Malawi's Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)
is denying that the seizure of ex-President Bakili Muluzi's passport was
politically motivated. The former president was scheduled to visit the United
Kingdom Wednesday for a medical checkup.
But the ACB seized Muluzi's passport
over the weekend, claiming it had information that the former president would
not return to face corruption charges.
Muluzi is under investigation for
allegedly diverting donor funds into his personal account, charges he denies.
Alex Nampota, the chairman of Malawi's Anti-Corruption Bureau, told VOA that his agency is not against Muluzi's medical trip abroad.
as a bureau seized his passport after we had voluntarily given it to him, and
we had no problems in him going for medical checkup," Nampota said.
said the ACB seized the former president's passport in response to a tip.
like ours receiving information to the effect that there is a possible
likelihood that justice would be defeated are supposed to take the necessary
actions. We got complaints that once Dr. Muluzi leaves for medication he is
going to perpetually extend his stay there and probably not come back," he
said his agency seized Muluzi's passport for two reasons.
first one is to do verification, and the second one is to file an application
with the court for the court to impose a further bail. In terms of the Corrupt
Practices Act, it's open to the Anti-Corruption Bureau to ask the court to
impose further bail where somebody is leaving the country," Nampota said.
said the ACB is not to blame for the delay in investigations into the alleged
corruption charges against former President Muluzi.
has made this case take this long? You remember it was stopped by an
injunction. The bureau could not flout a court order by proceeding further with
this case. The injunction was on the basis that Dr. Muluzi wants to challenge
the powers of the ACB in the Constitutional Court," he said.
Ex-President Bakili Muluzi and his
opposition United Democratic Front party were not readily available for