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ITSANANA: Chakwera Rewards Another Corrupt ‘Cadet’

Chiwambo: Rewarded despite being investigated for soliciting funds from some Chinese who wanted to have their mining licence renewed

Straight from a fresh controversy at National Oil Company of Malawi, President Lazarus Chakwera has controversially promoted Cassius Chiwambo as Director of Energy – even when he is currently under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Bureau {ACB}.

Chiwambo is under investigation for soliciting funds from some Chinese who wanted to have their mining licence renewed.

Audio clips which went viral on social media a few days ago clearly show that Chiwambo wanted to blackmail Chinese investors – a trick he has used on several occasions according to sources.

Sources within the department of mining allege that Chiwambo is a kingpin of shady mining deals and was used by the DPP to defraud the public.

“He is young but super rich. He drives expensive cars and has built himself top-of-the range houses in Lilongwe. He is very corrupt and closely worked with other DPP operatives to defraud government on mining deals. We know him as a DPP operative” said a source.

Frustrated employees at the department of mining say that while Chiwambo worked for DPP, he was also bankrolling the MCP in a way, especially ahead of the fresh presidential polls.

“He comes from Nsundwe and because of that he has some attachment to MCP. During demonstrations he sponsored Nsundwe boys – to participate in demonstrations. He spent big time on this without DPP knowing” another source confided in us.

Chiwambo, who was Chief Mining Officer, was initially earmarked for the position of commissioner of Mining – which is two steps up his grade. But due to on-going ACB investigation the appointment authority pushed the Nsundwe boy to the department of Energy even when his specialty is mining engineering.

Ideally a director of energy would be someone with a background in energy related fields and the department has qualified personnel some with doctorate degrees.

But it has been learnt that Chiwambo has been roped in because of the multi-billlion MAREP project and his role “would be to benefit the new regime”.

Senior staff members at the department of energy are shocked with this appointment considering that the appointee has a known record corruption.

“What message is the new administration sending? That they want to fight corruption when they are appointing corrupt officials into top positions? What are the reforms for?” queried a senior official at the department of mining who said will file a complaint with ACB because they have more information about Chiwambo’s shady deals in relation to granting of exploration and mining licences.

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition {HRDC} has called on ACB to investigate how some mining licences were granted.

HRDC says has information on how some public officials have personally benefited from mining deals.

“We are shocked to learn that there is a cartel in the mining sector …just imagine govt has issued 199 licenses yet the sector generates only about K400 million per year. This can’t be true” said HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence.

President Lazarus Chakwera, in his state of the nation address, said Malawi’s gold is smuggled to the middle East.

Chiwambo joined the civil service about nine years ago. While the civil service is not well-paying, Chiwambo is one young successful and lavish civil servant who lives beyond his known source of income.

The Corrupt Practices Act empowers the ACB to take to task any public servant they suspect to live beyond their known source of income.

Tonse Alliance administration continues to commit more blunders in relation to appointments.

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