Malawi’s Energy Minister arrested over corruption in fuel deal

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Malawi’s anti-corruption police on Monday announced the arrest of Energy Minister Newton Kambala, accused of trying to bribe officials in a fuel-purchase deal for the landlocked country.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau said its investigations had revealed that the minister had “attempted to influence” the National Oil Company of Malawi to award multi-million dollar fuel supply contracts to three companies.

President Lazarus Chakwera’s senior advisor, Chris Chaima Banda, was also arrested.

Kambala is chairman of vice president Saulos Chilima’s United Transformation Movement, a coalition partner of Chakwera’s Malawi Congress Party.

Chakwera, who came to power on promises of fighting corruption, in April fired his Labour minister Ken Kandodo for diverting $800 worth of Covid-19 funds to pay for a government trip to South Africa.

Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries.