No reasons offered, as Malawian court drops corruption charges against Vice-President Chilima


LILONGWE – A Malawian court has dropped corruption charges against Vice-President Saulos Chilima, after the State prosecutor filed a notice for the case to be discontinued.

No reasons were given for the decision, reported the BBC.

Chilima was arrested in November 2022 on allegations that he accepted money in exchange for awarding government contracts. He, however, denied the charges.

The latest move had provoked questions over the government’s handling of prosecutions for alleged corruption.

The vice-president’s arrest followed accusations he had received money to influence the awarding of contracts to Xaviar Ltd and Malachitte FZE, two companies linked to British businessman Zuneth Sattar.

Sattar also denied any wrondoing and the vice-president had made several court appearances since his arrest, although the actual trial never commenced.

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On Monday, presiding judge Redson Kapindu ordered his immediate discharge citing a filing from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) made last Friday of a “discontinuance of charges against the accused person in respect of three counts of corrupt transactions”.

The DPP now has 10 days to formally inform parliament of the reasons that led to the decision to drop the charges against the vice-president, as required by the constitution, the judge said.

Chilima’s lawyer, Khumbo Soko, expressed relief over the decision to drop the charges.

“As of now, we do not know the reasons for the discontinuance, suffice to say only parliament has the mandate to know,” the Reuters news agency quoted him as saying.

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