Police in Malawi on Monday stopped some members of the family of late president Bingu wa Mutharika as they were attempting to loot the New State House of money and other valuables which they claim belonged to their deceased relation.
The family members were being assisted by some of the senior members of the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
A State House source confided that armed men from the Malawi Police Service stormed the New State House premises after Nyasa Times reported that that some people were at the house removing some valuables from the presidential palace.
However, a team of the law enforcers was shocked to find out that among the valuables were ‘shocking’ stashes of money in both the local kwacha currency and US dollars packed in bags and cartons ready to be taken out of the palace.
“It is not yet established how much was the money as some senior police officers have been directed to count how much was it. It is believed that the hard cash can be in excess of five billion kwacha. Most of that money is US dollars in millions,” said the source.
The relatives could not explain where the money was being taken to but claimed that some of the valuables were being taken to Mutharika’s Ndata Farm House in Thyolo for safe keeping as they were personal belongings to the former head of state.
“Most of the valuables are gifts which were given to him as Head of State and police argued that it was too early to remove anything from the house and wrong to do so without any government observation,” said the source.
It is not known how the former President sourced such huge amount of money as the police said they will attempt to establish the source of the money.
However, in an interview Director of State Houses Edward Sawerengera dismissed the reports on the development saying if there is need to take out anything out of the State House the relatives will do it in the presence of government officials.
“If the relatives really want to move out any property they have to wait for clearance from government,” he said.
The reported looting is being done while former First Lady Callista Mutharika is still in South Africa where she was waiting for the remains of the former head of state to be repatriated home on Saturday.
Going by the information that some people are posting on various social media networks it might not come as a surprise for Mutharika, who managed to build, ‘singlehandedly’, a K14 billion house and K1.4 billion mausoleum for his wife at his Ndata Farm, to have such amount of money in the house.
According to one posting, Mutharika was drawing K50 million from Malawi Savings Bank every two weeks for his personal use and was also drawing money from the Reserve Bank of Malawi for personal use one example was when he got K200 million from the central bank in pretence that government wanted to buy maize for Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.
It is also alleged that Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) was giving almost 10 per cent of its annual revenue to Mutharika in support of DPP activities in preparation for the 2014 campaign; was getting a cut from Chinese companies and nationals who were being allowed to externalize forex.
Press Trust and National Bank are said to have also been depositing K70 million each every month to his personal account; and he was getting allowances in millions of kwachas whenever he travelled out of State House.
The late President is also said to have brokered several clandestine transactions involving his closer friends in which he was getting huge commissions.
He is said to have instructed ESCOM to give Mulli Brothers Ltd K160 million to buy Chitakale Estate; instructed the transfer of K5 billion from Treasury to Noel Masangwi’s shipping company; instructed the RBM to lend the government of Zimbabwe $30 million; and he also fraudulently benefited to the tune of K3.8billion from MTL Privatization proceeds.
Mutharika is also said to have owned vast investments across the globe. One posting talks of a US$18 million Presidential villa and yatch as well as a US$60 million hotel in Portugal. The Hotel was allegedly acquired through the Reserve Bank of Malawi.
He also owned office blocks formerly belonging to Lonhro in Limbe, Blantyre worth K300 million, and K20 billion worth of shares in Zimbabwe Commercial Bank.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :