Malawia’s Vice President Saulos Chilima, who quit the ruling party and plans to run for president, says his administration would investigate alleged corruption among officials of the current government and anyone at fault “will not be spared”.
The impoverished southern African nation has been mired in corruption scandals over the last decade, and the issue has resurfaced in the run up to national elections next year.
Chilima, who quit the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) last week in protest at alleged corruption, is seen as the biggest threat to President Peter Mutharika in 2019 polls for president, parliament and ward councillors.
If we get into power next May, I will give each person in the former administration who cannot explain his wealth 30 days in which to return the money, and then investigate them.
Chilima told Reuters in an interview that “anyone found to have corruptly amassed wealth will not spared.”“If we get into power next May, I will give each person in the former administration who cannot explain his wealth 30 days in which to return the money, and then investigate them”, he said.
Chilima, who had been a member of the DPP principal policy making committee, has formed a new organization, the United Transformation Party, on a promise of clean governance.
Earlier in July, Malawi’s main opposition party called for President Mutharika’s resignation over allegations that he received a kickback from a $4 million government contract.
Mutharika, president since 2014, denied the allegations, calling them part of a smear campaign designed to take votes away from the DPP.
“I have been vice president for the last four years. I’ve had no support within to fight corruption, so the best way is to run for the highest office and then take corruption head-on,” Chilima said.
His anti-corruption comments have earned him some grassroots support, but also the wrath of the establishment.
On Thursday, Mutharika’s office withdrew his security clearance, saying he would only retain the privilege when performing government duties.