DPP clears Mutharika in State House K247m dubious payment to contractor

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has sprung up in defence of former president Peter Mutharika who is accused of paying his private contractor K247 million using State House money.

 Mpinganjira (r) with Mutharika, says says State House paid the contractor the money for renovations done at State Residences

Malawi News last week published a story which said Mutharika spent over the K247 million construction contract for renovation of personal and state residences.

The report indicates that during Mutharika’s time, State House paid Bonongwe Building Contractors, owned by a Lilongwe-based businessman Gilliat Samudeni Bonongwe, who was contracted by former president Mutharika to build his Mapanga and Mangochi private residences, raising eyebrows.

But DPP spokesperson, Brown Mpinganjira , says it is wrong to suggest that Mutharika used Treasury as a conduit to defraud State House.

He says State House paid the contractor the money for renovations done at State Residences.

Mpinganjira said: “Contractor Bonongwe sufficiently explains that he was paid for several works he did for government and not privately for President Mutharika. These works are on record.”

He said the contractor renovated Mtunthama State  Residence in Lilongwe  to the condition that it is today for it to be occupiable by President Lazarus Chakwera.

He also renovated Kamuzu Palace and constructed new offices as well as accommodation facilities for Sanjika Palace.

One of the cheques issued to Bonongwe,  State House paid K247,000,000 .

The contractor was however quick to point out that the payments in question were to do with maintenance works he had carried out at State Residences, adding he sued Mutharika for breach of contract and failure to honour payment on the works done at his private residences.

Bonongwe’s construction company was paid by State House in 2019 from the month of April to July.

On April 10, 2019 a deposit of K40,000,000 was made from State Residence ORT account number 1253328 using cheque number 44738. From the same account, other payments were made to Bonongwe Building Contractors in different months.

The last deposit worth K57,000,000 was made on July 3, 2019 from a similar State Residence ORT account number, using cheque number 45208.

Bonongwe acknowledged the payments and said he was paid for renovations and certain constructions he had done at some of the country’s State Houses.

“Part of the payments you have seen were made for services offered at Sanjika Palace for construction of a kitchen, hostels, shower rooms. At Mtunthama in Area 3 we renovated the big house when late president John Magufuli visited the country. We also painted the fence during this time.

“However, the work done for the former president, the issue is now at court, the cheques you have seen are for the works my company did in different State Houses,” he said.

Bonongwe said the claim he made towards Mutharika is currently still in court.

“That issue is still at the Industrial Relations Court,” he said.

Bonongwe claimed that from July 2020, his company was involved in construction of the former president’s houses in Mangochi, Mapanga and Nyambadwe in Blantyre and Area 43 in Lilongwe to the tune of K165 million.

He added that he orally entered into an agreement with Mutharika to provide building materials for implementation of the project, and pay monthly salaries for labourers engaged in the projects on the understanding that he would raise the bill at the end of the projects.

Bonongwe claimed that the former president has only managed to pay K30 million and has not paid the outstanding sum of K135 million despite the contractor’s efforts to get the money.

The contractor is, therefore, demanding payment of K135 million, at an interest rate of three percent, and damages for breach of contract and legal costs.

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mtete
mtete
8 months ago

No wonder DPP performed miserably during the just concluded by-elections. What right has BJ got to clear APM. Bonongwe was working for both APM, a private individual, and Government. You cannot rule out abuse of public resources in such a situation.

Petros Namagwelu
Petros Namagwelu
8 months ago

This statement is coming from a wrong person who was not part of state residences. The right person to have issued this statement is Professor’s Personal assistant not BJ. Should we say BJ was the director of state residences at that time? Is he defending for the sake of defending? APM Should come out and defend his name full stop. BJ know that izi ndi nthawi Zina si 1994 ayi.

Time Changes, be dynamic
Time Changes, be dynamic
8 months ago

Mpinganjira is explaining as though he is talking to Lizzie Rosa. A multi million contract entered into orally???? The same contractor for both APM and State House??? What do we mean by conflict of interest? BJ know that the lawsuit for non payment could also be a gymmick aimed at hoodwinking the general public. This is the test the court will have to also look at. Was the k247 million not amplified to cover the personal elements? All these questions must answered. Were procurement procedures followed. BJ you should stop yawning to the public with dunder headedness or else you… Read more »

Lego
8 months ago

You always like to defend wrong things.When are you going to learn and say the truth Mr Mpinganjira?

Wakwiya ndi kadeti
8 months ago

So Bonongwe was working for both Muthalika and government. I smell a rat. Uyu amachotsa za boma kupititsa ku nyumba zake. Amachotsa za food rations ku police kupititsa ku account. K145 million. APM is a crook. Munthu wobwadwa during the second world war kumaba. Mwatsala pati ankhalamba? Mwawononga dziko ndi mzako WA ku BCA.

Ngombwax
Ngombwax
8 months ago

The Democratic Progressive Party “clears” Mutharika? What a choice of words! The DPP is not a competent court of law to do that. It is, in fact, an interested party which most likely than not was the recipient of the stolen money in question.

Citizen
8 months ago
Reply to  Ngombwax

Can you say that again. It would be better for DPP/ Mpinganjira to be quiet.What they have said is more self damaging than being quiet. Waste of time.

wakalekale
8 months ago

kodi bwanji mutasankha publicity Secretary wina awa apita ku retirement azipita kunja kuli Lizzie ngati angakawalandire.
He wants to look intelligent on everything.
He is behaving like Ntaba, defending zinthu zabodza.

Mbujengwe
Mbujengwe
8 months ago

Mr Bonongwe entered a contract orally with Mutharika. Palibe nkhani apa.

Xcuse
Xcuse
8 months ago
Reply to  Mbujengwe

An oral contract is legit if there are witnesses.

Ras Cardembo
Ras Cardembo
8 months ago
Reply to  Xcuse

Of course its legit, but it doesn’t make sense to enter a multi million kwacha contract without formal documentary. Its unreasonable

Last edited 8 months ago by Ras Cardembo
Eboue
Eboue
8 months ago

Mr Mpinganjira, you mean the whole government institution like State Residences does not have signed contracts with its contractors? Show us the documents that shows Bonongwe won the tender to do the work or the contract that was signed by both parties.

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