Something stolen, something blue

President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi on Wednesday fired his education and human resources minister for, among other things, spending 2 165 000 kwacha (about R10 800) of public funds on his wedding.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Yusuf Mwawa, who has also been relieved of his responsibility as leader of government business in the National Assembly, on Tuesday. He has appeared in the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court on four charges, including using the Special Client Account of his ministry to pay his wedding bill at the Le Meridian hotel in Blantyre on March 23 and forging a bank slip in April “with the intent to deceive” the National Bank of Malawi. ACB director Gustav Kailowo has lined up 14 state witnesses to testify against the former minister.

Mwawa has been granted bail and has to report to the ACB offices every Monday and inform the police if he wants to leave the country.
His trial will commence on May 31.

According to the Malawi Constitution, Mwawa will retain his seat in Parliament until the legal process has run its course.

Since Mutharika took office in May last year, a number of former Cabinet ministers and senior politicians have been arrested on allegations of fraud, corruption and tax evasion.

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