Karim Batawarara gets ‘gagging order’ to stop Malawi newspaper reporting on K53bn ‘uniform-gate’ scandal

Controversial businessman Abdul Karim Batawarara  has gone to the High Court to obtain a “gagging order” prohibiting the country’s leading newspaper, The Nation  from publishing details  surrounding the K53.9 billion Immigration Department uniforms supply deal.

Billionaire Abdul Karim Batawalalala: The newspaper is depicting me  as a corrupt and fraudulent

Malawi government challenged the K53 billion claim by Karim’s companies Africa Commercial Agency and Reliance Trading Company, which, among other things, pegs a single uniform shirt for an Immigration officer at about K60 000 and in some cases a belt at K100 000.

The civil society organisations and political leaders  have also called for investigations on how the suppliers arrived at the K53.9 billion claim from an initial K9 billion contract.

The now christened ‘Uniform-gate’ scandal was first exposed by Nyasa Times and the Malawi’s influential Nation Publications Limited (NPL) through its titles, The Nation daily and Weekend Nation have been following the running story.

However, Nation’s rival newspaper, Times Group through its titles Daily Times, Malawi News and Sunday Nation have remained mum on the matter , apparently Batawarara brags that he is micromanaging the journalists at the publication.

On Friday, Batawarara went to Zomba Registry of the High Court to obtain an injuction  complaing The Nation has run a series of publications depicting him as a “corrupt and fraudulent.”

A sworn statement by Karim Batawarara’s lawyer Clement Mwala shows the business transaction referred to are subject to court proceedings and still pending determination and therefore depicting him as corrupt and fraudulent “cannot be justified.”

The court imposed reporting restriction order to prevent the newspaper from reporting the ‘uniform-gate’ scandal.

However, human rights activists have argued that the matter is of public interest and will fight for the injunction to be lifted.

Top government officials in Immigration, Attorney General and Secretary to the Treasury as well as representatives of the suppliers, Africa Commercial Agency and Reliance Trading Company, were scheduled to appear before Parliamentary’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC)  on Friday to explain the claim.

But Clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba in a legal opinion quoting parliamentary standing order 192 (1), said the top government officials could not appear before the committee because the matter was in court.

The government’s chief legal adviser, Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale, said  the matter was concluded and wished “the subjudice opinion was matter specific.”

In its extended coverage, The Nation  on Friday in an editorial comment, said Parliament , as an institution mandated to  make laws in the opuntry, shouldn’t confuse Malawians, saying  PAC summoned officials for an inquiry and in the next minute the Parliament Secretariat legal department stops the committee in its trucks.

The paper said the Parliament’s Secretariat to turn around and say there were some legal impediments it surely does not add up.

It  pointed out that the issue is dominating public discourse.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Sharing is caring!

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Tigist
Guest
Tigist

Is there a college of corruption in India? Why is it that every corruption activity in the country an Indian is involved? We have many foreigners but I wonder why this group specializes on corruption. This requires a diplomatic enquiry if they still want to stay in Malawi. Other countries like Tanzania arrest them, so they avoid.

Allie
Guest

@ Legend for your information we can call them anything. Tough shit if you benefited from his stolen monies actually l will say again Amwenye, agalu a michila. Please nyasatimes do not block the messages . let people express their annoyances . l personally hate a mwenye ma savage. Go home!!!!! you abuse my country like expect more bunch of shit on your way…….

legend
Guest

For a start I do not know the man. Secondly, read my comments regarding this man illegal activities. And finally being abusive does not make you a creature like you respectable. Maybe it’s the fault of your upbringing. Maybe you need to get out of the country to see how ppl behave towards others.

abambo
Guest
abambo

We need to Match against these Indians, they are taking us for granted.

Legend
Guest

Who let him in the country? It was not an Asian official who gave him entry visa. So no need to blame the entire Asian community for his wrong doings. When will common sense prevail? Why blame the Asians for some corrupt officials taking bribes.

Legend
Guest

Nyasa please can you withdraw (block) the racist comments on your forum. This racist slurs must stop immediately. No more AMENYE! You can refer them as Asians and not AMENYE.

Legend
Guest

Correction! Refer them by their NAME and not by their ethnicity.

Tchuma
Guest
Tchuma

That’s what we call them for christ sake…. Can you be offended if you are called black rather African.

Political commentator
Guest

my friend shutup, is AMWENYE a racist word? AMWENYE is our chichewa language as Malawians, why should we use the word ASIANS as if we are English or asians themselves? AMWENYE is not a racist word, its our local language.

to hell with ur comment

lagend
Guest

okay point noted!

McAllister
Guest
McAllister

Really? Should we also abandon our own language in our own country? Stopping calling them amwenye koma Asians? What a colonialistic mindset. Saying amwenye, azungu is not racism, nor demeaning at all, thats our language

legend
Guest

okay point noted! How ever I will NOT refer African as black.

Legend
Guest

This gagging order must be lifted for the truth to be established for public interest. An appeal to all Malawian media groups to keep up the pressure on the judiciary.

Mike
Guest
Mike

The only honest Indian is the dead. Lets pull a trigger into Badawara’s head so hi country men must learn a lesson. Thats the only way to achieve freedom because our state, our freedom which our fathers fought for has been hijacjed by crooked amwenye

Legend
Guest

OMG! you are truly dangerous and poisonous creature and must be put behind bar for sake of public safety. Your comment amounts to hate and racial profilings…..Bad for the society. This comment of yours have been saved and will be published in due cause.

chinyau cha ku Nambuma
Guest
chinyau cha ku Nambuma

guys leg him have the injunction but we must all go on the streets and protest. Let him have the injunction against the masses being fed up with thieves and protesting. Lets set Saturday 16th February as a protest day against this rubbish. Spread this message

OINTMENT
Guest

We should target all the Amwenye in the demonstrations. Its only him. They are ruining our country!!!

Hora
Guest
Hora

The Malawi leadership and the judiciary coupled with the anti corruption agencies are slowly stirring up a time bomb that very soon will leave the Malawian of Asian origin but of good will regretting our leadership is playing with the citizenry patience and trust,please please stop playing around with poor taxpayers contribution, bring sanity to our treasured beloved country..

Dudu
Guest

iwe Bwatalala son of a bitch. who do you think you are? Do you realise that you are living in Malawi not in India where you was nobody you was a taxi driver.
Why do we tolerate shit this? All these is because Maliseche is behind it. let’s impeach Maliseche . we need to send a very Strong message Kuti Malawi wa khwiya.

shares