In Malawi, the recently suspended director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Gustave Kaliwo, says the government has yet to tell him why he was suspended. But the minister of information, Patricia Kaliati, says Kaliwo cannot be suspended without reason. This week, the state dropped the charges against Muluzi, saying there is no prosecution team to continue with the case and that there is no case against the former president. In a press statement, the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) said President Bingu wa Mutharika suspended Kaliwo on an undisclosed disciplinary matter. Meanwhile, some Malawians view the dismissal of charges against Muluzi as an impediment to the government’s fight against corruption. Kaliati discussed the situation with VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey.
“I don’t think he is telling the truth, because if anything, maybe that is office politics. He was appointed by the head of state, Dr. Bingu Wa Mutharika; if he is being suspended, I am sure he knows why he is being suspended. If he is not aware of that, why can’t he go back to his boss and find out? And it has never happened that one being suspended without being told of what you did or…X,Y, Z. [Perhaps] he does not want to publicize he is suspended. But definitely he knows why he is being suspended.”
Kaliati continues, “You never know, maybe he was given [a reason], but he doesn’t want to review that he has received the letter of suspension.”
She says she does not see any setback in President’s Mutharika’s anti-corruption drive.
“I don’t think that it has been weakened, because we are still on that drive. In fact, when the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is going to be in the office, then he is going to cross check with that. But it is not government that dropped the cases of the former president because as government, we didn’t have any problem with him. So if the Anti-Corruption Bureau finds that there are other issues, which the former president was doing and then someone drop the case, then it’s not our issue. But when the Anti-Corruption Bureau goes in the office maybe we will cross check on that. When we are going to have the ACB back in the office and then he is going to look into those files.”
Kaliati says news of correspondence between Mutharika and former president Bakili Muluzi is a positive development.
"If they are communicating, that is good. Because people were saying, why are we not corresponding or why are we not in (good) terms with the former president? And they are accusing government that we are the ones who don’t want to have contact and dialogue. So if they are corresponding, after all, the former president is a Malawian, and our head of state, Dr. Bingu Wa Mutharika, he is also a Malawian. So being a leader, a state president, all these people within the boundaries of Malawi, fall under him. So he’s got that responsibility to talk to each and every person who is in Malawi.”
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