The newly appointed Director of the Office of Directorate of Public Assets Declaration, Christopher Tukula, is under investigation from the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) over allegations that he interfered with potential witnesses in the ongoing cashgate cases.

A source privy to the probe revealed that Tukula is on the probe list of the country’s anti-graft busting body following his direct involvement with some of the key witnesses in the case where he was allegedly feeding the witnesses information on how to respond to some of the probing questions.

“When ACB interrogated the state witnesses they established his involvement and obtained a warrant for Tukula’s arrest but before it could be executed on him his lawyers obtained an ex-party injunction staying its execution,” said the source.

When contacted on the matter ACB public relations officer Egrita Ndala confirmed that Tukula is under probe on suspicion that he interfered with the ongoing investigations into the cashgate cases.

“The Bureau had established that Mr. Tukula was interfering with potential witnesses. When the Bureau obtained a warrant of arrest against him, he through his lawyer Mr Raphael Kasambara obtained an injunction restraining the Bureau from executing the warrant of arrest,” said Ndala.

When questioned on whether Public Appointments Committee (Pac) of the Malawi National Assembly were aware of the development, Pac chairperson Lingson Belekanyama expressed ignorance on the matter.

“I am hearing it from you that the person we appointed is under probe. To be frank with you no one wrote to inform us about the charges he is facing.

“In our view, I would say we fulfilled our mandate as a committee of recruiting him and offering him a job. It is the duty of the security agencies to see through the charges he is facing and if convicted the law should take its course,” said Belekanyama.

Leader of opposition in parliament Lazarus Chakwera asked the ACB to handover Tukula’s case files to Pac for an appropriate action.

“I believe that at the time of the appointment the committee did not have the information at hand so it is the duty of the security agency to furnish the committee with the details for an action,” said Chakwera.

When contacted government spokesperson Kondwani Nankhumwa said the onus is the committee to decide on the next course of action.

So far the matter is expected to go for an interparty hearing at Mzuzu Magistrate Court where the injunction was also obtained.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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