ACB clears Mutharika on K145m: President did no personally benefit from Malawi Police food rations scandal

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has cleared  President Peter Mutharika of any wrong doing in the K145 million donations suspected to have been proceeds of crime in much-publicised Malawi Police Service (MPS) food rations scam.

President Mutharika: ACB says he did not personally benefit from K145 m

The K145 million payout to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was deposited by  Pioneer Investment Limited in a bank account for which President Mutharika is a sole signatory.

The grafy-busting body’s investigation report  showed that PI Limited made an abortive interest claim of K466 million from Police and deposited the controversial K145 million into the DPP bank account at Standard Bank.

But ACB director Reyneck Matemba said the ultimate beneficiary of the  contentious K145 million donation was DPP and not Mutharika.

Matemba said bank  documents and other evidence that they have gathered, some of which President Mutharika provided “ clearly show that the  ultimate beneficiary of the K145 million was the Democratic Progressive Party and not the State President.”

PI Limited deposited the funds in the DPP account immediately after getting a K2.7 billion payment for police food rations contract.

Nyasa Times understands that  ACB report has recommended that Innocent Bottoman, a director of finance in the Malawi Police Service and businessman Zameer Karim, owner of Pioneer Investments, be prosecuted for defrauding the Malawi government of K466,000,000.

The report also recommends that Bottoman and Karim be prosecuted for acquiring proceeds of crime totalling K1.4 billion.

The two are also to be charged for forging and uttering false documents, contrary to section 356 as read with section 360 of the penal code.

But according to the investigation report, Mutharika cannot be prosecuted due to his immunity as a sitting head of state.

In June, the Vice-President Saulos Chilima said  there was need to amend the constitutional provision that shields a sitting President from criminal prosecution, saying it gives the presidency licence to commit corruption crimes.

But constitutional law experts argued that immunity was only temporary during tenure of office to protect the President from false charges and ensure dedication to discharge of duties.

Meanwhile, the civil society organisations have said they will still press for due process of the law on the matter.

Spokesman for Human Rights Defenders (HRD), Gift Trapence, said  “Malawians will no longer trust the ACB to do its work independently.”

He said ACB is politically manipulated.

But Mutharika said he would never interfere with the graft-busting body.

“I do not interfere in the ACB. Never. Interfere for what?”  said Muthatika in Talk to the President programme on MBC.

Mutharika said he was a victim of a political smear campaign ahead of nex year’s elections.

“I know of a few individuals who were sent by other parties to tarnish my name and the DPP,” he said.

“All over the world  people receive donations and it is normal for people to receive donations,” stressed Mutharika.

DPP announced it will refund the funds.

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Gwamula
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Gwamula

Che Matemba mudakali achichepere ndithu. Ngati moto wakukulilani utalikileni. Munali abwino ndipo mwaainu tinali ndichikhulupililo. Lero manyazi ndiye atigwila ndimachitidwe anu. Mukudya zamukachisi mafuta ali noninoni pakamwa.
Kumbukilani kunali a Wadi, a Kaliwo, a Nampota. Onse sianathe bwino anatsamwidwa. Ganizilani uko mwachokela komaso mtunda mwatsala nawo.

Central
Guest
Central

This is what some of us expected!! If the whistle blower remained mute Matemba could have kept this under the carpet!! It was easy to tell he was not happy the story went viral!! Mulibe manyaziiiiiii with your immorality!! If the account was not known by DPP SG and had sole signatory, APM it means it was him alone who knew the account details and the master minder of the dirt!! Thus other than APM who do you think gave Karim those details? Dzimbamvaaaaaaaaaaaa dzotumbwa ndi ndalama za kubaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!

Kanyimbi
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Kanyimbi

Kodi galu amaluma mbuye wake? Akangoyetsera kuluma mbuye wake amati galu aphedwe ali ndi chiwewe. A Matembawo mwakhululukire ali ndi Mbuye wao sangalume ndithu ali nkhonde mwa mbuye wao kudikira chakudya cha lero.

Mr whatever
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Mr whatever

I don’t get it only Bottoman and Karim are being charged. This remind me of a comment here there the person said they will arrest the Minors to clean the big fish involved.
Sorry Bottoman and don’t worry if they continue with charges you will be realised next year

Post Truth
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Post Truth

A father gets into shoprite, steals a loaf of bread and gives it to his hungry children. Who should be arrested for stealing? Those who ate the bread or the one who got the bread and feed his children?

Banet
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Banet

The ACB must not base their point on the account name of DPP. In banking, the owner of the account, the one who has all the right to withdraw from the account is the one to be seen as the account owner and not the name. The name can be a mask. Now for the ACB to base their bullshit view on the account name and then to say pumbwa did not benefit, it’s a mockery to the Malawian populace and its reasoning. The leaked report stated that pumbwa widthrew K65m from the account and further discovered that pumbwa is… Read more »

M'Malawi Weniweni
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M'Malawi Weniweni

If a CEO of a company XYZ Ltd has opened a bank account (in the name of XYZ Ltd) to which he is the only signatory, is this a personal account or a company account? Or to put it another way, as is normal for most large companies where bank accounts have two signatories, do the accounts belong to the two signatories or the company? Then when the signatories sign a cheque to pay for raw materials the company bought, who us the beneficiary? The company or the signatories? ACB simply had no evidence that can stand Scrutiny in court… Read more »

mjiba
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mjiba

There is a simple rule of the thumb in money laundering and fraud investigation “follow the money” and identify the culprits. This investigations did just that. Organised criminals thrive on technical limitations of the law. It seems our Presidents are becoming masters at this.

Mbava ibweza K145 mililion Party
Guest

Corruption in ACB. The report that revealed this was accepted by ACB and why change now? You think we are fools? We are not. Stupid ACB.

Peter
Guest
Peter

The acb is clearly incompetent. It is confusing issues. Apm wasn’t involved in the tender. But the dealing with the proceeds. So for instance did anyone ask apm to confirm whether he indeed opened the account? Whether it was opened in accordance with dpp constitution? When he first became aware of the donation; whether he had previous knowledge of his identity, his business and whether he thought it normal in the malawian economy for one to donate and receive k145m. Since the donation did apm inquire into the identity and business of the donor? Those questions will tell us whether… Read more »

Chilungamo
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Chilungamo

Koma zoona “DONATION” ya K145 million sungaidabwe munthu? As a sole signatory make follow ups? Where is ti from? Even K1m, K5m, K10m, etc. Sungadwapo vindalama vonsevi vachoka kuti? No phone call or letter of acknowledgement or appreciation of receipt?
Olo iwowo a president if he makes even a K1 million donation to church, cultural grouping our MBC will be playing that clip for days, weeks. Then K145 million donation is just swept under the carpet, nobody knew about it, this Indian should be a super-rich bastard, multibillionaire.
SHAME!!!

MR P.
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MR P.

if DPP was the Beneficially then it means the Party has to be Prosecuted together with its Leader and if found guilty there’ll be convicted and will not participate in General elections. on the other hand we have seen people being convicted on Cash gate charges just because the cash gate money was channeled through their Bank Accounts, does the ACB mean to tell us that those people were wrongly convicted?

M'Malawi Weniweni
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M'Malawi Weniweni

No one was convicted during cashgate for merely channeling money through their bank accounts. They were the ones who were paid and all of them benefitted by keeping and using part of the loot

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