Today in the address of the Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima proves why he has lingered long in politics and why his been such a significant person in Malawi. He proves how savvy and smart he is with his dealing and agreements. Because, if you step wrong on him. He can use that leverage against you.
Well, he can be connected and be part in the Sattar – State Capture, but the agreement with the Tonse Alliance is binding for the President and his party. That’s why Chakwera and his other allies cannot just throw the VP under the bus. Therefore, the VP haven’t taken into consideration the speech of the President and his suspension. That is obvious now and the VP address just exposes the wheeler-dealing methods of the President.
One key early quote from the address was this:
“One of the concrete goals of the Tonse Alliance, which has yet to be attended to, was to remove presidential immunity from criminal prosecution. This promise was pronounced under the campaign agenda of the Alliance. This is the time to amend the Constitution of Malawi in order to remove the immunity which Presidents of this country enjoy under section 91(2) of the Constitution so that everyone in Malawi can be prosecuted for criminal wrongdoing” (Chilima, 01.07.2022).
We have to see, if Chakwera wants to take away his own Presidential Immunity and follow up on the campaign pledges. Because his always committed to fight corruption and his office should be the first in the line. As the example and the head of state. That’s why this statement just show how the Tonse Alliance, and the President haven’t worked or tried to fulfil this simple campaign pledge.
In an interesting twist, he says this:
“No one should interfere with the work of the Bureau regardless of which side of the political divide you belong to. Corruption is evil. It is also legitimately expected that the Bureau should not entertain any efforts to be abused or misused by any quarters for whatever reason. The Bureau must not put its investigative or prosecutorial methods in question. For my part, as communicated through my Press Secretary last week, I will welcome the opportunity to respond to allegations of my alleged corrupt dealings, for which decisions have been taken without sight of the evidence, but I will do so strictly within due legal processes. To be clear, I will not fuel medial trials, let alone even appear to impair the work of the Anti-Corruption Bureau” (Chilima, 01.07.2022).
This is denying the facts and the evidence which is brought upon the courts in United Kingdom. The ones that is directly going after Zuenth Sattar, because he haven’t been or the authorities haven’t had the proof of anything in Malawi. The corruption case and state capture will tangle a web of not only the VP, but other ministers or high-ranking officials. That’s why we should expect more to come from the ACB, but also the court case in the UK.
Some parts of the Tonse Alliance agreement that back-fires today:
“(g) Mutual trust whereby “UTM and MCP shall ensure constant engagement with each other to build trust and confidence” :clause2.1.7;
(h) Mutual respect whereby “UTM and MCP undertake to respect each other in all undertakings, shall not undermine each other in any other form or way both in public and in private and shall treat each other including their respective members as equals” :clause 2.1.8;
(i) Integrity whereby “UTM and MCP shall execute [the] Agreement with utmost integrity, especially when faced with the choice between what is convenient and what is right;” :clause 2.1.9
(j) Consultation whereby “UTM and MCP shall consult each other thoroughly before any decision that may be deemed crucial by any of the Parties is made” :clause 2.1.10; and
(k) Consensus whereby “UTM and MCP undertake to make decisions [under the] Agreement by consensus in order to formulate a nationally owned, and broadly supported, policy position” :clause 2.1.11.” (Chilima, 01.07.2022).
These provisions are damning today. Just for the simple fact that it seems like the President and the MCP breached the agreed stipulations in their alliance agreement. Yes, Chilima is alleged a part of the Sattar case and the State Capture. However, the President cannot stand above the ideals or the articles in the agreement. That’s just proves that there was no consensus or consultation before the President suspended the VP. Which is in direct conflict with the signed agreement. Therefore, in some aspects, the suspension can be seen as null-or-void in that matter.
One final quote which is fierce:
“If, for whatever reason, our mission is challenged, we should own up and re-engage the people of Malawi and explain why the course must change. Another campaign, 3 years away from an election, is most unfortunate, regrettable, abuse of the political process, and completely unnecessary. It is what this Administration will deliver that will endear Malawians to this Alliance and give them a vote when that election day of reckoning comes. As the late President Bingu wa Mutharika said, let the works of our hands speak for us, instead of artificial narratives aimed at misrepresenting matters to the people” (Chilima, 01.07.2022).
We can see that the VP knows how to address things and shows why he is where is. Since he proves his tactical mind and strategize ahead. That’s why his tarnishing the President too and his ways. Since, the agreement is violated by the President and not following up it accordingly. That’s striking here.
Yes, the VP has to answer for the cases and the alleged crimes. However, that has to anyone involved in the State Capture. Not only him. Nevertheless, this is sowing distrust and lack of confidence between the President and the VP. Which should be solid and ready for the storms ahead.
We couldn’t see this coming, but this shows why the VP is where he is and how he got there. Peace.
In Lilongwe and Blantyre the exposure of the Zuenth Sattar case is evolving out of the hands of the President. President Lazarus Chakwera has been forced to do something. Especially, since he spoke so vividly in opposition and during campaigns. However, this is just temporary measures for now. Nevertheless, if the Vice-President and his party wasn’t informed or knew about the measure. Surely things will get hostile in the coalition between the major parties of this alliance.
The President is speaking big words and going after some big-men. That is needed, the same with the investigation into the report. Because, the court case in the United Kingdom exposed it all. That showed that it was more to it. There was a need to look into Sattar and his connections in Malawi. The man who able to wheeler-deal in any administration and get ahead of the competition. He was getting favourable deals and agreements, which is spoken about today.
This is the State Capture case of Malawi. This is the Gupta(s) of Lilongwe. That is the gist of things and Chakwera is only trying to forge the narrative now and buy time. No one should be shocked by that. Nobody expected that he would target the VP and others like this. It is practically destroying the trust and the alliance of which he reigns the republic. That’s taking a stand, but will it bear fruits?
Just read here!
“President Lazarus Chakwera says the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has forbidden the publication of the list of of those who allegedly received bribes from businessperson Zuneth Sattar. He says apart from the Vice-President whose name was already mentioned before, no member of his Cabinet is mentioned in list. According to the President, there are 84 people named in the report. In relation to the corruption report by the Anti-Corruption Bureau involving businessperson Zuneth Sattar, President Lazarus Chakwera has suspended the chief of staff at State residences Prince Kapondamgaga. Chakwera has also fired the Inspector General of Police George Kainja. On the Vice-President Saulos Chilima, the President says he will withhold any delegatory duties to his office until he is cleared on the allegations” (The Nation Malawi, 21.06.2022).
“President Lazarus Chakwera says the report has exposed inflating of prices of goods sold to government. Chakwera has instructed the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate the report submitted by ACB. President Lazarus Chakwera says the ACB has submitted an investigation report on Zuneth Sattar. He says over the past five years Malawi has paid about $150 million to companies belonging to Sattar” (Times 360 Malawi, 21.06.2022).
When reading these small fragments from the news cycle. You know that the gig is up. However, nothing has been done in the courts and no pending cases of yet. The suspensions and such isn’t directly reforming in the system. Neither is anyone implicated or indicted, neither is there charges brought into play. So, for now… this is big-talk and big risks of the President. As he risks his whole alliance and partner in the VP. This could be the nail in the coffin for the Tonse Alliance.
Well, the state capture has put the VP into the storm. Nevertheless, the rest of the state and government has also gotten into that. That’s why ministers risked their titles over perks and “free” kickbacks at one point. Now, these things are up in the open and the ACB report proves that. The further investigations will prove how deep and who else was a part of this. That is only for the time being.
What we do know… is that the invisible hand of Sattar had the hand in the cookie jar. He was eating good and high ranking officials was getting greased. That is obvious. Now we just have to wonder, if this will be a play of publicity stunts or legit changes. Because, the preacher knows how to talk the talk, but to walk the walk is a whole other beast. Peace.