NEWS

This section provides readers with the latest news regarding anti-corruption issues worldwide.

Malawi: Country’s anti-corruption body arrests more officials in Cashgate scandal

Malawi’s former budget director has become among the latest high profile people to be arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in the public graft case known as Cashgate. The recent arrest of Paul Mphwiyo and his wife was the first of a new series of arrests by the country’s corruption busting body, which saw five people arrested within a space of four days. The others are the newly appointed director of the Public Officers’ Assets Declaration, Christopher Tukula, former publicity secretary of the former ruling People’s Party, Hophmally Makande and a lawyer, Ishmael Chioko. They are answering various charges, including theft, money laundering and defeating the course of justice alongside more than 60 other suspects arrested last year over involvement in the financial scam. The new arrests come just weeks after the British forensic audit firm Baker Tilly released to the Malawi government a report containing names of those suspected to have taken part in the graft. The audit report concludes that more than $30 million was looted from government coffers between April and September last year. Reyneck Matemba is the Deputy Director for the Anti-Corruption Bureau. He said the latest arrests are a milestone in the ongoing Cashgate prosecutions. “This arrest, especially the arrest of Mr. Paul Mphwiyo, is very significant in as far as getting to the root of the Cashgate is concerned. As you are aware, Mr. Paul Mphwiyo was a budget director during the period when the government lost a lot of finances - that was between April and September last year. So we believe that the arrest of Paul Mphwiyo would lead us somewhere,” said Matemba. Many Malawians have viewed the new arrests as a good development. “I think it’s a positive development. I would like to hail the government’s move towards that. A lot have been said about the former budget director and the former government so this is a positive way towards arriving at the root cause of the Cashgate,” said Frackson Nthara, a second-hand clothes seller at Mbayani market in Blantyre.