By Kenson McCloud & Aamon Butao 

Police have netted 3 senior figures of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party former Minister of Finance Joseph Mwanamvekha and ex Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor Dalitso Kabambe and Ben Phiri.

Mwanamvekha was picked on Tuesday in Chiradzulu district whilst Kabambe and Phiri both handed themselves in to Police in Lilongwe this morning. 

Mwanamvekha and Kabambe, both hopefuls for the DPP president post, are suspected of abusing their offices and making fraudulent false accounting contrary to the Penal Code.

The 2 are accused of lying to the International Monetary Fund that the then government was meeting conditions connected to the Extended Credit Facility which later resulted in the Bretton Woods institution suspending the scheme.

Mwanavekha: Former Minister of Finance 

According to National Police Spokesperson James Kadadzera, Mwanamvekha and other suspects who are yet to be arrested will further be questioned in connection with the sale of Malawi Savings Bank in 2015.

Meanwhile, Ben Phiri, who is the registered owner of Beata Investment, is in the cooler in relation to alleged procurement fraud and corruption at the Ministry of Gender between 2018 and 2020s.

On Monday, Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda made several comments in relation to a crackdown on corruption including that his office was following up on the sale of Malawi Savings Bank and investigating cooking up of figures to the IMF and World Bank. 

Meanwhile political analyst George Phiri has warned government that it has to brace itself for a barrage of criticisms that the arrests of the DPP officials are politically motivated. 

In an interview with Timveni Online , Phiri tipped government to have genuine grounds of arrest and to do thorough investigations as it reignites its arrest galore. 

According to Phiri, if history is anything to go by it will be a shame for government to rush to making arrests without properly doing its homework.  

Phiri said the arrests are a big blow both to the opposition as a whole and DPP as a party. 

He added that being aspirants for the DPP presidency, Mwanamvekha and Kabambe’s detention will weaken the former governing party’s presidential race to replace ex head of state Peter Mutharika.

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