President brushes aside graft allegations
Publish date: 09 July 2018
Issue Number: 781
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
President Peter Mutharika has accepted the nomination of Malawi’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party to contest next year's elections, defying mounting corruption allegations and calls to resign. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, a leaked report from the country's elite Anti-Corruption Bureau has accused him of receiving a $195 000 bribe from a contractor tasked with supplying $4m worth of rations to Malawi's police. A report on the News24 site notes that he has faced no formal charges. ‘I am not doing this for personal gain,’ he told a cheering crowd in Blantyre. Various civil society groups, the opposition Malawi Congress Party, and the quasi-religious body, the Public Affairs Committee, have called for his resignation. BBC News reports that former President Joyce Banda has also weighed in on the issue of Mutharika's political future. 'When a President is not involved (in) looting or shady deals he or she does not hesitate to instruct arrests of those involved... he should therefore respond to Malawians' call to step down,' she reportedly told the AFP news agency. Banda was defeated in the 2014 elections in the wake of a vast $32m corruption scandal in 2013 known as Cashgate. She has denied any involvement.