Chilima still facing three major corruption charges

Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima

Vice President Saulos Chilima is still facing three major corruption charges after the High Court in Lilongwe dismissed two charges against the vice president who is alleged to have received bribe from businessperson Zuneth Sattar.

This morning High Court Judge Redson Kapindu made a ruling on an application by the defence for the court to dismiss charges against Chilima.

In his ruling Kapindu, Kapindu only dismissed two counts of breach of trust by a public officer, saying the State introduced the charges after the prescribed period had expired.

Chilima is still facing charges of demanding and receiving unspecified amounts of money for himself to influence a public officer to give an approval for Government to enter into a contract with Sattar’s company.

One of ACB lawyers Imran Saidi told the media after the ruling that they are happy that the court has not thrown out the entire case.

“The charges which the court has dismissed are misdemeounours but the court has allowed us to continue prosecution on major charges under Corrupt Practices Act which led to the arrest of the defendant,” said Saidi.

The defence had asked for the dismissal of the charges because they do not show the amount Chilima allegedly received from businessperson Zuneth Sattar.

Speaking today, defence lawyer Khumbo Soko said they still want the state to specify the amount which Chilima is accused of receiving from Sattar.

This morning, Kapindu also ordered the state to file with the court  documents or pieces of evidence by Monday, 22 January 2024 before 10 am.

The documents include minutes of the defence council and correspondence between President Lazarus Chakwera and the Malawi Defence Force.

The Judge said he will appreciate the evidence and make a decision on whether it is indeed sensitive and confidential as argued by the state. He said following this assessment, the court will then come up with another determination on the matter.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Chilima in 2022 on allegation that that Chilima received a sum of $280,000 in alleged bribes to assist Sattar’s companies win contracts with state agencies.