Police have arrested National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) deputy chief executive officer Gerald Viola for unlawfully using of government motor vehicle.
They have also detained former Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) board chairperson James Chuma, who was going to Zambia for unspecified business.
Confirming Viola’s arrest, Southern Region Police spokesperson Ramsey Mushani said Viola, who was arrested yesterday, has been charged with unlawful use of motor vehicle contrary to Section 299 of the Penal Code.
It is alleged that Viola used a government vehicle as collateral for a loan he obtained from a Lower shire-based businessperson.
Viola’s arrest comes hours after police nabbed former deputy commissioner for Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Rosa Mbilizi and acting commissioner of police for the Central Region, Evalista Chisale, wife to personal bodyguard to Mutharika, Norman Chisale.
Mbilizi was arrested in connection with K3.2 billion worth of cement former president Peter Mutharika imported duty-free while Chisale was arrested in connection with the death of Buleya Lule, who died in Area 3 Police custody.
However, Chuma, a businessperson, was also detained last Friday at Mwami Border—an exit point to Zambia.
According to Immigration Department spokesperson Joseph Chauwa, Chuma had advised agents at the border to clear his car in advance so that he does not delay at the border.
“But with orders from above we detained him and held travelling documents. He is currently in the hands of border police,” said Chauwa, who could not state reasons behind the detention.
Chuma becomes the second person, under the new administration, to be stopped from entering Zambia.
On July 7, 2020 the Immigration Department also blocked former chairperson for the Malawi Electoral Commission Jane Ansah from leaving the country for Zambia enroute to the United Kingdom. Ansah was later cleared and left for United Kingdom, through Zambia, for a holiday pending retirement.
Chuma runs J & J Construction, which has been awarded some multi-billion kwacha contracts from government, which include construction of schools.