As corruption continues to dominate the national narrative in Malawi, controversial businessman of Asian origion, Karamat Chaudhry, is under probe by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) and other law-enforcing agencies for allegedly forging corrupt relationship with some influential Blantyre City Council officials who have used shortcuts to offer him commercial land.
He is constructing service stations to sell fuel and run supermarkets on the pieces of land he has allegedly acquired dubiously.
Chaudhry and Lakhu Mohamed NaeemIqbal were in the news recently that they face 13 counts ranging from forgery of official documents, making a false document without authority, uttering a false document to illegally obtaining foreign currency.
“Indeed, he has ‘improper influence’ on some officials (names withheld) at the Civic Offices and, therefore, gets any piece of land he wants at will.
“He has so far bought various pieces of land in Blantyre on which he is doing various business, including filling stations,” said the source close to the investigation, disclosing that some ‘inappropriately’ pieces of land include one in Limbe, along the Robert Mugabe Highway, on which he has constructed a service station, along Masauko Chipembere Highway near Mandala Flats and in Nyambadwe, near Blantyre Girls Primary School where construction works are under way.
In another ‘corruption’ matter, Azamtulla Chaudry, another Blantyre-based businessman, is also under probe by ACB for allegedly bribing some immigration officials to illegally acquire Malawi citizenship, alongside some of his family members.
Azamtulla acquired his Malawian citizenship, two years after he arrived to do business in Malawi from his native Pakistan.
According to highly-placed sources at ACB, Chaudry bribed some immigration and Home Affairs officials to acquire his present status in 2014 when Uladi Mussa was Home Affairs minister and Internal Security.
The Malawi Citizenship Act 1966, as amended in 1992, provides that any Commonwealth citizen can only be ‘registered’ as citizens if he “is ordinarily resident in Malawi, and has been so resident for a period of five years; and that he has an adequate knowledge of a prescribed vernacular language or of the English language”.
“Choudry had stayed in Malawi for hardly two years when he and his immediate family members acquired Malawi citizenship. Actually, the rules demand that to qualify for citizenship, one has to have established business and at least real estate in Malawi but Choudry was a mere trader, buying and selling.
“If this is not corruption, then I don’t what else it is,” said the source at the centre of the investigation.
Uladi Mussa was arrested recently over allegations he granted citizenship to illegal immigrants from Burundi, Rwanda and other war countries when he served as Minister of Home Affairs Security between 2012 and 2014. He allegedly received millions of Kwacha in exchange of his ‘favours’.
The charges against Mussa were dropped when he announced he had switched political allegiance from People’s Party (PP) to the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). He was elected DPP vice president for central region at a recent DPP convention in Blantyre.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :