Malawi has arrested Vice President Saulos Chilima and charged him with a bribery scandal involving a Malawian businessman of British, the country’s anti-corruption regulator said.
The disempowered vice president has been charged with multiple corruption charges and accepting bribes to influence government contracts, the anti-corruption department said.
“He received advantage in the form of money amounting to $280,000 and other items from (British-Malawian businessman) Zuneth Sattar,” for the latter’s companies to be awarded Malawi government contracts, ACB spokeswoman Egrita Mdala said in a statement.
Chilima was scheduled to appear in court on Friday afternoon. His United Change Movement party officials and supporters had already gathered outside in support.
President Lazarus Chakwera removed Chilima from power in June when details of the transplant allegations first emerged. Under Malawi’s constitution, the president could not suspend or remove Chilima from office, as he is an elected official.
Several ministers and former ministers have already been arrested in connection with the case, in which he accused 53 officials of accepting money from Sutter between March 2021 and October.
Chilima partnered with his Chakwera to win the rerun of the 2020 presidential election and win with an anti-corruption platform.
He also joined Chakwera in challenging election fraud in 2019, leading to a court-sanctioned poll in which Chakwera defeated former leader Peter Mutharika the following year.