In a typical case of the hunter getting hunted, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) yesterday was said to have arrested former Malawi Police Service (MPS) Deputy Inspector General Nelson Bophani who headed a multi-agency special unit that investigated Cashgate deals during the Joyce Banda administration.
Police sources yesterday confirmed Bophani’s arrest, but the ACB were reticent about the matter.
Bophani became the sixth person to be caught in ACB’s Cashgate dragnet in less than five days.
There was more colour and drama during the ‘Cashgate arrests’ on Tuesday as businessperson and former governing People’s Party (PP) executive member Hophmally Makande handed himself over to ACB and Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) director of legal services and company secretary Ishmael Chioko was also arrested.
team that camped at Lilongwe Police Station till late in the evening saw a convoy of police vehicles drive into the yard after senior police officers reportedly first looked for Bophani at his residence in Chinsapo before they arrested him at his home village at Nathenje along the Blantyre-Lilongwe M1 Road.
As we went to press, it was not clear what charge Bophani was arrested for as, at about 6pm, ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala said she had no information on his arrest which is suspected to be linked to the Cashgate case. But a police source confirmed the arrest and referred The Nation to ACB.
During Banda’s administration, Bophani chaired an investigations unit tasked with unearthing how public funds were looted in Cashgate.
Meanwhile, earlier yesterday, ACB deputy director Reyneck Matemba confirmed that Makande gave himself up at ACB offices in Lilongwe yesterday morning after reportedly learning that a warrant had been issued for his arrest over his alleged role in the plunder of the public funds at Capital Hill.
Makande has since been charged with conspiracy to defraud government contrary to Section 65 of the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA).
On the other hand, Chioko was arrested for his role in the alleged transferring of properties belonging to former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo who, alongside his wife Thandizo, were hooked into the ACB Cashgate dragnet on Saturday.
Chioko has been charged with aiding and abetting a crime and money laundering in his capacity as chairperson of the board of trustees for the ironically named Good Deeds Trust currently under ACB probe.
ACB has stated that there will be more arrests as they follow corruption and fraud trails laid bare by British forensic auditors Baker Tilly who went to the bottom of the scam, in which some politicians and public servants stole about K20 billion through questionable business or fraudulent means in recent years.