Minister Matola impounds opponent’s car: MRA clears vehicle

Minister of Minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola on Thursday night impounded his political opponent, Benedicto Chambo’s vehicle on allegations that it was never paid for Customs Duty.

Matola took the law in his hands to impound Saloon Tida registration number CHS 9051 claiming it was a ‘Hot’ vehicle before surrendering it to Mangochi police station.

However, police released the vehicle on Friday morning after Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) officials cleared it.

The incident happened two days before Matola and Chambo face each other in Peoples Party (PP) Mangochi North Constituency primaries.

Chambo: I will fight on

Chambo: I will fight on

Matola:  Fighting Chambo

Matola: Fighting Chambo

In an interview, Mangochi police Publicist, Inspector Rodrick Maida said MRA officials cleared Chambo of Duty invasion allegations made by Matola.

“They (MRA officials) said the vehicle was paid for Customs Duty, therefore we released it this morning as there is no case against the accused,” said Maida.

When contacted Matola pushed the issue to the law-enforcers, saying “Ndili kumudzi ine (am in my constituency right now), why don’t you ask the police officers?”.

But Chambo suspected Matola to have trumped up the issue to intimidate him with the party’s primary elections on cards  Saturday January 4th.

Chambo said had to spent close to four hours at Mangochi police station with Matola influencing the officers not to release the vehicle despite having valid papers.

“It was ridiculous that the whole minister behaved that way. He told the officers to hold on to the vehicle although I produced all necessary documents. Maybe its his a way of intimidating me, I don’t know. But am not scared; I don’t have any grudge against him and I don’t practice such old-school politics,” said Chambo.

In November last year a fracas erupted at Mpiripiri community ground in the constituency when Matola and Chambo’s supportes fought, disrupting a political rally the party officials had organized.

The supporters from two factions exchanged blows, damaging property and vehicles in the process, and PP’s deputy Secretary General, Ireen Chikuni who organized the rally had to be whisked away as heated cat-and-dog fight left over 12 people seriously injured.

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