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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Mwamba
Guest
Mwamba
3 months 3 days ago

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

Daka
Guest
Daka
3 months 3 days ago

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

nick
Guest
nick
3 months 4 days ago

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 —

mboga kamfumu
Guest
3 months 4 days ago

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

Cash Gate
Guest
3 months 4 days ago

ndalama zaboma kubedwa, so sad

Mtondoli wa Jonazi
Guest
3 months 4 days ago

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

Jelbin Makamo
Guest
Jelbin Makamo
3 months 4 days ago
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… Read more »
Flamingo
Guest
Flamingo
3 months 4 days ago

Hahaha cha Fake ichoo where is the bank stamp?

Be positive
Guest
Be positive
3 months 4 days ago

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.

Eugene
Guest
Eugene
3 months 4 days ago

Midnight Six woyee 577 BILLION woyee

Mgift
Guest
3 months 4 days ago

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?

Be positive
Guest
Be positive
3 months 4 days ago
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… Read more »
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