Malawi court drops corruption charges against VP

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A court in Malawi has dropped corruption charges against the country’s Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima, clearing a legal hurdle over his potential candidacy in next year’s presidential election.

Chilima was arrested in 2022 over graft allegations after the country’s corruption watchdog alleged he was rewarded for assisting Xaviar Ltd and Malachitte FZE, two companies connected to British businessman Zuneth Sattar, to be awarded contracts by the Malawi Government.

Both Chilima and Sattar denied any wrongdoing.

In a notice seen by Reuters, Judge Redson Kapindu said the decision to drop the charges was after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) filed a notice for the case to be discontinued. Kapindu ordered the DPP to provide reasons for discontinuing the case to the legal affairs committee of parliament within 10 days as required by the country’s constitution.

Chilima’s lawyer, Khumbo Soko, said his team was relieved that the criminal charges against the vice president had been dropped.

“As of now, we do not know the reasons for the discontinuance, suffice to say only parliament has the mandate to know,” said Soko.