Malawians expected to hear his side on Sattar issue
Analysts and Social commentators have questioned Vice President Saulosi Klaus Chilima’s timing on disclosing about the agreements in the Tonse Alliance pact at the time he has been implicated in corruption allegations.
Commenting soon after his public statement Friday Morning, the analysts said the timing gives an impression that Chilima wanted to divert the attention of people from the allegations that he corruptly got huge sums of money from businessman Zuneth Sattar.
One of the social commentators and human rights activist Undule Mwakasungula also pointed out that Chilima brought up the topic of the President’s immunity just as a cover up to his own involvement with Sattar.
“The topic on the President’s immunity is complicated and Chilima is bringing it now just because he is involved in the Sattar corruption investigations,” said Mwakasungula.
Mwakasungula further sais he saw Chilima’s speech as a squandered chance to inform Malawians about his suspected role in Sattar corruption.
He also also faulted Chilima for spending “too much time focusing on the 2025 political interests at the expense of critical issues such as the corruption, in which he is named, and the current economic situation.
Another renowned social commentator Willy Kambwandira of Centre for Transparency and Accountability described the statement as lacking and empty.
Kambwandira also labelled Chilima’s public statement as a missed opportunity to address serious issues that many Malawians were eagerly waiting for.
Kambwandira observed that the vice president has failed to clear his name in relation to the Sattar corruption case which many Malawians were eagerly anticipating.
“The vice president’s speech has failed to live to people’s expectations. We expected the vice president to explain to us his relationship with Sattar.How close is he to Sattar?
Has he at any point dealt with Sattar?
“But the vice president has failed to answer all these questions and worse still the president did not take questions from members of the press. To me I feel this is a missed opportunity on both vice president’s part and ofcourse Malawians at large,” said Kambwandira.
Kambwandira said he feels the Vice president was supposed to outline strategies his party and of course himself are going to undertake to support ACB’s fight against corruption.
Taking his turn, another commentator Peter Jegwa Kumwenda a seasoned journalist feels the Vice president has missed an opportunity to clear his name.
“If you read the statement which the office of the vice president issued some days ago immediately after the vice president’s name was mentioned in the Zunneth Sattar corruption report and what the vice president has said today you would notice that there are some contradictions.
“In the statement the office of the veep issued, it hinted that the vice president is clean and will clear himself but today if you listen to the vice president he has failed to exhaust the issue of corruption in relation to the Zunneth Sattar case,” said Jegwa Kumwenda.
Chilima addressed Malawians from his UTM Party’s headquarters in Area 10, Lilongwe a week after his name was mentioned as one of the high profile people that were in direct contact with UK based wanted corruption suspect Sattar.
A report from Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) confirmed the allegations from another report by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) that the vice president received huge sums of money from Sattar.
However, the ACB is yet to officially interrogate him
Chilima, in his address, told the nation that he is committed to see that the graft busting body is left to operate independently without interference and that he is willing to cooperate with the bureau in it’s investigations.
Chilima also said that in the agreement he signed with President Dr Lazarus Chakwera the two agreed that they will support each other as presidential candidates for a single term each.
“The agreement was that if one is the running mate this time, then the other will support him in the second term to lead the the alliance,” he said.
Chilima also threatened that if the Alliance is to end today, then it will mean that the country should go for fresh presidential elections before 2025.