ACB corruption inaction on Malawi army deal involving Ministers and Ashok Leyland of India

Top government officials are blocking Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) from acting on whistle blowers a  multibillion Kwacha corruption scandal where cabinet ministers are involved in illegally ‘brokering’ a deal between the Malawi Defence Forces (MDF) and Ashok Leyland, an Indian automobile manufacturing company, with the latter negotiating to supply 500 units to MDF.

Deputy MDF General Supuni  and Malisoni Ndau (C)

Deputy MDF General Supuni and Malisoni Ndau (C)

The bureau has failed to explain its inaction on the matter with officials coy to comment, claiming they have  not  been given him concrete evidence.

But sources within the graft-busting body  informed Nyasa Times of increased meddling by the Executive to  suffocate the investigations on the matter.

Nyasa Times recently reported that  there is a requirement of 500 trucks to replace the ageing TATA fleet acquired over a decade ago. The trucks shall include top carriers, water bowsers, buses and other military logistic vehicles.

“When the MDF management discussed and agreed on the need to acquire a new operational fleet for the Army, the former Deputy Defence Minister, Malison Ndau, told management that he would raise the matter with cabinet before a final decision to float tender invitation is made.

“Surprisingly, he returned to us without any cabinet decision on the matter but in the company of former Information Minister (now Local Government), Nankhumwa and three other people of Indian origin,” said a top Army officer privy to the deal.

According to the source, it later transpired that the two ministers were accompanied by three Leyland Ashok officials whom they claimed were the most qualified suppliers of the required vehicles.

The Leyland officials included Mohan Krishnan, a Mr. Ramachandaran and Partha Chodhuru. Two of them were from Ashok Leyland Headquarters in Chennai, India, while one was from the local franchise in Blantyre.

The officials and the ministers met with MDF’s Director of Logistics Elias Kapalamula and MDF’s Deputy Commander, Griffin Supuni, in mid March 2016 at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe where a provisional agreement was made that Ashok Leyland should supply the required vehicles.

According to initial estimates, each vehicles would cost an average of USD100, 000, approximately MK65 million. The total deal may, therefore, cost the taxpayer a whooping MK32.5 billion minus shipping and other logistic costs.

The deal seemed to have been heading for a halt following the removal of Ndau as Deputy Defence Minister. However the source said his replacement, Agrey Masi, has joined the ‘bandwagon’.

“Nankhumwa has apparently succeeded to hook him (Deputy Defence Minister) up; he is already into it. The Deputy Defence Minister and Nankhumwa recently met two unidentified local Ashok Leyland officials in Blantyre. The two ministers were accompanied by Mr. Kapalamula, where he assured them the deal is done,” the Army officer claimed.

Money is reported to have exchanged hands and now Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe and the Secretary to Treasurer, Ronald Mangani, two influential government officials that may determine the deal goes through are reported to be  in loop for their ‘sweetener’.

The MDF is not a stranger to corruption-related matters. On May 11, 2015, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested former Army Commander General Henry Odillo and his former deputy, Lt. Col. Clement Kafuwa in relation to payments that were made to Thuso Investments without supplying services to the Malawi Army.

They were charged with three counts of abuse of public office, negligence by public officer in preserving money or government property and money laundering. They are currently out on bail.

The ACB claimed it had established that the Malawi Army paid close to MK2 billion (about US$4.4m) for the supply of military gear but the company never supplied despite being paid.

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Chindere Supuni
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Chindere Supuni
3 months 7 days ago
The other revelation is that Mr. Supuni was in Blantyre last week to meet Farook Ghani, the famous thief and owner of Victoria Hotel. He came to collect his month cut of K30 million from the illegal food business that Ghani is doing with the Malawi Defence Forces. Secondly, Malawians expect that the Secretary to the Treasury should be a man or woman of integrity who can be entrusted with keeping taxpayers money safely. Not with Ronald Mangani. Of course, the former Muslim Association GS is renowned for his habitual stealing of public money, Malawians had expected that in his… Read more »
The Patriot
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The Patriot
3 months 8 days ago

These corrupt ministers should pray that they should remain in power for life, tidzamanga amenewa! Enawa akadali ana, mmene nkhalamba zina zizakhala zili kuli chete ife tidzathana ndi anyamatawa! Mukuona ngati mukhala mboma mpaka kalekale? Zosankho timapangatu zaka 5 zilizonsetu!!
Midnight six saga should have taught people a lesson koma it seems samamva!!!

Petre Mathanyula
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Petre Mathanyula
3 months 9 days ago

MCP proposed ACB should be independent by reporting to parliament. But what did DPP and its bed fellow UDF do? Defeat the motion and let corruption gain roots in DPP gofment. Zachisoni anthu osafunira dziko lino zabwino. Angofuna kudzilemeretsa through corruption. Nthawi ikubwera, you can fool some people sometime but you can’t fool all the people all the time.

Be positive
Guest
Be positive
3 months 8 days ago

So you call reporting to parliament being independent? What an imbecile you are. Think!

Trendex
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Trendex
3 months 9 days ago

NO NEED TO SPARE A SACRED COW. IF THEIR FORMER FRIENDS, ODILLO AND OTHERS ARE PERISHING, WHY SPARING NANKHUMWA AND KAPALAMULA AND OTHERS? THE LAW SHOULD TAKE ITS COURSE. POOR PEOPLE ARE GIVEN LIFE SENTENCES BUT THOSE WITH BIG STOMACHS ARE LEFT MASSACRING THE WAILING ECONOMY. IF PETER IS TRUE WITH HIS WORD USHERED ON THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF NKHATA BAY DISTRICT HOSPITAL, LET THE ACB START INVESTIGATIONS.

Mwamba
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Mwamba
3 months 9 days ago

Nyasa follow this issue. Track these guys. If they think they are hiding, they are mistaken. Just follow the issue and try to establish good sources with those close to the deal so that they give you solid evidence. one day these guys will account.

Mwamba
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Mwamba
3 months 9 days ago

That is why President Mutharika does not want the ACB to be independent. He knows the only way to enrich himself and his ministers is through corruption. One the reasons people are resigning from the ACB is interference from the executive. People cannot work independently.

Be positive
Guest
Be positive
3 months 8 days ago

How can ACB be independent when MCP, through MCP dominated parliament, want to control and dictate its operations? Do you know the meaning of independence?

Goma
Guest
Goma
3 months 9 days ago

Ku MDF mbava yayikulu ndi Maulana.Every time he travells abroad he forces the DOF to give him extra USD1000 on top of his exhorbitant allowance akuti contigency.mind you Maulana is hardly in the country.He travells abroad minimum two times a month translating to not less than USD 24000 a year.This is stealing from already poorly funded organisation.Pse ACB investigate this and bring to book this allogant thief.The DOF Mr Ntontha has been reduced to rubber stamping these claims and if you are serious with corruption reduction,go and check this.

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