Civil society organisations under the banner Human Rights Defenders Forum (HRDF) have taken the Blantyre City Council to court for illegal sell of the mayor’s residence to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The forum vice chairperson Gift Trapence said lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa has gone to court after the assembly failed to respond to the CSOs letter demanding information on how the council sold the mayor’s residence to the DPP.
“The whole process of selling the house to the DPP smacks of corruption and favoritism. The council did not follow public procurement laws,” said Trapence.
He said the residence was not advertised in the local press asking for interested people to buy it as the public procurement laws demand nor was there any tender but the council just negotiated with the DPP in closed door meetings and the deal was done.
Trapence said public institutions and public officers should not abuse their powers by doing things contrary to the law as was the case with the selling of the mayor’s residence to the DPP.
He argued that the purported sale smacks of corruption, unfair favouring of one political party, money-laundering, breach of public trust and breach of public procurement laws.
BCC chief executive officer Alfred Chanza said they will not respond to the CSOs query and are ready to meet them in court.
However, Trapence said the CSOs have not taken the DPP to court over the matter.
“It is up to the lawyer to decide on whether it is necessary to take the DPP to court or not, then he will inform us,” he said.
The DPP is also embroiled in another scandal after an Indian businessman Jameer Karim deposited a K145 million “donation” into a DPP bank account whose sole signatory is president Peter Mutharika soon after getting K2.8 billion from the scandalous police food ration deal.
Youth and Society has gone to the Supreme Court to ask the court extend the freezing of the K145 million from both the DPP and Pioneer Investments until the trial is heard and concluded on the matter.
According to a leaked November 2017 Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) report, a day after the supplier deposited K2.793 billion payment from Police for supplying 500 000 ration packs, the company transferred K145 million to the DPP Standard Bank account on April 13 2016.
Between January and October 2016, President Peter Mutharika “made cheque withdrawals amounting to K65 million from the said Standard Bank account,” the Bureau report says.
CSOs said they have it on record from the publicity secretary of DPP Nicholas Dausi who admitted that the money used to make the purchase of the mayor’s house came from an illegal and dubious political funding from Pioneer Investments.
Following pressure from the public, the DPP reportedly returned the money to Pioneer Investments.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :