A leaked document from the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) which suggests President Peter Mutharika may have benefitted from K145 million that a supplier deposited in a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) account at Standard Bank for which he is the sole signatory has dominated Malawi media on Saturday.
“Police mess snares DPP” was the headline in Weekend Nation, as the paper reported that the money is suspected to be part of proceeds of payment from Malawi Police Service (MPS) to Pioneer Investments—a firm the ACB suspects fraudulently supplied food rations.
The bureau also alleges that the bill was inflated from the contract price of K2.327 billion to K2.8 billion days after it was signed in August 2015.
Sensational as it was, the story sent tongues wagging on social-media when the leaked document was circulating which forced ACB to issue statement that it is investigating how it got into public domain after Nyasa Times, Malawi Newsnow, Malawi24, Independent online publications, Zodiak and Capital Radio went to town on the matter
“Fraud at Police” was the subsequent headline in Malawi News.
The media reports from the document that the supplier Zameer Karim deposited K2.793 billion payment from Police for supplying 500 000 ration packs, the company transferred K145 million to the DPP Standard Bank account 014003192200 on April 13 2016.
Mutharika opened the account in 2015, a year after assuming office, according to the report.
Many commentators have expressed dismay with the report.
“Gift or bribe?” was the headline of the editorial comment in the Weekend Nation, giving probing questions on what K145 million deposited in DPP account was for.
“Our questions remain: what was the K145 million for? Did DPP or Mutharika do some work for or supply some good to Pioneer Investment? Or was it a gift or a bribe?.”
Between January and October 2016, the President “made cheque withdrawals amounting to K65 million from the said Standard Bank account,” the Bureau report says.
Before Pioneer deposited the Police cheque on April 12 2016 in the company’s National Bank account held at Henderson Street Service Centre in Blantyre, the account had K-30 426.66 as balance—meaning there was no money.
Presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani has said the document is a coordinated and sponsored character assassination campaign against President Mutharika and the DPP from a disgruntled politician, but felt short of mentioning name.
Kalilani said the transaction in the DPP account, “there was nothing sinister about it” promising and to provide “a detailed explanation” about it in due course.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :