The Maseko Ngoni Heritage Association has releasing a statement in which the grouping has reaffirmed its support for State Vice President Saulos Chilima, who was arrested on corruption ccharges few days ago, Association secretary Kandi Padambo has confirmed in a letter.
“Impi Dr Saulos Chilima is an illustrious Maseko Ngoni and loyal Impi of His Majesty who started serving the Ngwenyama of the Maseko Ngoni even before the coronation of Ngwenyama iNkosi Ya Makhosi Gomani V. Impi Dr Saulos Chilima Bhiyeni, like any Maseko Ngoni child in time of adversity, deserves moral support, prayers for strength and best wishes of the entire Maseko Ngoni family, which we hereby extend to the Impi and his family.
“We would, however, like to place on record our complete support for any effort towards checking the spread of the scourge of corruption in our society and our respect for the rule of law, confident in the principle that a citizen is always innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law. We have unreserved confidence in our judicial system and believe that what is just will ultimately prevail for the good of our beloved country,” the letter reads.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Chilima on allegation that he received $280,000 and other items from United Kingdom-based businessman Zuneth Sattar as a reward for him to assist Sattar’s companies, Xavier Limited and Malachite FZE, get contracts from the Malawi Government.
Chilima was charged with three counts of corrupt practices, two counts of receiving an advantage for using influence in regard to government contracts and one count of failing to make a full report to a police officer or an officer of the ACB that an advantage had been corruptly given.
Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Madalitso Chimwaza released him on bail on conditions that he surrenders his travel documents and pay K1 million cash bail bond, among others.
ACB Chief Legal and Prosecution Officer Chrispine Khunga did not object to the bail application made by Chilima’s lawyers George Mtchuka Mwale and Bright Theu but said the case would be transferred to the financial crimes court for further hearing.
In June this year, President Lazarus Chakwera withdrew delegated powers from the vice president after the ACB, in a report, identified Chilima as one of the public officials on its radar.
In the same month, ACB officers failed to arrest and question Chilima at his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe after scores of UTM, for which he is president, supporters blocked them from entering the residence.