ACB rejects Mutharika’s request to unfreeze bank accounts as contractor Bonongwe exposes building projects for ‘cement’ 

Former president Peter Mutharika apparent defence on cement importation saga will come to question after Lilongwe-based businessman Samudeni Bonongwe has dragged him to the High Court’s commercial division for failure to honour contractual obligations on payments to Mutharika’s several housing projects in which he was supplying cement and other materials.

Mutharika: Accounts will remain frozen 

According to the  Bonongwe,  of the Bonongwe Building Contractors, his lawyer Khimwa Mchizi has already lodged the matter with the court demanding K135 million.

Bonongwe claims that he orally entered into an agreement with Mutharika in 2018 through his security aide Norman Chisale in several housing projects  for the former president where he was only building and Mutharika providing materials including cement.

The houses include the beachside Mangochi’s retirement home christened as Nyekhwe Palace, houses at Mapanga , Nyambadwe in Blantyre and Area 43 in Lilongwe.

Bonongwe claims that Mutharika has only managed to pay K30 million  from the K165 million agreed fee.

Mutharika – a law professor –  appeared to be distancing himself from the cement-gate, paying way for his personal legal defence, arguing he is a victim of identity fraud.

He said the cement importation controversy is a tax evasion matter that has to be dealt as such between Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and whoever brought the cement .

“I am even failing to finish the front and that side behind because I don’t have cement. The point is that I was not aware of it or how it happened, how it was financed,” he said.

But according to Bonongwe, the former president was providing cement to the contractor for a number of houses built for him.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to reject his request to unfreeze bank accounts.

ACB froze bank accounts of Mutharika, his wife Gertrude, step son; Tadikira, former security aide Norman Chisale two months ago as part of investigations of corruption.

ACB director Reyneck Matemba said the state could not unfreeze the bank accounts because investigations on cementgate were still going on.

“But the bureau can allow him to make small withdrawals for his living expenses, the law allows that,” said Matemba.

The bureau is investigating allegations that the former president used his duty free status to import billions of kwacha worth of cement, an allegation Mutharika denies.

Mutharika told journalists recently that he is surviving because some well-wishers are helping him but sources say he is using his the Democratic Progressive Party money, whose bank account he is the sole signatory.

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Manyalira Mhone
3 months ago

Verbal contract with Norman Chisale? Is Norman Chisale Peter Mutharika? And since when did courts start accepting oral contracts as admissible evidence? Mungochedwetsa ndalama za madala. You will pay the old man dearly for the stupid mistake you are making in clinging to his money when you have no proof up to now.

Mwini muzi
Mwini muzi
3 months ago

The story has touched the cement gate from the desperate Bonongwe but I see the main issue rests on his claim of payment from Mutharika not being honoured. How could Bonongwe be so naive to enter into a verbal contractual agreement in such multi million kwaçha projects? Didn’t he realize that a verbal contract has no substance when it comes to performance terms, payment terms, exit terms etc that would support him in the event of litigation? He can bring in all sorts of unsubstantiated issuesin his claims but the casualty is him.

Last edited 3 months ago by Mwini muzi
B Nkhani
B Nkhani
3 months ago
Reply to  Mwini muzi

And when did individuals start asking sitting presidents for contracts? In Africa?! Are you for real, no?

PHRIWAPHIRI
3 months ago

Mr Bonongwe, does this mean that the cement you were using is the one in cport with Norman chisale? Dont rush in conclusions, there is tomorrow dont forget and you are a business man who will need someone tomorrow.WHY CAN’T YOU JUST TALK TO THE PRESIDENT AND SEE THE WAY FORWARD

Dead.Body
3 months ago

Idiot APM was supposed to be in prison. What are you waiting for?

Ndede
Ndede
3 months ago
Reply to  Dead.Body

Waiting for R Matemba to say that there is nothing wrong with the money for APM and therefore unfreeze the accounts and later pay him for the inconveniences.

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