Ex-min­is­ter held af­ter graft-fighter shot

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

BLAN­TYRE: Po­lice in Malawi ar­rested a for­mer jus­tice min­is­ter on sus­pi­cion of in­volve­ment in the Septem­ber 13 shoot­ing of the coun­try’s bud­get direc­tor, a cor­rup­tion fighter who was se­ri­ously in­jured, po­lice said yes­ter­day.

The de­ten­tion of Ralph Kasam­bara, who be­came jus­tice min­is­ter last year and was re­placed in a cab­i­net reshuf­fle last month, comes amid a cam­paign by Pres­i­dent Joyce Banda to root out graft at the high­est lev­els of govern­ment.

Kasam­bara was de­tained at his house on Thurs­day night in Li­longwe, the cap­i­tal, po­lice spokesman Kelvin Maigwa said. An­other sus­pect, busi­ness­man Pika Manondo, turned him­self over to po­lice in a bor­der district on Thurs- day af­ter driv­ing into Malawi from neigh­bour­ing Tan­za­nia.

The two will prob­a­bly be charged in court af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tors ques­tion them, Maigwa said. Three other sus­pects, in­clud­ing Manondo’s brother and a for­mer sol­dier, are al­ready in cus­tody.

“We have gath­ered ev­i­dence which sug­gests that Mr Kasam­bara was in­volved in the shoot- ing,” Maigwa said.

The 37- year- old bud­get direc­tor Paul Mph­wiyo was shot as he drove into his res­i­dence in Li­longwe.

Banda said the shoot­ing was linked to his cam­paign against cor­rup­tion in state in­sti­tu­tions.

A num­ber of for­mer govern­ment of­fi­cials cur­rently face fraud and cor­rup­tion charges.

Banda has been try­ing to stem of­fi­cial cor­rup­tion and waste­ful spend­ing since com­ing to power in April 2012 fol­low­ing the death of Bingu wa Mutharika, the for­mer pres­i­dent.

She took a pay cut and sold a pres­i­den­tial jet that had been bought by her pre­de­ces­sor as part of the new govern­ment’s aus­ter­ity mea­sures. – Sapa-AP

DE­TAINED: For­mer jus­tice min­is­ter Ralph Kasam­bara.

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