After Nyasa Times recently reported that some aides to President Peter Mutharika were demanding cash from influential business persons and others to arrange meetings with the Head of State , the State House press office has now confirmed that this is happening but blamed it to “some unscrupulous people with criminal minds.”
State House press officer Chikondi Juma said some people are going around posing as top State House aides duping and defrauding members of the public in the name of either arranging meetings with Mutharika or that they have been sent on errands by The Head of State.
Nyasa Times reported that Communication and Strategy advisors of President, Birght Malopa disclosed to the President that a top aide allegedly extorts huge sums of money from rich Asians, Nigerians, Rwandese and Burundians“in exchange for appointments with the President and government contracts”.
State House has confimed that several distinguished members of the society including government officials, have fallen victim to the scheme, losing thousands of kwacha in the process and some of them have been left stranded.
However, Juma stresses that the conduct is being carried by fraudsters, exonerating presidential aides.
She said the recent incident involved, Rev. Matiya Nkhoma of the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) who was duped by an unknown man pretending to be a Special Assistant to the President that he has arranged an audience with President Mutharika for him and Paramount Chief Mbelwa VI at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
“Later the criminals, now posing as Chief Mbelwa tricked Rev. Matiya Nkhoma through a phone call, into transferring cash amounting K100 000 (One Hundred Thousand Kwacha) through mobile money transfer for him (Chief Mbelwa) to buy fuel to travel to Lilongwe for the meeting with The President,” Juma states in a statement.
She pointed out that several other similar incidences have been reported involving some District Commissioners, Principal Secretaries, Civil Society leaders among others.
“State House strongly condemns these unfortunate incidences as pure criminal acts and would like to disassociate State House, most importantly The Head of State from these incidences,” she said.
State House said it is taking seriously these reports seriously and will investigate the incidences with the assistance of the Police and other law enforcement agencies.
“State House wishes to put on the record that its officials or The President’s Aide do not, will not and will never communicate through the phone to arrange a meeting with The President. There are well established channels of communication and procedures to be followed by anyone wishing or asked to meet The Head of State.
“We therefore, appeal to all government officials and all members of the Public to follow these normal channels and to always verify any communication purported to be coming from or related to State House.”
The public has been urged to demand relevant identification documents from anyone claiming to be from State House and to verify with relevant authorities at State House before setting off for State House to meet the President or releasing any valuable materials including cash to unknown people.
Meanwhile, Nyasa Times understands that some fraudsters phoned former Minister of lands Khumbo Chirwa to go to Lilongwe and meet President Mutharika.
Chirwa drove to Lilongwe only to be called by the same “Aide” to deposit cash since he was stranded somewhere. When Chirwa offered to give the cash by hand and not through electronic cash transfer, the ‘aide’ could not be reached anymore.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :