Mota Engil payments to Mutharika compromised issues of governance in Malawi: Contracts awarded as reciprocal back-scratching

Mzimba West member of Parliament (MP) Harry Mkandawire has blown the whistle on Portuguese multidisciplinary engineering group Mota Engil that it has been front runners in providing bribes to grease the wheels of government contracts.

Mota Engil paying Bingu personally

Mota Engil paying Bingu personally

Mkandawire in his query on late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s wealth highlighted that some of his money was accumulated through inducements from Mota Engil.

Mota Engil made separate cheque payments to the late president wa Mutharika personal accounts at some commercial banks from as low as K1 million (about $4 000) to as high as K10 million (about $40 000) at a time.

Among others, Mota-Engil made the cheque deposits into the late president’s personal bank account number 0140001886701 at Capital City Branch of Standard Bank.

One cheque worth K10 million was deposited into Mutharika’s Standard Bank account number 0140001886701 on March 3 2010.

On the deposit slip, the depositor only identified himself as Mota-Engil, but the signature is the same as the one on an FMB cheque number 9480 belonging to Mota-Engil.  The other signature on the three cheques is for managing director Antonmarco Zorzi.

The other two cheques are numbered 12570 (worth K2.5 million) and 12571 (worth K1 million). These cheques were written on March 24 2011.

The other two cheques are numbered 12570 (worth K2.5 million) and 12571 (worth K1 million). These cheques were written on March 24 2011.

A law expert told Nyasa Times that “in a perfect world” the graft-busting body and government agencies should have taken up the probe but in Malawi.

Despite having the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), the institution has lost public trust as it is seen as a tool by the ruling elite to intimidate and oppress political opposition members. Also as long as the accused have power and influence, justice for the masses is a farfetched dream.

The lawyer noted that in practice the independence of ACB and indeed government agencies is “inexistent.”

“The best case scenario is a situation where an investigative body comprising of lawyers and accountants be set up to look in to the matter,” said the law.

He added that payments by Mota-Engil into late president Mutharika’s accounts compromised issues of governance.

Mutharika, who led the country from 2004 until his death in April 2012, also reportedly benefitted from a villa in Portugal constructed by Mota Engil who also built projects at Mutharika’s Ndata Farm in Thyolo.

The company constructed the Moseulum of former first lady late Ethel Mutharika and also resting place of late president Mutharika’s as well.

Mota Engil was awarded a 30-year concession to manage Malawi Lake Services (MLS), a State-owned entity that has been running water transport services on Lake Malawi.

The company initially ventured into the Malawi market as a road contractor and they are now being awarded almost all road construction projects by government.

It also constructed the Nsanje Inland Port for Malawi in the $6-billion Shire–Zambezi Waterway project which links Malawi to the Indian Ocean.

The Portuguese firm is also planning to build a $10-million five-star hotel in the Monkey Bay area, a tourism hub, in a joint venture arrangement with government.

When he ascended to the presidency in 2004 late Mutharika declared his total assets to be around one million US dollars (MK150m) in assets both in Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Mutharika deposited the records with Parliament in August, 2004.

After seven years at the helm of government, he was a proud owner of farms in Kasungu, Salima, Mitundu- Bunda, and the most famed glamorous Ndata Estate. This is apart from real estates in Lilongwe and Blantyre including one brought from former president Bakili Muluzi.

Mutharika reportedly  also owned a hotel, a villa and a yatch in Portugal. He  was also founder and chairman of the Bineth Trust and the Bingu Silvergrey Foundation. He is also the founder of the Malawi University of Science and Technology on his Ndata estate land.

Late Mutharika also he had millions of US dollars and Malawi Kwachas stashed in a room in his state residence which were taken out after his sudden death.

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38 thoughts on “Mota Engil payments to Mutharika compromised issues of governance in Malawi: Contracts awarded as reciprocal back-scratching”

  1. Mwamba says:

    Daka, where is march 3 on the cheque. You need glasses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Daka says:

    But March 3 is public holiday in Malawi how was the bank transaction made?

  3. nick says:

    Congratulations to Mkandawire and to NT’s Wanga Gwede for this story with supporting detail!
    I wish I could believe that something will be done about these criminals who ruled Malawi, and the vast amounts of money they stole, but I have my doubts —

  4. achimidzimidzi ndi kanjedaz nonse makutu anu inu anthu oipa osakonda dziko lanu olo muziti DDDD PPPP PPPPP inu mumakhuta nawo mbuli za anthu

  5. Cash Gate says:

    ndalama zaboma kubedwa, so sad

  6. Kodi ma bank ku Malawi alibe ma computer? Can’t these cheques be consolidated against the bank’s transactions? I just think that if I run a bank, I must have a record of all transactions unless I run a fly-by-night operation. Surely the money trail can be followed unless ndife otsalira kwambili that our banks still use pen and paper to record transactions.

    I am sure we have bankers in our midst who can perhaps help us understand how processes work in a bank. Mwina ndi za Ramon & Fonseca za ku Panama zija?? ki ki ki

  7. Jelbin Makamo says:

    All along i knew Bingu was a thief, cruel, ruthless, tyrant and stupid. I voted for him in 2004 but after dumping the party that sponsored him into power not because he didn’t want to steered by Muluzi but because he could not have all the liberty of stealing for himself because there was already well structured UDF of which he could not dictate. Thus why he formed his own DPP in order for him to be the master of all, he took with him dunderheads such as Dausi,Kaliati, Mussa, Ntaba(the virused computer) & the like ditching people who campaigned for him on the cold such as the Chakufwa Chihanas the Luciousz and the Muluzis. After the unceremoniously dumping of the sponsoring party people celebrated but they didn’t know that they were supporting lawlessness he even convinced MPs to break the construction by crossing the floor instutionalising lawlessness.

  8. Flamingo says:

    Hahaha cha Fake ichoo where is the bank stamp?

    1. Be positive says:

      Bro agwanawo awa ansanjewa. Mpaka kulephera kupeza bank stamp? Uku ndiye kupusatu. He should go back to the drawing board and cook up something else and not this unstamped fake cheque.

  9. Eugene says:

    Midnight Six woyee 577 BILLION woyee

  10. Mgift says:

    OOOH MY GOD! POOR MWIANS WLL DIE VERY POOR & RICH TYOLO PIPO WLL DIE VERY RICH MBENDERA AND NYILENDA GOD IS WATCHING U, 14M PIPO ARE SUFFERING & FEW OF U ARE ENJOYING , WHY GOD WHY?

    1. Be positive says:

      Pathetic! So you call what is above there as evidence? I can cook up such papers against JB in just few minutes. Malawians are stupid, imbeciles. How can a human being with all the white stuff in your skull believe that paper which none of you or indeed jealous and envious Mkandawire cannot prove its authenticity? Wow! Do you really think that if there was authentic and truthful evidence people like Mkandawire with their PP in government would leave any stone unturned during their time (PP government)? Why and what do you think Yeremia Chihana was hired for? Hmmmm some Malawians have chicken-like brains.

  11. Dr Haswel P Bandawe says:

    Any apparent accumulation of wealth that appears unlikely to be explained by normal salary or benefits or business activity must be investigated.

    No public official must be allowed to get away with abuse of office by pocketing bribes at the expense of the wellbeing of the citizens.

    Contracts must be transparently awarded since they are paid for by tax payers money.

    Although one should be considered innocent until proven guilty; the “proving” of innocence must be carried out.

  12. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Those who are refuting should give us credible evidence that Bingo wa Muthalika earned such a big amount by providing services to Mota Engil, otherwise this was free money. As such this defeats the meaning of money as a medium of exchange.

    DPP and government are not parties to this payment and they should not comment.

  13. Katolitoli Wa Nyankhata says:

    Don’t just bwebweta without evidence; mukakhuta a kachasu anu ndi mitonjani yanu mu mabalamu mumveka jb anaba; bring evidence!
    The issue here is about DPP founder & former head of state late Bingu with clear evidence. Mukungomudzunza Dr. Bakili Muluzi chifukwa cha ka Mk1.7bn inu mutaba Mk61bn! MBAVA!

  14. kanjedza says:

    Where is bank stamp / clearance stamp. Any can write a cheque and take a picture. The cheque is dated in 2010 , did we have MICR cheques at that time??????

    1. mfundisi says:

      Inu ngodya nawo? Zipangani..la 40 lizakwana..chowuluka chizatela..

  15. Tikondane says:

    Anthu opanda chifundo ndianthu osauka. Zoona anthu akuvotereni kuti mudziabera! Judgment is coming! And is coming very fast! One person you cannot bribe is watching!

  16. Moya says:

    Mota engil shouldn’t be given any contracts until they clear their name but with the evidence above i doubt if they would. Under the carpet works coming out in the open..Now we know why they have the mangochi contract…game over!

    1. Be positive says:

      Pathetic! So you call what is above there as evidence? I can cook up such papers against JB in just few minutes. Malawians are stupid, imbeciles. How can a human being with all the white stuff in your skull believe that paper which none of you or indeed jealous and envious Mkandawire cannot prove its authenticity? Wow! Do you really think that if there was authentic and truthful evidence people like Mkandawire with their PP in government would leave any stone unturned during their time (PP government)? Why and what do you think Yeremia Chihana was hired for? Hmmmm some Malawians have chicken-like brains.

      1. Moya says:

        This is the year where all of u who benefited or are still benefiting from this stinky deeds the game is over..tick tock! Its just a matter of when. mbava iliyonse imakhala ndi ya tsiku la 40 now you are at 41…

  17. Mengesh says:

    Iwe Malawi Saiwala….kamba nkhani imene ili lero….Kodi ndiwe wa DPP kapena you are one of the Mutharikas…!!! The issue here is very simple….why did Mota Engil make payments to bingu and yet the contarct was between them and the government of Malawii!!! Otherwise if they constructed Ndata Musoleum for our Dear Mama (May Her Soul Rest in Peace) It would have been Bingu Paying them Not Vice- Vers….Something is seriously wrong here!!! Its Mota Engil who wre supposed to be getting cheques not as it appears!!!

    Malawi Malawi…Zovuta!!!

    1. Mr Mengesh – it is called ‘greasing the wheels baba’ or ‘scratch my back, I will scratch yours’! The payments to Bingu (if there were any) would have been minute as compared to the total slice of government business that Mota Engil would have gotten. A ‘drop in the ocean’ baba. So, yes, it would have been possible for the Bingu to get the cheques as opposed to Mota Engil – just an objective observation

  18. The Patriot says:

    Evidence does not lie! Since Bingu is late and cannot be tried posthumously it is imperative that we should hear the side of the story from Mota Engil. Otherwise this is shameful and disconcerting! This portuguese company should not take us for fools!!!
    The DPP government has lost the moral ground to prosecute corruption cases as it is.
    Peter has no right to talk about fighting corruption if his own brother was so corrupt!
    As for all patriotic Malawians, lets forget about our tribes or political affiliations. Lets be angry when the corrupt enrich themselves and build mansions at the expense of the poor people.
    Politicians will never stop raping our economy until you and me unite and tell them “enough is enough!”The plundering of our resources by the ruling elite MUST stop!!!!!

    1. Be positive says:

      “Evidence does not lie!” Which evidence? Do you really call that evidence? Pathetic! So you call what is above there as evidence? I can cook up such papers against JB in just few minutes. Malawians are stupid, imbeciles. How can a human being with all the white stuff in your skull believe that paper which none of you or indeed jealous and envious Mkandawire cannot prove its authenticity? Wow! Do you really think that if there was authentic and truthful evidence people like Mkandawire with their PP in government would leave any stone unturned during their time (PP government)? Why and what do you think Yeremia Chihana was hired for? Hmmmm some Malawians have chicken-like brains.

  19. Malawian says:

    Oh God bless our mother Malawi
    Keep it land of peace
    Put down each and every enemy
    HungEr, DiseAse, EnVy.

  20. kambwali says:

    ntchito iyoo

  21. Verani amalawi. I am one of those who visited Ndata’s mausoleum. Outside that magnificent buildings are names of people who made financial contributions towards its construction. Many people who are holding high positions are there. In fact, read through the names and you will even find Joyce Banda there. So if you want to make accusations, do proper research. Whilst you are at it, why dont you also investigate JB’s mansions in Mauritius, South Africa and the UK.

    1. Aubbrey Monjeza says:

      If you hv evidence as above against JB pliz come forward otherwise the issue for today is Bingu’s corrupt practices which Patricia was refuting.

      1. Be positive says:

        Pathetic! So you call what is above there as evidence? I can cook up such papers against JB in just few minutes. Malawians are stupid, imbeciles. How can a human being with all the white stuff in your skull believe that paper which none of you or indeed jealous and envious Mkandawire cannot prove its authenticity? Wow! Do you really think that if there was authentic and truthful evidence people like Mkandawire with their PP in government would leave any stone unturned? Why and what do you think Yeremian Chihana was hired for? Hmmmm some Malawians have chicken-like brains

      2. wobe says:

        So how can you accuse someone who is dead? are you not mad Aubrey? JB is alive, lets talk about her now. We cant waste time discussing about someone who is unconscious.

    2. Mzozodo says:

      Its not about Joyce Banda here, actually we would want her to also be investigated for whatever thievery she conducted. We don’t want thieves, whether its Joyce Banda, APM, Bingu or Muluzi

    3. The eye and ear says:

      People like you are the ones keeping Malawi on its knees. What is being said here is not politics but accusations with evidence. If people come up with such evidence I think all good loving Malawians should be celebrating and agitating for investigation and a possible return of their wealth dubiously gotten with whoever. Only then are we to see development, but if we just praise and protect thieves for the sake of politics, tribalism etc. we shall sink together brother. Malawi is for us all and us all should protect her.

      1. Be positive says:

        Pathetic! So you call what is above there as evidence? I can cook up such papers against JB in just few minutes. Malawians are stupid, imbeciles. How can a human being with all the white stuff in your skull believe that paper which none of you or indeed jealous and envious Mkandawire cannot prove its authenticity? Wow! Do you really think that if there was authentic and truthful evidence people like Mkandawire with their PP in government would leave any stone unturned during their time (PP government)? Why and what do you think Yeremia Chihana was hired for? Hmmmm some Malawians have chicken-like brains.

    4. Mmalawi says:

      With this mentality and stupidity are you surprised why this country is too poor. So it was alright to you for Bingu to steal or involve in malpractice just because JB stole. What kind of thinking is this. You should be a shamed of yourself. Malawi does not need people like fool and the person you are defending fool. I hate you

      1. Be positive says:

        Pathetic! So you call what is above there as evidence? I can cook up such papers against JB in just few minutes. Malawians are stupid, imbeciles. How can a human being with all the white stuff in your skull believe that paper which none of you or indeed jealous and envious Mkandawire cannot prove its authenticity? Wow! Do you really think that if there was authentic and truthful evidence people like Mkandawire with their PP in government would leave any stone unturned during their time (PP government)? Why and what do you think Yeremia Chihana was hired for? Hmmmm some Malawians have chicken-like brains.

    5. Kriminal \'A\' says:

      One thing at a time bro, that’s the way to go. They should also have told you that two wrongs don’t make a ‘right’. But thanks for your courage in displaying the emptiness in your thinking on this public domain.

      1. Be positive says:

        Pathetic! So you call what is above there as evidence? I can cook up such papers against JB in just few minutes. Malawians are stupid, imbeciles. How can a human being with all the white stuff in your skull believe that paper which none of you or indeed jealous and envious Mkandawire cannot prove its authenticity? Wow! Do you really think that if there was authentic and truthful evidence people like Mkandawire with their PP in government would leave any stone unturned during their time (PP government)? Why and what do you think Yeremia Chihana was hired for? Hmmmm some Malawians have chicken-like brains.

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