Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima was Friday arrested on allegations that he received money in exchange for awarding government contracts.
The vice president is facing six charges relating to corruption after he allegedly received $280,000 and “other items” from a British businessman identified as Zuneth Sattar, Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) said.
Mr Sattar, who denies paying the bribes, was arrested in the United Kingdom in October last year and is out on bail.
The businessman is accused of using his connections with Malawi government officials to get tenders for the supply of armoured personnel carriers, food rations and water cannons.
“On 25th November, 2022, the Anti-Corruption Bureau arrested Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima on allegation that between March 2021 and October 2021, he received advantage in form of money amounting to USD280,000 and other items from Zuneth Sattar as a reward,” the bureau said in a statement.
Appeared in court
Dr Chilima has since appeared in court where he was charged with three counts of corrupt practices by a public officer, among other charges.
He has not commented on the charges.
In June, President Lazarus Chakwera stripped Dr Chilima of his powers after when the ACB first accused him of corruption.
The vice president came to power in 2020 as a running mate of President Chakwera.
Fired entire cabinet
In January, the Malawian leader fired his entire cabinet after his government was rocked by a series of corruption scandals.
Three of his ministers were accused of various charges, including diverting funds meant for the Covid-19 response.
Last year, President Chakwera sacked the Energy minister over corruption allegations.
He has faced several protests over his alleged failure to act decisively on corruption issues and the poor performance of the economy.
Malawi has been battling inflation, lack of foreign currency and fuel shortages, which has put pressure on the president.