ACB boss Nampota in corruption scam

Malawi’s Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) director, Alexius Nampota,  is using fuel from the black market, despite the available wherewithal  from government, which is affecting the anti-corruption engines from firing into the speed necessary to overtake the menace in the country.

The anti-corruption vehicle is misfiring at the rate that the entire mechanical set up inside the bonnet will need replacing, or the mischief of corruption will keep its distance ahead of its huntsmen.

The story is that Nampota, the Anti Corruption Bureau [ACB] Director, who is supposed to be frontline commander in combating corruption, is helplessly entangled full-length by its cobwebs.

Nampota: Alleged fraud and corruption

Trying to clog the bleeding of public expenditure to realize the objectives of the Zero-deficit Budget, government suspended, among other things, non-essential foreign travel in July, 2011.

UK trip

Around the same time, Nampota was scheduled to attend a two-week Leadership Course at the Royal Institute for Public Administration (RIPA) in the United Kingdom from July 18 to 29, 2011.

Ignoring the ban, the ACB went ahead to pay more than £4,000 [about K1, 064, 000. 00 at the official rate of K266 – 1 Pound] for tuition, Subsistence Allowance and purchased a Business Class air ticket.

Kenya Airways quoted just over MK500, 000 and South African Airways quoted over MK1, 500,000.00. When the quotations were presented to Mr. Nampota, he said he travels SAA. Accordingly, the ticket was bought for him.

In September when the ban was still in force, Nampota requested that his ticket be carried forward to November. The ACB, as a result, paid a penalty at Sky Link, ACB’s travel agents, to have the ticket extended.

The travel embargo has just been extended to December 30, 2011 and yet Nampota is still keeping the allowances and the ticket.

What is ironic is that the same Nampota led investigations in 2009 against leader of opposition, John Tembo, under almost the same circumstances.

Tembo had to pay back half the total cost of his abortive trip. Nampota said “they must have gone on a holiday – let them pay back”.

Using the forex he got for the London trip, Nampota and his wife travelled to Dubai for a week. They went to Dubai again on September 29 and returned on October, 3 2011.

Hired vehicle

On November, 4 2010, the ACB hired a Prado to take Mrs. Nampota from Lilongwe to Blantyre since Mr. Nampota had to remain behind because he had some business to do in Lilongwe. The vehicle returned to Lilongwe empty the following day.

This means that on the material day, three luxurious vehicles served Nampota—A Mercedes Benz and driver for himself in Lilongwe; a hired Prado and driver for the wife from Lilongwe to Blantyre and back; and an official Prado and driver for the children.

Contract

Mr. Nampota’s contract expired and is yet to be renewed. This, notwithstanding, he has applied for a loan of K15 million.

Allowances

The ACB pays two rates: Donor Funded (One rate for everyone) and ORT (Government rate). Whenever Nampota travels on Donor funded rate, he claims a top up from the ORT rate. Every time he attends other workshops, he gets their per diem and facilitation allowance as well. This happens to be on top of what the ACB has paid him.

ZA6600 – Mercedes Benz 

This was the Director’s official vehicle. It was boarded off in July 2010. In August, 2010, Mr. Nampota applied to OPC to buy it under the vehicle ownership scheme. OPC turned down his application. One year on, the vehicle is still parked at the ACB offices in Blantyre.

Meanwhile, Nampota has not relented in applying to OPC to have the vehicle. This persistence is coming against the background that prior to boarding the vehicle off, it was sent to Stansfield Motors for repairs that cost the ACB about K1, 300,000. He knows the vehicle is in good condition hence he does not want to offer it to an outsider.

Guest house

Since six years ago, the ACB pays MK95, 500 per month for a guest house rented from Press Properties in Michiru. Besides, the ACB fully furnished it. However, no officer has ever patronized the place.

Nampota lives in his own house at Mount Pleasant in Blantyre. The ACB pays him rent, and yet he maintains the guest house, whose furniture and accessories were bought at his behest and specification.

Human resource mismanagement

Conditions of Service require that when a senior position falls vacant, eligible existing staff members should be given priority over external candidates. This has never happened. This is the reason the ACB advertises for vacant posts almost every month.

From June 2011 to December 2011, the Bureau will have lost eight officers as follows:

• Investigations Officer who has been told to resign because she won a Scholarship to study in Japan.

• Prosecutions Officer whose position was abolished after all his colleagues were made Senior Prosecutions Officers. He consequently resigned.

• Investigations Officer whose services were terminated and it is believed that she was victimized because she is the one who received and formalized the investigations into allegations of fraud against the Clerk of Parliament, Matilda Katopola, which later implicated Nampota’s company.

• Stenographer who was relieved of her duties because she was talking on phone and had a personal visitor in the Director’s office when she was on relief.

• Senior Investigations Officer who, regardless of doing well during interviews for the post of Principal Investigations Officer, was not given the post. Two of his juniors (Investigations Officers) were promoted. He was frustrated and resigned.

• Senior Accountant who was asked to resign for questioning the influx of External Prosecutors and huge sums paid to them and the Expatriate Legal Adviser yet the Bureau has in the past year employed quite a good number of competent lawyers.

• Personal Secretaries who were sent on retirement for being deemed too old to perform as secretaries.

• The Post of Senior Administrative Officer fell vacant in January 2009 and the Administrative Officer has been acting since then yet he has all the qualifications.

Nampota’s mobile phone kept calling without reply when Nyasa Times attempted to seek his comment for the whole week. A questionairer sent to his office was also no responded.

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