Barely a week after his trip abroad, State President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera immediately acted on events that made headlines whilst he was abroad.
Addressing the media in Lilongwe Tuesday night, Chakwera relieved his Secretary to President and Cabinet Zangazanga Chikhosi and has since been replaced with Collen Zamba who until Tuesday night was head of the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU).
The removal of Chikhosi comes amid widespread condemnation that the State President has been slow to act on those people frustrating the government’s agenda to fight corruption.
“With immediate effect, Mr. Zangazanga Chikhosi has been replaced with Madam Collen Zamba as the new SPC immediate effect and Mr. Chikhosi has since been assigned other duties,” said Chakwera without elaborating on Chikhosi’s new assignment.
Interestingly Zamba is the only second woman after former Chief Secretary Hawa Ndilowe, to serve in the highest civil service office.
Meanwhile, Chakwera has outlined a 15-point economic recovery plan which among other things put a limit on external travels for senior government officials.
“Effective today non of us senior government officials will travel outside the country 3 times between now and the end of the year.
“Further to that I order all government agencies not to import anything that can be produced locally when we have the very same goods locally,” said Chakwera.
Commenting on the court document on Zunneth Sattar case in the UK and the calls for those mentioned to be taken to task, Chakwera said he would first want to see what the ACB would come up with before making any decision on the matter.
“I swore to observe and defend the Constitution and all decisions are based on that and in the interest of Malawians. On this one I have asked the ACB to do its own investigations and report to me in the next 21 days,” he said.
The court documents allege that some senior government officials received huge sums of money from Sattar as bribes to speed up contract approvals and payments. One of those mentioned is Vice President Saulosi Klaus Chilima.
Sattar is currently answering multiple corruption charges in the United Kingdom.
“I heard it that Sattar was in the country some two months ago but after security agencies failed to act on the same only to realize after two hours that Sattar was in the country.
“So for now I will respect the processes of the courts as all of those mentioned in the evidence tendered in court are innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law,” added Chakwera.