President Lazarus Chakwera is allegedly shielding Director of Information Chikumbutso Mtumodzi's arrest for his role in the plunder of K6.2 billion Covidgate scandal.
Soundings by Mtumodzi to his peers also corroborated by a close Advisor to the President said the protection "no arrest" is because of an impending appointment to a very senior role within the State Residence directorship.
This will be Mtumodzi's second return to a senior role at State House having served late Bingu wa Mutharika as Press Secretary where he had "running battles" with the media.
A highly placed State House source confided in Nyasa Times that Mtumodzi - a staunch Malawi Congress Party supporter - was supposed to be arrested together with other officials from the Ministry of Information who mismanaged Covid-19 funds about two weeks ago but was left scot free.
Others who were picked on a similar 'crime' were former Director of Information Mzati Nkolokosa and former Deputy Director of Information Deogratias Mmana.
According to a forensic audit report on the management of the K6.2 million Covid funds, Mtumodzi is named to have drawn fuel amounting to K600, 000 through cheque number 000916 on 3rd December 2020 from Petroda Malawi Limited through Invoice number 199393 which was not accounted for and was also not recorded in both fuel and vehicle register books of the Ministry of Information.
Mtumodzi also on the same day drew another cheque amounting to K550, 000 through cheque number 000919, invoice number199394 under the disguise of 'Covid-19 communication messages and development of new Covid-19 messages'. This too was not recorded in the official books and could not be accounted for.
Mtumodzi's predecessor Nkolokosa also drew fuel in the same manner like Mtumodzi but surprisingly Mtumodzi was spared from arrest.
Another inside source said Chakwera wants to appoint Mtumodzi as his Chief of Staff replacing Chief of Staff Kapondamgaga despite having no meaningful credentials to do the job.
Chakwera and Mtumodzi come from a long way. The President established Dziko FM Radio through Mtumodzi and immediately appointed him as director of information when he came to power.