Joint Civil Society Statement on Government’s Covert Armored Vehicle Betrayal

For immediate release

1.0. Introduction:

The National Advocacy Platform and the undersigned CSOs vehemently condemn the recent clandestine actions of the government in its attempt to revive the sale agreement for 16 military armored vehicles, previously canceled by the Attorney General on January 11, 2022. This shocking move, orchestrated with Sattar, a fugitive facing charges of corruption and fraud, raises serious concerns about the government’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and the rule of law.

2.0. Covert Actions and Implications of the Deal

The government’s revival of the armored vehicles deal with Sattar, despite a restriction order from the Anti-Corruption Bureau, reveals a disregard for due process. The subsequent transfer of the deal to International Armoured Group and the diversion of substantial funds raise concerns about fiduciary responsibility and potential breaches of anti-corruption laws and procurement regulations.

Beyond legal violations, this covert deal perpetuates corruption, betrays public trust, and jeopardizes national security. The transfer of military assets under dubious circumstances poses a serious threat to our nation’s stability.

The diversion of funds highlights a reckless disregard for fiscal responsibility, fostering an environment where corruption thrives and compromising ongoing efforts to combat corruption. The government’s actions erode public trust, casting doubt on the integrity of institutions and revealing complicity in a deal that violates multiple legal provisions.

Furthermore, the despicable actions by the government have implications for all ongoing court cases linked to Sattar. The maneuvering around legal processes raises concerns about the fair and just adjudication of these cases, undermining the integrity of the judicial system and eroding public confidence in the rule of law. The government’s covert actions not only jeopardize ongoing efforts to address corruption but also threaten the very foundations of our democratic institutions.

3.0. Swift Recommendations (Hard Choices)

1. Immediate Suspension of the Deal and Refund:

We urgently call for the suspension of the ongoing deal for 16 armored vehicles and the immediate refund of the initial payment of USD 4,983,400 transferred to International Armoured Group. This should be coupled with a transparent investigation to unveil the full extent of this betrayal of public trust.

2. Accountability and Prosecution:

Perpetrators, regardless of their positions, must face immediate legal consequences to demonstrate that betraying public trust will not go unpunished.

3. Strengthening Anti-Corruption Measures:

The government must swiftly fortify the anti-corruption framework, signaling a genuine commitment to eradicating corruption from the highest echelons of power.

4.0. Conclusion

The National Advocacy Platform implores the government to take decisive action, rectify this situation promptly, and uphold the principles of transparency, accountability, and the rule of law.

The fight against corruption demands more than rhetoric; it demands unwavering action and an unyielding commitment to the welfare of our nation. Failure to do so will deepen mistrust among citizens and undermine the very foundations of our democracy. Additionally, civil society stands united and vigilant.

We will not hesitate to take prompt and collective actions should the government continue to neglect its fiduciary responsibility to its citizens. The principles of justice, fairness, and accountability are non-negotiable, and we remain committed to ensuring that they prevail for the well-being and prosperity of our nation.

Signed on this 29th day of January, 2024 by:

Benedicto Kondowe


Endorsed by:

1. National Advocacy Platform

2. Human Rights Defenders Coalition

3. Youth and Society (YAS)

4. Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency

5. National Alliance Against Corruption

6. Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR)

7. Centre for Civil Society Strengthening

8. Civil Society Coalition on Accountability and Transparency

9. Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre

10. Nyika Institute

11. NGO Gender Coordination Network

12. Human Rights Consultative Committee

13. Citizen Alliance

14. Malawi Economic Justice Network

15. NGO Coalition on Child Rights

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