The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested former minister of Irrigation and Water Development Charles Mchacha and two other public officers for alleged abuse of office during the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration.
The two public officers are former Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development Principal Secretary (PS) Henrie Njoloma—now PS in the Office of the President and Cabinet—and Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) acting chief executive officer Moses Mwenye.
ACB principal public relations officer Egrita Ndala said in a statement yesterday that on August 24 2020 the bureau received a complaint that LWB paid for Mchacha’s accommodation at the Protea Hotel by Marriott Blantyre Ryalls on his honeymoon.
She said the bureau’s investigations established that Mchacha, who is Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the South, allegedly directed Njoloma to facilitate accommodation and food at the hotel using public funds on the pretext of lobbying for adjustment of water tariffs.
Reads the ACB statement in part: “The investigation also established that Dr. Henrie Njoloma being Principal Secretary for Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development and Mr. Moses Mwenye being acting chief executive officer for the Lilongwe Water Board respectively, aided, and abetted Hon Charles Mchacha to abuse his office by initiating and instructing the process of preparing payment, using government funds for lodging services and beverages at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre.”
In an interview last evening, Ndala said the trio was being held in Lilongwe.
She said the suspects will be taken to court after being interviewed by the bureau, adding that they would likely be charged with abuse of office, neglect of duty and theft by conversion.
Mchacha is also answering another case where he is accused of allegedly inducing public officers to perform their duties corruptly and using insulting words against Nation Publications Limited journalist Bobby Kabango in relation to procurement of public land belonging to Department of Forestry in Kanjedza Forest in Blantyre.