United Transformation Movement (UTM) member George Saonda is in police custody for allegedly duping a Burundian.
The former governing Democrat Progressive Party (DPP) orator was arrested Friday afternoon and spent a night in the cooler at Chileka Police in Blantyre.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed the development yesterday, saying Saonda was arrested after the Burundian lodged a complaint alleging that he was duped into giving him K6 million.
“The issue borders around processing of Malawian citizenship for the Burundian,” he explained.
Kadadzera said Saonda would be charged with impersonating a public officer and obtaining money by false pretence.
The police spokesperson said the matter also involves two other suspects who were arrested and are on court bail.
Saonda has been making scathing remarks about DPP and its leadership since he defected to UTM, but Kadadzera said the arrest has nothing to do with politics.
The arrest also comes barely days after he was fired from the public service for his engagement in active politics through UTM.
Saonda comes from Kamoto Village in Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa’s area in Thyolo. Prior to his firing from the civil service he was director of administration in the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.
Government has also dismissed Bingu wa Mutharika’s widow Callista, who was presidential adviser on safe motherhood and Chiza Mbekeani who was deputy director of administration in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. Both are members of UTM.
Before he went to Ministry of Information, Saonda was director of public events. He is well known for the DPP 2014 campaign song ‘Sesa-Sesa’.
Efforts to get UTM’s comment about Saonda’s arrest yesterday, proved futile as both the movement’s secretary general Patricia Kaliati and spokesperson Joseph Chidanti-Malunga were reported to be attending meetings.