Zameer Karim, whose Pioneer Investments donated K145 million to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) through a Standard Bank account which President Peter Mutharika is the sole signatory and also five vehicles to DPP, has been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in relation to the Malawi Police Service (MPS) food rations scam, Nyasa Times understands.
ACB has also arrested two Malawi Police officers; Comissioner Innocent Bottomani and Senior Supritendant Grant Kachingwe in relation to the K2.7billion ($3.9m; £2.8m) contract to supply food to the police.
The trio has been taken to ACB offices in Lilongwe for interrogations.
The graft-busting body has been investigating a Malawi police food supply contract that was awarded to a firm owned Karim, called Pioneer Investments.
The leaked report by ACB alleges that the head of finance of Malawi’s police, Bottomani, and Karim had “connived” to award Pioneer Investment a contract to provide 500,000 food ration packs.
Days after the contract was signed, Pioneer Investment allegedly asked for a change to the agreed price from 2.3bn kwacha to nearly 2.8bn – the report says the change was fraudulently approved by Bottomani.
When Karim was paid for supplying the food ration packs in 2016, he allegedly deposited 145m kwacha into a DPP bank account that is reportedly managed by President Mutharika.
But following a public outcry on the K145 million donation, the DPP was forced to give back the donation to Karim, and ACB went ahead to clear Mutharika, saying he did not personally benefit from the money deposited into his account.
But recently it was revealed that that five units of Nissan NP 300 vehicles that Karim bought from Nissan Malawi (Imperial Motors Limited) on July 31 2017 under order number 318712 were a week later registered in Mutharika’s name and a proxy, State House employee Dabble Disi managed the change of ownership.
In explaining the five-vehicle donation valued at K17 million each, bringing the total amount to K85 million, State House press secretary Mgeme Kalilani said the vehicles belonged to the party and not the President, a similar refrain that was dangled when Mutharika was asked to explain the K145 million donation.