Malawi's energy minister and two other top officials were arrested in the country's capital, Lilongwe, on corruption-related charges.
The arrests follow investigations into the involvement of Newton Kambala and the two other officials in the award of fuel supply contracts at the state-run National Oil Company of Malawi.
President Lazarus Chakwera's chief adviser on strategy Chris Chaima Banda and lawmaker Enoch Chihana were the other officials allegedly involved.
'The Bureau received (two) complaints alleging corruption in the way National Oil Company of Malawi conducted the process to award contracts to supply 40,000 metric tons fuel (44,100 tons),' said Egrita Ndala, spokeswoman for the bureau said in a statement.
'The Anti-Corruption Bureau instituted investigations and restricted the contract,' she said.
Ndala said the energy minister attempted to influence the award of contracts to three fuel supplying companies, while Chihana and Banda helped him in committing the crime.
'They will be taken to court when the bureau has finished interviewing them,' said Ndala.
In a statement, Chihana said the arrest was an opportunity for him to clear his name.
'The bureau calls individuals for questioning as it falls within the perimeters of their work. By being called for questioning it does not mean that one has violated a certain law. Questioning gives them a chance to collect information on whatever investigations the institution is involved in,' said Chihana.
Energy Minister Kambala is the first sitting minister to be arrested in over 20 years and the second to lose his cabinet post this year.
In a crackdown on corruption, President Chakwera, fired his labor minister in April and arrested 19 government officials for fraudulent use of funds meant to fight the coronavirus.
The leader of the southern African nation of about 18 million, was elected last June on the promise to stamp out corruption in the government.
Reporting by Moses Michael-Phiri in Lilongwe, Malawi