Former Malawian president Bakili Muluzi was arrested yesterday on charges of fraud and corruption. It is alleged that millions of dollars in donor funds ended up in his personal account. A team from the state Anti-Corruption Bureau questioned the former president for more than an hour before releasing him. Also yesterday, government sources confirmed the suspension of Gustav Kaliwo, the chairman of the Anti-Corruption Bureau; the reason for his suspension has not been made public. Kaliwo spoke with VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey about his suspension and the former president’s arrest.
“For sometime now we’ve been investigating allegations that the former head of state received funds from foreign governments, which he then put in his personal account and the governments of the republic of Libya, Morocco and the Republic of China. After we concluded our investigations the file was submitted to the director of public prosecution, who agreed that we had evidence warranting charging the former head of state. So a warrant was obtained and this morning…we invited the former head of state and put the charges to him, which he denied and exercised his constitutional right to remain silent. So that is what happened this morning.”
He explains the delay in inviting the former president for questioning.” The computer expert did come and he did analyze the computers that were seized. He found in certain respects issues that were of concern relating to the hardware for those computers. And these are issues that we would have wanted the former head of state to explain to us. But as I have said, he opted to exercise his right to silence and therefore these matters were not put to him and only those issues that have been sanctioned by the director of public prosecution are the issues that we actually put to him.”
Kaliwo spoke about his suspension. “I haven’t received official communication but I am told that there is an official communication that has been broadcast on national television. And that gives me actually a strong belief to believe that there is that correspondence of it but I haven’t gotten it yet.”
He said, “I am sure that, that suspension can only be based on the law, I am sure that it cannot be based on what I have done in the exercise of the duties of my office. So I am ignorant as to the basis of the suspension. And until I receive the communication and until I am told why that communication is there, I do not know how I can comment. So I will take it a day at a time and I will deal with it when I come to that.”
Let us know what you think of this report and other stories on our website. Send your views to AFRICA@VOANEWS.COM, and include your phone number. Or, call us here in Washington, DC at (202) 205-9942. After you hear the VOA identification, press 30 to leave a message. We want to hear what you have to say!