Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera

Chakwera fires his special advisor, gets him arrested

FOLLOWING much criticism that he was tolerating corruption, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has fired one of his advisors, Presidential Executive Assistant and Special Advisor on Churches and Religious Affairs, Pastor Thom Martin, over his alleged involvement in the smuggling of a Loans Authorisation Bill to Parliament.

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Police in Lilongwe then swiftly moved in and arrested Martin and Ministry of Finance Acting Director of Debt and Aid, Nations Msowoya, over alleged abuse of office and making false documents.

State House spokesperson, Sean Kampondeni, has confirmed the development, saying Pastor Thom had been arrested together with Acting Director of Debt and Aid at Ministry of Finance, Nations Msowoya.

Thom and Msowoya are suspected to have a hand in the illegal processing of the Loan Authorisation Bill, which mysteriously found its way to the august House for debate.

The Bill number 22 of 2021 Loan Authorisation sought to authorize government borrow 98 million euros (equivalent of K93 billion) to finance construction of houses for security agencies but was never looked at nor discussed by the Attorney General (formerly Dr Chikosa Silungwe) and cabinet.

However, the Bill had been removed from the order paper of parliament on 9 July 2021 after the authorities noted the anomaly.

National Police public relations officer, James Kadadzera, confirmed the arrest, saying Thom and Msowoya are currently in the custody at Lilongwe Police Station.

“Police will give more details later regarding the arrest,” said Kadadzera in a response to media queries.

On his arrival from the United Kingdom, President Chakwera hinted that he would wish to know how the Bill found its way to Parliament having bypassed all the due processes.

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