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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05LILONGWE930
2005-10-25 09:41:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Lilongwe
Cable title:  

MALAWI ANTI-CORRUPTION UPDATE

Tags:   ECON  PGOV  KCOR  EINV  KHLS  MI 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LILONGWE 000930 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/S MELINDA TABLER-STONE
PARIS FOR D'ELIA
MCC FOR KEVIN SABA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/21/2015
TAGS: ECON PGOV KCOR EINV KHLS MI
SUBJECT: MALAWI ANTI-CORRUPTION UPDATE

REF: LILONGWE 829

Classified By: Econoff W. Taliaferro for reasons 1.4 b/d

-------
SUMMARY
-------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LILONGWE 000930

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/S MELINDA TABLER-STONE
PARIS FOR D'ELIA
MCC FOR KEVIN SABA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/21/2015
TAGS: ECON PGOV KCOR EINV KHLS MI
SUBJECT: MALAWI ANTI-CORRUPTION UPDATE

REF: LILONGWE 829

Classified By: Econoff W. Taliaferro for reasons 1.4 b/d

--------------
SUMMARY
--------------


1. (SBU) In a recent conference with Malawi's Anti-Corruption
Bureau, director Gustave Kaliwo described the status of his
agency's new and ongoing prosecutions. Three new cases are
significant: the upcoming deposition of former president
Bakili Muluzi in an investigation against him, and the recent
arrests of suspended Secretary to the Treasury Milton
Kutengule and Chief Immigration Officer David Kambilonje.
Despite the ACB's limited ability to get speedy convictions,
the anti-corruption drive is still proceeding apace, with no
apparent intereference from the President's office. End
summary.


--------------
CURRENT CASES: POLITICAL ENEMIES AND FRIENDS
--------------


2. (C) In the Muluzi case, Kaliwo showed us copies of checks
and bank transfers, each in the hundreds of thousands of
dollars, from the governments of Taiwan and Morocco to
Muluzi's personal accounts (reftel). He also said he has
found specific personal expenditures from those accounts,
including the purchase of a Bentley automobile for his son,
Atupele Muluzi, currently an MP who was studying in the UK at
the time. Kaliwo also said he has a case based on the
construction of the Keza office complex in Blantyre, which
Muluzi built and leased to the Malawi Revenue Authority while
he was in office. Kaliwo recently summoned Muluzi for
questioning, but the latter has succeeded in getting a court
injunction against the summons. The next few weeks should
tell whether that injunction rests on solid legal ground, but
Muluzi can be expected to continue to delay. (Note: Kaliwo
said the ACB had been helped by the timely assistance of US
Treasury's Carol Kelley, who happened to be at the ACB doing
a needs assessment for future technical assistance. Ms.
Kelley provided some on-the-spot technical advice that moved

the investigation closer to a conclusion. End note.)


3. (U) Secretary to the Treasury Milton Kutengule, a key
player in Goodall Gondwe's finance ministry, was arrested
after three months on suspension over a suspect bank account.
Kutengule had created a sole-signatory account for some MK20
million ($165,000), ostensibly to handle money for the
purchase of school buses for Chancellor College. Kaliwo has
charged Kutengule with abuse of public office and theft by a
public servant. Before taking the Treasury job, Kutengule
had been President Bingu wa Mutharika's principal secretary
when the latter was minister of economic planning.


4. (C) On October 18, Chief Immigration Officer David
Kambilonje was arrested on corruption charges in a case
involving fraudulent Malawian travel documents. Three
foreign nationals had been apprehended with fraudulent
passports at the airport in Lilongwe, and when Kambilonje
ordered them released, immigration officials filed a
complaint with the ACB. On investigation, it was found that
Kambilonje had been involved with issuing the papers in
exchange for a bribe. Newspaper accounts have pegged the
value of the bribe at $50.


--------------
CASES IN PROCESS
--------------


5. (SBU) Of the pending cases, Kaliwo offered the following
status information:

-- Former finance minister Friday Jumbe. This case is
awaiting resolution of a technical challenge in the
Constitutional Court. Jumbe is charged with profiting from a
maize scam and using the proceeds to build a Blantyre hotel.

-- Humphrey Mvula. The former head of parastatal Shire Bus
Lines is charged with directing parts and end-item contracts
through relatives for personal profit. The ACB withdrew the
case from a magistrate's court on suspicion that the
magistrate had been coopted. It has submitted the case to
the high court, a move that Mvula has challenged.

-- Former education minister Yusuf Mwawa. Charged with
misappropriating funds to pay for his wedding, Mwawa is
scheduled to present his defense in court on November 2,
nearly a month after the ACB rested its case.


--------------
COMMENT
--------------


6. (SBU) The Mutharika administration continues to chip away
at corruption, and the President himself has demonstrated no
desire to interfere with the ACB's operations: the campaign
has hit close to him, with the arrest of his then-sitting
education minister and his treasury secretary. While the
timing of the summons to Muluzi is suspicious, with the most
significant development in the case falling in the middle of
a parliamentary debate on impeachment, Kaliwo has explained
it as being a function of the timing of a key bit of
technical assistance from outside Malawi. It is ironic that
the Muluzi deposition (and possible arrest) may fall during
an impeachment trial whose genesis lies in Mutharika's
refusal to extend Muluzi's kleptocratic patronage system.
EASTHAM