Human rights activists under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have sued Blantyre City Council (BCC) and the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) over the sale of mayor’s house at K65 million paid through part of the K145 million donation from Pioneer Investment.
DPP spokeman Nicholous Dausi is on record to have admitted that part of the controversial K145 millon donation to the governing party through a bank account which President Peter Mutharika is a sole signatory, K65 million was withdrawn to pay for the mayor’s house.
Pioneer Investment of Zameer Karim is a company entangled in the Malawi Police Services (MPS) food ration deal.
The activists who include Timothy Mtambo, Gift Trapence, Moses Mkandawire, Charles Kajoloweka and Masauko Thawe, through lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa, 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.
The civil society organisations (CSOs) argue that money used to make the purchase is tainted, illegal and came from a series of dubious transactions.
BCC and the DPP are the first and second defendants repectivley in the Civil Cause Number 150 of 2019 filed at High Couyrt Principal Registery in Blantyre.
The CSOs are seeking several reliefs including the cancellation of the sale.
The activists wonder whether other political parties, private citizens or businesses were given a chance to bid for the property, or generally whether there was a fair public sale of the said property.
They further argue that the money used to make the purchase is tainted, illegal and came from a series of dubious transactions. The whole sale process, therefore, amount to money-laundering of proceeds of crime.
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.
Following pressure from the public, the DPP reportedly returned the money to Pioneer Investments.
This is a second case where CSOs have taken public entities to court, after the Blue Night case which came after the DPP received about K13.5 million from public institutions during its dinner and dance on July 29 2017.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :