Sattargate: Chakwera shields Police IG, State House Chief of Staff, Sports Minister


President Lazarus Chakwera has refused to fire State House Chief of Staff, Prince Kapondamgaga, Inspector of Police George Kainja and Minister of Youth and Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda who were mentioned during court proceedings in the case of corruption suspect Zuneth Sattar.

Vice President Saulos Chilima and chairperson of Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) John Suzi Banda were also mentioned as persons to have benefited from the dubious deals of Sattar in Malawi.

While Chakwera cannot fire Chilima, he has powers to fire the rest of the public officers. However, he has chosen not to take that route.

Speaking at a press briefing in Lilongwe yesterday, Chakwera said the allegations are serious and he knows Malawians are angry over revelations that Sattar corrupted senior officials in his administration.

Chakwera added that  he is also distressed to hear of the allegations of corruption in the highest offices of the land.

He noted that Malawians are waiting for him to take action. However, Chakwera argued that his decisions as president must uphold principles of justice despite his own feelings and frustrations.

One of the principles, Chakwera said, is that every citizen has a right to defend themselves and none of the individuals mentioned in the UK court has been charged in order to answer for themselves.

“Everyone’s side of the story must be heard but a week has passed now and investigators have seen no need to invited the individuals for interviews or questioning.

“The third principle of justice is that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court and no court in Malawi has charged these individuals of any crime,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera added that he has always waited for courts or investigators in Malawi to charge a person before taking action against the concerned individual.

“I respect courts in other countries such as United Kingdom but I cannot compromise our sovereignty by basing my decisions on anything other than the Malawi constitution,” said Chakwera.

Responding to a question later, Chakwera said he would have acted differently if the senior government officials were mentioned during court proceedings in Malawi.

The Malawi leader during the press briefing said there should be speedy investigations into Sattar case.

“I am giving the ACB [Anti-Corruption] Director General 21 days to conclude investigations into this case,” said Chakwera.

Follow us on Twitter: