BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—As support for former President Peter Mutharika is gaining momentum ahead of the impending interview on the abuse of his Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN) by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the graft busting body has postponed the interview.
According to a statement signed by Principal Public Relations Officer, Egrita Ndala, the interview will be conducted virtually 27th July, 2021.
“The Anti-Corruption Bureau would like to inform Malawians that as part of the on-going investigation process into the allegations of abuse of the former President’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN), the ACB interview of the former President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has been postponed from 20th July, to 27th July, 2021.
“The interview will be conducted virtually as one way of observing Covid-19 prevention guidelines,” reads the statement.
The ACB’s stand comes after supporters of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) threatened to storm Mutharika’s residence in Mangochi today to give their leader protection as they feel Tonse Alliance is bent towards harassing and politically persecuting the former Malawi leader.
ACB last year froze the personal bank accounts of Mutharika and his wife, Gertrude, in a probe seeking to uncover his role in a 5-billion kwacha ($6.6 million) cement scandal. Mutharika described it as “the persecution of the highest form”.
“The aim is simply to create a hardship on me. Even the account where my retirement package comes in, that account is closed. So, my retirement benefits cannot come in. The idea is to make me totally incompetent financially to make me impossible to support the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party), and therefore to destroy the DPP and make a one-party dictatorship,” Mutharika said.
Meanwhile, State House has denied social media reports that it is remote-controlling the ACB on the impending questioning of Mutharika.
Speaking at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Monday, State House Press Secretary, Brian Banda, said ACB is independent and that its decisions are not being influenced by neither the State President or anyone else in the government.
Banda said the President has been so clear on the matter where he has stressed that ACB should be independent and that is why the State House will ‘never interfere with the affairs of ACB.’
Last year, ACB arrested Mutharika’s former bodyguard Norman Chisale, former Chief of Staff for State Residences, Peter Mukhito, former Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) top official Rosa Mbilizi and businessman Shafee Chunala over their involvement in the Cement saga.