BLANTYRE - In Malawi, the head of the former ruling party is expected in court Tuesday on allegations he fraudulently granted citizenship documents to more than 50 foreigners in 2013 when he was minister of home affairs.
Uladi Mussa surrendered himself Monday at the office of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, or ACB, in the capital Lilongwe.
“So since he came in today, this morning, to hand himself, our investigators have just sent him to the police station for safe custody," said Egrita Ndala, an ACB spokesperson
Mussa is accused of taking bribes in exchange for issuing Malawian passports to foreigners during his time as home affairs minister under the previous administration.
He told a local radio in Lilongwe that he feels his arrest is politically motivated. He denies any wrong doing.
“I do not know anything, why they have been hunting for me," said Mussa. "The issue is very strange to me because that is one of major functions and responsibilities of a minister of home affairs.”
Mussa said, as the minister, he was signing the citizenship applications following the approval from police and immigration officials that an applicant had met all the necessary requirements.
This is the second arrest in this case. Last Wednesday, the ACB arrested former chief immigration officer Hudson Mankhwala, who is now out on bail, on charges of neglect of official duty and abuse of office. He has also denied the charges.
The ACB’s Ndala defends the bureau’s investigations.
“We do not just arrest. An arrest will come after we have done a background work in investigation. And we have been working in prevention," said Ndala. "We have been working with public education, about their role in the fight against corruption, but otherwise that is our mandate according to Corrupt Practices Act.”
The Anti-Corruption Bureau has made the local news quite a bit lately.
Two weeks ago, the president fired his agriculture minister after ACB investigators found cash worth nearly $200,000 in the minister’s home as part of a probe into a recent maize procurement from Zambia.
Investigations into that matter continue.