Malawi: Anti-Corruption Bureau rejects Peter Mutharika’s demand

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has dismissed former president Peter Mutharika’s request that the graft-busting body should take to task all former State presidents and vice-presidents on the use of their Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN).

ACB and the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) are expected to question Mutharika on several issues including the importation of the alleged K5 billion worth of cement into the country by “other people” using his TPIN.

A scheduled interview on the issue failed to materialise weeks ago after Mutharika said he was not feeling well at that time.

When it was known that the bureau would be interviewing him on the cement saga, Mutharika described ACB’s conduct on the matter as “underhand tactics”.

In a statement, Mutharika also called the ACB’s conduct a “sustained political witch-hunt” by a State institution after the bureau froze his accounts in relation to the matter.

“If I, as a former Head of State, must be called to answer these questions, then fairness demands that every previous president and vice-president now living be called upon to explain how their TPIN has been used,” Mutharika wrote.

But in an interview Tuesday, ACB Director General Martha Chizuma said there was no formal allegation on the misuse of TPIN by former presidents and vice-presidents.

“I hope you understand that this investigation is based on a specific allegation that the former president’s TPIN was being abused. So, this investigation is being carried out based on those allegations; suffice to say that we have not received any complaint that the same was being abused by former presidents and vice-presidents,” Chizuma said.

Earlier on Monday, Chizuma announced that her organisation and MRA would be interviewing Mutharika in the next two weeks starting from today.

However, MRA spokesperson Steve Kapoloma said Tuesday that discussions were still ongoing with Mutharika on the actual day of the interview.

“Once the two sides [MRA and Mutharika] agree on the actual days, we will commence the interviews. It could be Wednesday [today] or the other day based on what the two sides agree,” Kapoloma said.

Source: Times Group《》RT

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