Mulli, Bestobell in dispute over building

In a very strange turn of events, the Management of Bestobell (MW) Ltd are in a dispute with business tycoon, Leston Mulli of Mulli Brothers, who is believed to have duped the owners of Bestobell to record a lower purchase price of the building  instead of the agreed amount.

The building that has housed Bestobell for so many years replete with accessories was valued for MK210 million which Mulli agreed to pay in instalments.

Whilst the documents were being prepared, Mulli is reported to have told the Managing Director of Bestobell, David Pearce to declare that the building was sold for only MK70 million, to avoid the payment of Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) tax gains and other associated costs.

He said to have promised the Bestobel boss that he would talk to former MRA Commissioner General Lloyd Muhara “to look away, provided you also contribute to the Mulhako function,” accoridng to a source, one of the employees present when the deal was being struck.

Mulli: Squeezed

David Pearce who is believed to have worked for a long time without a Work Permit agreed to the deal without realising that Mulli was going to change tune as regards the payment of the balance.

Meanwhile, Mulli has changed tune declaring that the amount that he paid is the correct amount. However, David Pearce is afraid to raise an accusing finger against Mulli because is alleged to have no Work Permit to remain in Malawi.

“Mr Pearce has been covered by Mulli because he has no Work Permit to remain in Malawi. Pearce has failed to attend close family funerals in South Africa because of the same fear that if he travelled, he would not return to Malawi”, confided a Company official who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals.

Meanwhile, Bestobell have vacated their original office and are operating from a poor location down town Blantyre.

A whistle brower has reported the matter to Anti Corruption Bureau to investigate both Mulli and Pearce.

Mulli recently told Nyasa Times that he stopped speaking to the media about his business dealings.

Political connections                               

It is believed that Leston Mulli and his Mulli Brothers Company were very close to the administration of former late President Bingu Wa Mutharika. But following his death in April this year, Mulli Brothers has been put in a great fix as several of his government business contracts have been withdrawn or not rewarded at all despite offering competitive prices and having the capacity to deliver.

Government insiders say that instructions have been given to officials not to process any payments to Mulli on all already done jobs before 2014.

Ruling People’s Party spokesman Hophmally Makande also  said in astatement that Mulli Brothers capacity in supplying  in the subsidy programme  “was augmented by a corrupt system aided by dubious procurement bank facilities. “

According to Makande, the matters “are part of a forensic investigation and at an appropriate time those found in the wrong will be brought to book.”

Makande said: “It must be said categorically that Malawi must be a country of equal opportunities.”

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