Former Finance Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha is in the cooler again after the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested him for alleged abuse of office.
According to a press Release issued by ACB, Mwanamvekha is suspected to have abused his office by unlawfully approving procurement of Uniforms and Equipment worth US$18,374,460 (almost MK18 billion) to the Ministry of Homeland Security for the Malawi Prison Service.
“On 16th August, 2022, the Anti-Corruption Bureau Arrested Mr. Joseph Mwanamvekha, former Minister of Finance. This is over allegations that he abused his office arbitrarily approving US$18,374,460 to Ministry of Homeland Security for the unlawful procurement of uniforms and equipmen for Malawi Prisons Services,” reads the statement.
The ACB said following a tip off in 2020 the body carried out investigations of the alleged abuse of office by Mwanamvekha during his time as Minister which established that the former Minister neglected his official duties by approving the disbursement of funds to the Ministry of Homeland Security without verifying importance and urgency of the procurement.
“The ACB recorded an allegation on 16th October, 2020 that the Ministry of Homeland Security suspiciously procured Malawi Prison Service uniforms and Equipment from one Guard FZE of United Arab Emirates without following procedures.
“The ACB conducted investigations which established that Mr. Mwanamvekha abused his office and neglected official duties by among other things approving disbursement of funds to Ministry of Homeland Security without verifying the urgency and important of the procurement,” said the ACB in the statement.
Mwanamvekha is expected tol be charged with abuse office and neglect of official duties contrary to Section 25B(1) and Section 121 of the Corrupt Practices Act and the Penal Code respectively . Mwanamveka has been in and out of the police cells in the recent times following series of arrests emanating from different counts of corruption related offences committed when he was Minister of Finance during the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Administration.
The former Minister and one of the DPP heavy weights has since been granted by the court. Mwanamveka is among several key senor members of the former ruling DPP walking about with bail conditions hanging over their heads following spates of arrests since the party was booted out of power.