Youth And Society (YAS) has written Police Service Commission (PSC) to discipline Malawi Police Service (MPS) officers involved in the controversial K2.7 billion food rations procurement scandal.
In a letter seen by Nyasa Times, dated September 7 2018 to PSC chairperson, High Court judge Charles Ching’aya Mkandawire, signed by YAS executive director Charles Kajoloweka, the Mzuzu –based organisation said there has been inaction against officers involved in the criminality of the contract.
YAS draw attention of PSC on the provisions of Section 155 of the Constitution and in particular Sub-section 3 read together with Sections 13 and 14 of the Police Act.
“These provisions mandate the Commission to take disciplinary action against all police officers other than the Inspector General,” reads the letter.
“We wish to add that we are aware that legally such administrative process does not have to wait for the Criminal proceedings that we believe ACB (Anti-Corruption Bureau) are going to take.”
YAS said since the graft-busting body’s report, there has-been no disciplinary process taken against the officers implicated in the scandal as they are still discharging their functions as usual.
“This in our view is wrong, a practice that increases impunity in the country and gives an impression that there are other-people in this country who are above the law which is totally against the spirit of the current legal framework,” said Kajoloweka.
ACB has been investigating a Malawi police food supply contract, worth around K2.7 billion that was awarded to a firm owned by businessman Zameer Karim, called Pioneer Investments.
The investigative report leaked in June alleges that the head of finance of Malawi’s police, Innocent Bottomani, and Karim had “connived” to award Pioneer Investment a contract to provide 500,000 food ration packs.
Days after the contract was signed, Pioneer Investment allegedly asked for a change to the agreed price from 2.3bn kwacha to nearly 2.8bn – the report says the change was fraudulently approved by Bottomani.
Bottomani denied involvement in the alleged fraud, claiming his signature was forged.
“I do not know who did it [forge signature] and for what purpose,” Bottoman said.
ACB report accuses Bottoman of violating Public Procurement Regulation 132 and 155 as read together with the Public Procurement Act.
YAS has since said if the PSC fail to take action with 14 days, the grouping will be “forced to take action against the Commission and its agents without further notice.”
A constitutional law commentator Professor Danwood Chirwa is also on record to have recommended that ACB must arrest those implicated in the scandal who have no immunity – Karim and Malawi Police director of finance Bottoman.
The ACB investigation report showed that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) received K145 million from Karim through a Standard Bank account whose sole signatory is President Peter Mutharika.
Initially, the presidency dismissed the matter as “fake news” but State House later confirmed the transaction and the account, but said there was nothing sinister as it was a donation from a well-wisher.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :