Malawi army commander implicated in abuse of soldiers peacekeeping pay

Malawi Defence Force (MDF) newly appointed Commander Griffin Supuni Phiri  is being accused by a section of soldiers at Kamuzu Barracks that he was involved in the abuse of monies due them when he served at the UN.soldiers pay memo

General Supuni Phiri

General Supuni Phiri

Supuni-Phiri, who for a long time served as Malawi’s military attache at the Malawi Mission at the United Nations and as aide de camp to then president Bakili Muluzi, was appointed General of MDF last Saturday after President Peter Mutharika fired General Ignacious Maulana.

But some soldiers at the Malawi barracks are circulating a dossier of financial abuses at the military which include a memo from Kamuzu Barracks that indicated Supuni Phiri had to use troops money to purchase a motor vehicle worth US$30,000,00 when he was at UN  2012.

According to the circulating memo among soldiers,  refrenced CQ/202, Colonel Kapalamula  responding to Supuni Phiri’s letter  DIP ¾ dated 17 October , 2012 , wrote that the then Defence Force Commander Henry Odillo approved Supuni’s “request” to procure a vehicle from the United Nations Reimbesement Fund.

The soldiers are claiming at Supuni Phiri had abused their peacekeeping mission money claiming to share “further evidence” of abuse  to the media.

Government had deducted  allowanced to soldiers who have been participating in peacekeeping missions in war-torn countries under the UN umbrella about K3.3 billion.

MDF gets the tranche from the United Nations’ Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) to pay the soldiers.

The peace keeping allowance is a major source of revenue to cushion soldiers.

MDF communication seen by Nyasa Times confirms that the New York-based DPKO had been remitting insufficient funds for troop allowances.

Instead of the $1 332 as authorised by the UN, MDF released to each of the concerned soldiers $574 (about K297 332 at the current exchange rate) in September and October 2014.

MDF, according to the internal communication, adjusted the amount to $1 099 per soldier per month for the months of November, December 2014 and January 2015.

The concerned soldiers petitioned government, questioning why their allowances were being deducted without any explanation.

The soldiers also complained of delayed payments of the allowances.

Treasury Spokesman Nations Msowoya said deployment of the MDF soldiers to participate in peacekeeping missions and payment of their dues is entirely an MDF matter, saying therefore, “Treasury cannot competently comment on it.”

MDF spokesperson Colonel Paul Chiphwanya  said the information related to the issues was confidential.

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22 thoughts on “Malawi army commander implicated in abuse of soldiers peacekeeping pay”

  1. Tatopa kumva maboza cha supuni is a good General. To those who have chance listening to speeches delivered by this General will not continue waffling. Supuni mawalankhula za nzeru. Fired General Maulana his speech as if a standard eight guy. the whole speech dominates with ‘I think as you may with to say I can say much but I have to say one or two words’ I think we need changing our mind set I think our friends countries like India bangaĺadesh Pakistan likewise small thinking country like Rwanda cut their soldiers allowances in peacekeeping mission. I think in this way we can change our army’ I think this will go along in our MDF I have instructed some boards to look into that eti Deputy Chief of staff akhalira pasi ndi CO wanu nyamali akuuzani. I think part of the money can build kinder gardens within all the barracks. oati kumangochindana pakuti panu. I will came back for fully briefing. Ladies and gentlemen such was the General leading MDF. shame. Supuni is a gentleman waulemu wake. Bravo APM wachotsa nyasi ku MDF amatipangitsa manyazi. Dausi bwana kumeneko awululeni ndi ambiri animals wina ali ku DRC madunyu wobweza mabwana anzake ku mission kulamula kumamuvuta. asilikali simakhuluti owe GWPhiri. Maulana ndi munthu wosaphunzira MSCE jumped to MIM akuti anapatsana ma masters look the same his team angozaza ndi masters ya MIM. Leave General Griffin Spoon alamule bwino. sitimva nkovomereza ziwemvu zany Maulana keep a distance zikukanika. Your new appointment be proud head of NFS koma ndalama zathu MALBATT IV unaba ndi Lt Col Gowa.

    1. octopus says:

      Everyone knows that the united nations cut the mission short because of the damaged equipment which general odillo should’ve repaired,the united nations doesn’t reimburse equipment if it’s damaged and the money used to to repair those equipment is supposed to come from the same money that the UN pays you and not for the army budget or government coffers, talk about behaviour,sipuni amupeza ndi anthu angati in his car with several women,and had to be rescued by a commissioner of the police,this guy did use money while he was in UN purchase a vehicle A PERSONAL ONE

  2. Tactics says:

    Koma nokha mukuchita kunena kuti asilikali analandila ndalama zochepa between September and October 2014 and that was when Maulana was commander but the letter is dated 2012 when Odillio was Commander that despite Odillo using the UN money to buy the said vehicle but the soildiers in 2012 received all their money from UN without any deductions . Pamenepo muzifunse nokha ndipo angakuyankheni ndi Maulana kuti ndalama zimene anakudulani zinapita from 2014 to 2016 zinapita kuti??????? nothing new to implove the life of soldiers zonse amagwilitsa ntchito za Odillo and the worst mission without the necessary equipment to go to the UN in the history of the Army is during Maulanas tenure of office. Musova nokha. Supuni zitsamukhuze

  3. IFFF says:

    ayayaya Spoon ali bho kwabasi.Ndiye mwati ali ndi ndalamanso.Will you marry me Spoon?

  4. Mwananyanian says:

    I am now getting disillusioned with NT: they shelve any neutral piece regarding the Army. And yet print accusatory allegations, like this: allegations which stretch the truth as to implicate the new General as a thief and a cheat, and plain greedy. Please give Supuni some room to breathe.
    NT seem to thrive on innuendo as long as that is anti-Mutharikas, personally as welly as politically. The other day, I penned a piece congratulating the Intelligence group that exposed the current coup d’etat as well as the one apparently implicating Kabwila-Kapasula et al. But my point was that we Malawians are fortunate to not have lived under a military government; in spite of the problems we have been experiencing since multi-dem. And that piece was SUPRESSED!

    See if NT will print this one. Doubts aplenty.

  5. grace says:

    but WHY?

  6. Mature reporter says:

    This is a non issue inu a nyasatimes.Procedures were followed and the vehicle bought was for the office.The money used was not deducted from any soldiers allowance but the one UN pays to the government for the use of its equipment.Dont start mad smearing this new Commander, let him fail on his own.Deduction of soldiers allowances was conceptualised during Gen Maulanas command.Nyasatimes must know that you are causing unnecessary tension in the country by reporting on sensitive but un verified reports..Pse be mature.and move with time for people to take you serious.

  7. gulugunya says:

    Malawians are jealousy people. 2012 up to date, why complaining today. All the best Gen. Supuni Phiri.

  8. Gunman says:

    Zikuphulikano long time

  9. Gonani says:

    welcome General Spoon Phiri. we are waiting for the audit report period you were at Embassy

  10. Dali Kabula says:

    Shame NT that your informants have resorted to putting such issues in the papers!What will you achieve as there are over a billion memos from Govt and what would a public officer and indeed those that gave the memo to NT achieve. You hate the new general full stop and let it stick into your tribalistic heads! He is the General and you can weep!

  11. Chambe says:

    It appears there are two factions at MDF; those for Maulana and those for Supuni.One wonders why this complaint against Supuni was shelved for too long. If it was to expose APM that he went for a wrong choice, then it’s too little too late.

    1. zoona says:

      Mwataninso baba its standard procedure to keep dirty secrets until such a time that YOU THINK THE SECRETS WILL BE TASTY. However Supuni is a nice guy down to earth and very caring. Let me also congratulate SKC for this coup (Having his man head the army). Maulana pepani baba just accept your new assignment and move on limenelo ndiye boma. Some of you are demanding reasons for Maulana’s removal. Komatu when he was hired you did not femand reasons for hiring him.

      1. Kaziulika Chimugonda says:

        Mwatani baba? Mulandu suola. Ngati anadya ndalamazo, chikumbumtima chiwapha. Milandu ya cashgate ya nduna 7 idzazengdwa or patapita 30 years chifukwa ndi chilungamo. If you say nthawi yapitapo yochuluka is no defence. Abweze ndalama za eni. Aliyense adye thukuta lake. Amalawi tinabadwa bwanji kukonda katangale.

  12. Maunisi says:

    Our men in uniform complaining about their peace keeping money should be sorted out ASAP. All lies in work of President’s capability of appointing people to lead institutions. It seems the guy is being told what to do and not him taking courage very unfortunate.

    1. International Observer says:

      Civilians of recent times are fond of poking their filthy noses in businesses that do not involve them simply because some quarters in the media world choose to call them political analyst this, political analyst that – my foot. For your information, world-wide, any contingent participating in peacekeeping operations have their allowances deducted in order to use the money to refurbish the very equipment they use for the operations or better still the army has the prerogative to use the money depending on the projects identified. If these soldiers are crying foul, have you asked them whether they were employed to work in peace support operations, and what about those who don’t have the chance to be selected to go for one? Have these soldiers circulating this crap told the world what is involved for them to be found in a peace support operation. Be mindful ignorant Malawians and stop commenting on matters you are not conversant with.

      1. zoona za MDF adziwa ndi mchungula, ndi nyamali banned in UN mission. athandiza maulana kuba ndalama za a silikali

  13. Chirwa says:

    Wanga Gwede, amene akuwayambawo are called soldiers. They are not the police or APM who tolerate the abuse of freedom of press. Take this warning seriously. Sitimabwera usiku koma masana dzuwa likuwala.

    1. Fisi Dausi says:

      Inu musatiopseze apa. Kuba ndi kuba a soldier or civilian, it is wrong. Wanga Gwede don’t be intimidated go on doing your job, Malawians have the right to know how their money is being run whether in military service or whatever!

    2. Fisi Dausi says:

      AChirwa kodi kutereko mumadziona kuti ndinu asilikali inuyo? Ife kaya chomwe timadziwa ndichoti kumalawi timasowa zinthu ziwiri. One tilibe mtsogoleri. Two tilibe asilikali. Tikanati ziwirizo tili nazo bwenzi sanatilande nyanja yathu yokongola ya Malawi.

    3. Kolonelo meja says:

      Fokofu. Ma bulutu Inu mukuti chani, ntchito mahule basi. Timabwera Masana ndiye kuti chani

  14. Aubrey and Gloria says:

    Boma iloooooo! That I think is more of the reason the APM led government has appointed Spoon-Phiri Commander of the MDF. They want a person with whom to Cashgate easily for the 2019 campaign money. Let’s just leave everything in the hands God Almighty, the Supreme Leader who will judge all of us according to our deeds, zam’dzikozi asiyireni anthu akubawa basi.

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