By Cedric Nkungula
President Chakwera, through the Attorney General, has issued out a 60 day ultimatum to all companies and individuals who have defrauded the public purse in their business dealings or illegally acquired wealth through procurement fraud and corruption to voluntarily pay back the said wealth or face the long arm of the law.
President Lazarus Chakwera is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to clearing the rubble and make Malawi corrupt free. The Chakwera led administration has made significant strides since its attainment of power to ensure that every public penny is accounted for and of benefit to every Malawian.
In the run up to the general elections, in one of his campaign promises, President Lazarus Chakwera and his Tonse Administration promised to give an opportunity to all those that looted government funds to pay back what they looted from government coffers and be exempted from persecution.
According to a press release dated January 09, 2022 signed by Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, the general amnesty which is with immediate effect, is extended to the 77 cash gate files that are currently before the prosecution authorities, the commercial banks that facilitated cash gate and to the investigations connected with Zuneith Sattar.
“Pursuant to justice and restitution balancing act, The Attorney General also wishes to announce a 60-day general amnesty to all those who might have defrauded Government or illicitly acquired wealth whether through procurement fraud and corruption or otherwise, but willing to restitute or voluntarily surrender the said wealth within 60 days from the date hereof,” reads part of the release signed by Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda.
Commenting on the ongoing investigation of Sattar who is under the microscope for fraudulently obtaining contracts from Malawi Police Service and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) using under hand tactics, Nyirenda said his office is constantly engaging British Government to recover any money that might have been illicitly transferred from Malawi to the United Kingdom.
“The Office shall also ensure that all legal formalities including the prescriptions under the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act are followed to the letter when collecting evidence from the United Kingdom or sending evidence to the United Kingdom to avoid needless and undeserving acquittals or needless and undeserving loss of lawsuits and as a matter of compliance with the rule of law,” says the release
“The Office shall also cooperate with the United Kingdom on exchange of evidence through normal diplomatic channels as set out in the above prescribed legal framework while at the same time respecting the sovereignty of the two nations.”
Just recently, government advised all its agencies and departments against dealing with companies owned or controlled by Sattar.
Political commentator Humphrey Mvula described the move as brilliant idea. He said public money lost through corruption must be returned to Malawians.
“It is a welcome idea. Very welcome. There must be recovery from corruption,” emphasized Mvula in a telephone interview.
“This is money meant to help citizenry and it will be fair for those that took this money regardless of who they are to pay back. I am in total support of government on this.”