Cement-gate! Businessperson Ahmed Chunara implicated for using Mutharika’s name to import tons of cement duty free

Disturbing details are emerging on how business people connected to State House were using former President Peter Mutharika’s duty-free status to import tons of cement in the country  between 2018 and 2019 from Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Ahmed Chunura owns Facebook Melton Hardware Malawi
President Mutharika:  Cement-gate scandal

Vice-President Saulos Chilima during the campaign period of the June 23 presidential rerun was the first to reveal that Mutharika imported 40 000 metric tons of cement worth K3.2 billion. The matter later was picked by the press.

However, details seen by Nyasa Times shows that the cement was procured by a certain businessperson, Mohammed Shafee Ahmed Chunara, who owns a cement business.

Documents we have seen show that 1.7 million cement bags were imported in a period of  six months for a value of K5 billion by Chunara.

And all this was cleared by Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) at the Mchinji border as President Mutharika’s cement.

The details indicate that the money was paid to LaFarge Headquarters in Lusaka, but the cement would be collected from LaFarge’s depot in Chipata to take to warehouses in Lilongwe.

However, Mutharika claims that he doesn’t know that his TPIN was used to import K5 billion worth of cement, yet the application for tax exemption on the imports came from State House and was duly processed at MRA.

Malawians on social media have already started questioning the transactions and want answers from the public tax collector and the business persons implicated.

Writing on his Facebook account, social commentator Idriss Ali Nassah said:“We have questions about the 70 trucks carrying cement worth K200 million imported duty-free into Malawi using Peter Mutharika’s name.

“Mohammed Shafee Ahmed Chunara of Lilongwe will tell us who gave him Peter Mutharika’s MRA TPIN to use to import cement worth over K5 billion duty-free. The cement was then sold off at wholesale.

“Chunara will also tell us who the beneficial owners of this deal were,” he wrote.

In the initial transaction in November 2018, the President bought 20 000 metric tonnes (MT) or 200 000 bags of cement worth $2 240 000 (about K1.68 billion) from PTC Zimbabwe Limited duty-free. In the second transaction in July 2019, Mutharika bought the same quantity from Prestige Export based at Chipata in Zambia.

The Presidents (Salaries and Benefits) Act allows the President “duty free importation of items for personal use”.

A private practice lawyer John-Gift Mwakhwawa had said the volume involved raised doubts on the “personal use” provision in the Presidents (Salaries and Benefits) Act and had called for an investigation.

But before Mutharika was ousted from power in the June 23 fresh presidential election, State House and MRA on June 16 justified the transaction as “within the law”, as it was for personal use.

Meanwhile,  deputy commissioner general Roza Mbilizi was being quizzed by Malawi Police Service, Fiscal and Fraud Section,  in  connection with cement imported duty-free.

Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has since been furnished with all documentation from whistle blowers on the cement-gate scandal to commence an investigation.

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M Cheka Chilenje
M Cheka Chilenje
3 months ago

Mgeme Kalirani must be very dull. He was just defending everything. That’s very unprofessional. look now!! is chunara same as Peter Mutharika.

Collins Namkhulupa
Collins Namkhulupa
3 months ago

These Asians (Indians and Pakistanis) are thieves poised to plunder our country and they do not invest in our country. In addition, they are the most racist people this country has ever welcomed. We better be with Westerners because they are able to integrate with us than these garlic-smelling maggots. One day we will burn them all.

Stanley Mdala
Stanley Mdala
3 months ago

This Mutharika was just a figure head President not effective at all. Too old to remember even his name.
We should assume that the younger wife Getrude was the one organising things for the old fella Peter.
So Getrude and his advisors if he had any at all knew what they were doing and must be answerable.
Mukhito a retired police Inspector General as State House chief of staff has many questions to answer as regards these allegations.

WaWaWa
WaWaWa
3 months ago
Reply to  Stanley Mdala

The provision for Presidents to import goods for their personal use has been abused by Bakili Muluzi, by Bingu, by Joyce and by Mutharika as well.
Let’s start with Muluzi and let all of the Presidents be made to repay duties to MRA.

Chidule
Chidule
3 months ago
Reply to  WaWaWa

We can also start with Mtharika and go back to Whoever. Hit the Iron while it’s hot!

Iantana
Iantana
3 months ago

Koma yeah… pakhala ma smear campaign oopsa.. kumanagana kenako basi ziii mlandu kuthera mmalere

Proud Indian Says
Proud Indian Says
3 months ago

Malawians please read this carefully. Since 1994 any Indian involved in any type of crime has never been punished. Because they either corrupt the investigators or the judiciary. No indian will ever be punished for any crime in Malawi. Sorry but that is the truth.
It was only Kamuzu who kept the Indians in control. Your democracy has freed us Indians to make billions corruptly whilst Malawians must suffer. We are prod Indians

Amuna Kudambo
Amuna Kudambo
3 months ago

You are not Indian. The fact is the rich bribe authorities. Indians just happen to be many amongst the rich group.

Black Man
Black Man
3 months ago
Reply to  Amuna Kudambo

Do you know that corruption and bribery were born in India and Greece and corruption and bribery runs in the blood of Indians and Greeks. Arrest and deport the who lot of them.
Indians to India
Greeks to Europe
We Malawians in Malawi
Kwacha Mtendere Ufulu

ANA ACHEPA
ANA ACHEPA
3 months ago

mumumva CK,amakuuzani inu simumamva.Mbava zenizeni zikalowe komaokuba mzimbe kapena nkhuku atutule!!!

BigMan
BigMan
3 months ago

There’s never been a more useless and out of touch President than this Mutharika. How can he not be aware that his tax number is being used by others? Doesn’t he look at reports on his taxes? Doesn’t he have financial advisers? What else was he not aware off? My take is that he was very much aware and some of the proceeds of these deals are what was used by his family to build a castle in Mangochi and executive town houses all over Malawi. Its a cartel, and he was very much involved. The wife was was even… Read more »

nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
3 months ago

tose tinkavela limodzi kuti yemwe anaba sazibweza nde ndi waku Maula basi. apo bii angozisaza abweze.
cipsedo cisanadze mmakomo mwao..no wonder SKC anamukhwacha pital kha bingu uja amaopa awaulula ndowe zimacitikazi.
Leo anthu akutaya ma PRADO. A YUDASI INU. FORENSIC IKUPEZANI MBULI INU. ZIDZETE ZAKUMWA MADZI OMETELA.
TIYE NAONI OSAWALEKAAAAAA NDITI EEEE

Manthu
Manthu
3 months ago

These so called amwenye nawo amangidwe akakhale ku maulako tidzikawaona. Osangomanga achikuda okhaokha ai

Gift
Gift
3 months ago

ACB and Police. Ntchitoyi ndi yayikulu. Nobody should go on leave. Chitani machawi.

Ngozo 1
Ngozo 1
3 months ago
Reply to  Gift

The best is these Tax free band should be completely stopped to any of the so called vvips too much of abuse… We have to be at par in everything…. All else Tonse youth will start the Demonstrations again for the removal of all benefits to the same…

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