Indian national Chandrashekar More, who is said to have set up an edible oil extraction plant in the country,—who was deported from Malawi in May 2017 following his arrest on alleged tax evasion charges— offered a K60 million bribe to Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda for a reversal of his prohibitive immigration status and has been reported to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) executive member Billy Mayaya has also given the graft-busting body recorded audio conversation between More and Mayaya when the Indian businessman offered the bribe.
In a letter to ACB dated December 23 2020, Mayaya alleges that that More sent him a WhatsApp text message on December 22 seeking to be linked to Chimwendo Banda so that the minister can reverse his deportation status.
Then he said More telephoned him, and he decided to record him pretending he was with the Minister.
“He called me where I then pretended to be with the minister although I was alone. He offered a payment of K60 million for a reversal of his prohibitive immigration status,” said Mayaya.
Nyasa Times listened to the recorded phone conversation and More is heard saying that he would offer Chimwendo Banda K30 million and also HRDC to advocate for his immigration status change.
ACB director general Reyneck Matemba confirmed receiving Mayaya’s complaint, saying it was filed and that it would investigate the matter.
Minister Chimwendo Banda said in an interview that he was delighted that Mayaya reported the matter to the bureau immediately the bribe was offered.
“I was alerted about the development through a phone call from Mayaya. I am pleased that he reported the matter swiftly to ACB,” said Chimwendo Banda.
The minister said he has never been in contact with More and would not have in any way accepted bribe.
More is on record to have threatened to file a public interest litigation to stop the Indian Government from helping Malawi with loans and suspend trade, especially on legumes.
The Indian businessman was arrested in September 2015 on tax evasion charges and returned to India having secured permission from the court during the same month.
He returned to Malawi in March 2017 to allegedly resolve the outstanding tax issues with Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and reportedly insulted police officer when he obstructed his arrest and also offered bribes to tax collecting officials.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :