Fresh from having investigations commenced on him for dubious purchase of 200 vehicles and being mentioned as one of the corrupt beneficiaries of Sattar dirty money, Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima has dubiously deposited K200 million at Old Mutual Malawi Limited as premium in one of the firm’s interest-bearing asset funds.
This is believed to be a move to hide some of the proceedings from his dirty deals.
The investment raises eyebrows mainly owing to his connection to businessman Zuneth Sattar who is answering money laundering charges in the United Kingdom.
Affidavits in a UK court show that Chilima is one of the top government officials who the British National Crimes Agency (NCA) listed to have benefitted from Sattar in the latter’s capture of Malawi state apparatus. There are strong hints that he is also featuring prominently in the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) report which is to be released this coming month end.
The investment move by the Vice President has also raised questions considering his financial status as a government official.
“His package as Vice President is less than three million Kwacha per month meaning he would need to save all his earnings for over five years to accumulate the amount he has invested at Old Mutual. There are so many missing links in his dealings up until he comes out clearly to explain what is going on,” observed one financial commentator who is also privy to the transaction at Old Mutual.
To make matters even more suspicious, Chilima in 2020 deferred his salary as one way of showing commitment towards the fight against Covid-19. This only confirms suspicions that in the absence of his salary he has been accumulating wealth dubiously.
The learned financial expert questioned the rationale behind Chilima movement of funds at a time he is under the microscope of both local and international investigations agencies.
“It is only wise for one to keep their financial assets immobile when an investigation is taking place. This may force the ACB to freeze his assets once they start prosecuting him, if he really is part of their investigation. It does not look good on him as things stand,” he added.
Only a couple of months ago, Chilima was also reported to ACB for purchasing 200 brand new vehicles for his UTM party at a cost of more than K3 billion. Forty-four of those vehicles have since been registered in the name of one of his very close confidants, Khwesi Msusa.
Efforts to get an official position from Old Mutual did not yield anything, however, one of the senior managers confirmed the transaction adding that the deposit has raised eyebrows even within the senior management of the insurance company.