ACB wants Muluzi for abuse of office
by Gedion Munthali, 04 February 2006 - 04:47:12
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) wants former President Bakili Muluzi, currently recuperating in the United Kingdom, for abuse of office for pardoning Sabir Suleman who was serving a five-year jail term for attempting to bribe a High Court Judge, Maxon Mkandawire, with K1 million (about $8,000), a highly placed source has confided in the Weekend Nation.The source said in an interview on Thursday investigations were already concluded and a report was already written which includes letters which Muluzi wrote to facilitate the release of Suleman who is reportedly in Dubai.“I think what is remaining is for the ACB to arrest Muluzi and charge him with abuse of office,” said the source, and added: “This would have already happened if Muluzi did not leave the country for medical attention in the United Kingdom.”ACB Director Gustave Kaliwo could not be reached for comment on Friday.Director of Public Prosecutions Ishmail Wadi said he was not aware of the issue, but thought the ACB could provide some information.“I do not have information on that issue, but the ACB could have some details on it,” said Wadi.Deputy Commissioner of Prisons McDonald Chaona confirmed that Muluzi pardoned Suleman on May 13, 2004, 11 days before the former President left office.“Suleman’s brother wrote a letter to Muluzi on May 13, 2004 informing him that Suleman had been sick ever since he went to prison. The former President then directed that Suleman should be released and taken out of the country for treatment,” said Chaona.He said Muluzi signed the pardon order between May 16 and 17 May, 2004. This was just a day before the general elections which were scheduled to take place on May 18 but were later pushed to May 20.Kaliwo, who prosecuted Suleman while in private practice, said immediately after the pardon that the development confused him.“If we are serious about corruption, all state machinery should work together to make sure that corruption is not tolerated. I am confused with this development,” said Kaliwo.At the time he was freed, the ACB were investigating him for allegedly feigning illness so that he continues to stay in hospital rather than in prison.