelations that corruption suspect Zuneth Sattar visited Malawi in March.

In a letter available to this publication, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa is questioning precisely how long Sattar stayed in Malawi, who he meet while in the country and how he found his way into Malawi without authorities being alerted.

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General (DG) Martha Chizuma, recently told Malawians that the bureau learnt about Sattar’s visit to Malawi just two hours after his departure on his return trip to Britain.

Based on revelations that Sattar checked out of Malawi without the knowledge of NIS, CDEDI believes that DG Dokani Ngwira either intentionally withheld vital information that was badly needed by a state organ, in this case the ACB, to exercise its legal obligation, or was not aware about Mr. Sattar’s visit to Malawi as well, in his capacity as chief government spy.

“If it turns out to be the former, then it means you are compromised because you are serving Mr. Sattar’s interests and all his accomplices, and not Malawians’ interests. If it turns out to be the latter, then it simply means that you slept on the job, thereby risking the security of the 18 million plus Malawians. Either way, the noble thing for you to do, therefore sir, is to resign immediately, because Malawians have now lost trust in your credibility,” reads the letter.

The NIS Director General has since been given seven days to respond to the matter in question.

NIS secretariat has confirmed receipt of the letter.

What has raised questions is the fact that the jetting in of Sattar was contrary to standard practice whereby security organs such as the NIS, the Immigration, the Malawi Police, prison services and military intelligence are expected to share notes and act according to their mandates and jurisdiction.

And according to CDEDI, any competent NIS Director would have had intelligence about the said soon after Sattar has just booked his flight in London, if at all that was his mode of transport.

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has been investigating a business person, Zuneth Sattar , who is suspected to be involved in corruption scandals and Malawians, who also double as voters and taxpayers, are now anxiously waiting for the conclusion of the probe.

Recently at Uxbridge Magistrate Court in London, it transpired that Sattar travelled to Malawi from March 16-25, 2022 and he was later arrested at Heathrow Airport on his return trip to Britain.

CDEDI has since cautioned Ngwira to be mindful that Sattar is a British citizen who unless otherwise, is not supposed to be treated differently from any other visiting Briton.

“If there are any exceptions, kindly take note that Malawians have the right to know,” Namiwa said while asking for a timely response for Malawians to have a clue if at all they have the right person for the job or not.

“In short, CEDI is only asking you to exonerate yourself by explaining why Malawians should continue paying you when it is crystal clear that you are either compromised or incompetent. Either way sir, you are a threat to state security, a situation that warrants your immediate resignation,” he said.

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