Chilima facing a possible 12 year jail sentence

Saulos Chilima

Facing a possible 12 year jail sentence

Lilongwe: Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima is facing a possible 12 year jail term instead of a presidential term come 2025.

SKC, as Chilima is fondly called by his followers, was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) earlier today on corruption charges.

The ACB revealed in a statement that Vice President Chilima is alleged to have received a kickback of about US$280 thousand (about 300 million Malawi Kwacha) to help a British business tycoon, Zuneth Sattar secure Malawi government contracts.

“Between March 2021 and October 2021, [Chilima] received advantage in form of money amounting to USD 280,000 and other items from Zuneth Sattar as a reward to assist Xaviar Limited and Malachitte FZE, which are companies connected to Zuneth Sattar to be awarded contracts by the Malawi Government”, reads a statement by ACB.

Chilima was taken to court this morning to be formally charged of “three counts of Corrupt practices by a public officer contrary to section 24(1) of the [Malawi] Corrupt Practices Act as read with section 34 of the Corrupt Practices Act”.

The ACB also revealed in the statement that the vice president will also be be charged of two counts of receiving advantage for using influence in regard to public contracts and another count of failing to make a full report to a police officer or an officer of the Bureau that an advantage had been corruptly given to him.

Saulos Chilima is facing up to 12 years of imprisonment should he be found guilty of any of the charges.

Section 396 of the Malawi Penal Code asserts that a person guilty of corruption practice “shall be liable to imprisonment for twelve years”.

Revelations that Chilima was under the armpits of Zuneth Sattar shocked Malawians who regarded SKC as a well-standing politician. He openly spoke against corruption during his 2019 failed presidential bid. Chilima, had however, confessed that corruption was at the core of Malawi government.

It was widely believed that he plotting another bid for the 2025 presidential election race. Instead, he now faces a possible long stint in prison. If found guilty, Chilima’s long life goal to lead Malawi as a President will immediately die. Instead, it will be replaced by 12 years of imprisonment, which is as longer as two presidential terms.