Reports that Malawi vice president Saulos Chilima has resigned and left the Tonse Alliance coalition government are fake news.
A statement circulating on social media claims that Chilima has resigned due to his arrest by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on allegations that he received a $280,000 (about K290 million) bribe from businessperson Zuneth Sattar to secure government contracts.
According to the statement, Chilima wants to focus on defending himself against six counts of corruption relating to the alleged bribe.
“My moral urge is that sticking to a constitutional office when I have six counts of corruption on me compromises both my delivery of duty and my standing in society.
“I have, therefore, arrived at a painful decision to relinquish my constitutional mandate as Vice President,” reads part of the statement.
The statement has been shared widely by social media accounts suspected to belong to operatives of the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
However, the statement is evidently fake and appears to take the format and design used by Chakwera in his official speeches.
Writing on his Facebook page, social commentator Onjezani Kenani described the statement as “useless propaganda.”
Chilima and Chakwera were elected under the MCP ticket in the 2020 presidential election in which they campaigned under the banner of Tonse Alliance which is composed of nine parties.
In June last year, Chakwera stripped Chilima of his duties after a report by the ACB linked the vice president to Sattar.
A month later, Chilima claimed during a press conference that MCP and his party UTM agreed to rotate the presidency between the UTM leader and Chakwera.
He demanded the Chakwera and the MCP to stick to the agreement but the MCP dismissed his claims saying there was no such agreement.
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