SATTAR PROBE: UK agents in Malawi as ‘Cashgate-scale’ scandal unravels

By PIJ Reporter:

The investigation by British and Malawi officials into businessman Zuneth Sattar appears greater in magnitude than previously reported with officials briefed on the details describing its scale as bigger than the Cashgate scandal of 2013.

The PIJ was the first to publish details of the investigation and has been investigating the matter as UK and Malawi authorities continue to scrutinize the matter, combing through troves of documents, gadgets, and other pieces of evidence obtained during raids conducted in October on residences and offices belonging to Sattar and his associates in Leicester, United Kingdom, and Lilongwe, Malawi.

The development comes as PIJ understands agents from the National Crime Agency (NCA) have landed in the country as part of the investigation, now lasting two years. 

According to those briefed on the investigations, among the items collected during the raids was a list of politicians both in current and previous governments, current and past members of parliament, senior and junior civil servants, lawyers, civil society activists, media personalities, who have aided and abated the alleged crimes.

According to a source close to the investigation, during the raid at Sattar’s office in Lilongwe’s Area 4, officials collected 4 pamphlets with details of the individuals Sattar was paying to facilitate the alleged crimes or for other favours.

However, the main piece of the evidence was collected by the British law enforcement agency and that include details of how senior officials in both the Peter Mutharika and Lazarus Chakwera administrations are at the centre of an alleged web of bribes and kickbacks for multiple contracts for the supply of various items to the military and police.

PIJ understands the military top brass including General Vincent Nundwe have thrown their weight behind the investigation as an opportunity to rid the military of the yoke of overpriced contracts including for items that the military did not want but was imposed on it by the politicians.

However, despite the military welcoming the probe, strong resistance has emerged from within the current administration with implicated officials close to president Chakwera alarmed by the investigation pressuring the ACB to thwart the investigation.

According to another source close to the investigations, those officials have used Chakwera as a shield from the investigation and have been urging the ACB boss that the investigation could bring down the president, claiming that the funds sourced from Sattar were channeled to the president.

The National Intelligence Services (NIS) is reported to also have exerted pressure on the ACB director, claiming that cooperation with the UK agency on the matter, by among others releasing dossiers of local ACB investigations on the matter, threatens national security.

Read more on; https://investigativeplatform-mw.org/2021/11/23/sattar-probe/?fbclid=IwAR2CNt9UXVq0YCKjmq-RVOYnw8-rj9ksFfSHawKNdztDWRQJG5I3CME7ZkM

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