Lilongwe based lawyer Gift Nankhuni is watching his back all the time as gangsters have put a price on his head after the man of the rob allegedly swindled well known and respected kingpins in the city.
Insiders said Nankhuni is alleged to have “swindled” three ‘businessmen’ of more than K25 million he collected from another set of ‘businessmen’ from the city when he wrote them a ‘demand’ letter from his clients.
“A deal had gone sour and these three businessmen (names withheld) contacted Nankhuni to seek legal redress and Nankhuni promptly sent a demand letter to the other two underworld ‘businessmen’(names also withheld).
“Fearing that the matter would go to court and expose their business, the two underworld bosses agreed to pay through Nankhuni K25 million in cash which the lawyer did not pass on to his clients,” said an insider privy to the dealings.
Eventually Nankhuni’s clients knew that their lawyer was keeping their K25 million but he denied ever receiving the money from the two underworld bosses and that was when things got out of hand.
“Nankhuni has been living in fear. He is no longer socializing as they we he used to because he is aware that gangsters have been set on him,” said a pal to the lawyer.
Nankhuni is said to have been whisked away by his close friends Robert Bakuwa and Khumbo Nyirenda last week at a drinking joint in Area 49 Lilongwe when a gang arrived at the place looking for the lawyer.
The private practice lawyer could not be reached for comment.
In Malawi, lawyers are currently the only people allowed to pay out compensation money.
There have been several reported cases of lawyers not passing on to clients the compensation money they won for them in court, and several newspapers have been picking up cases and highlighting the problem.
Malawi Law Society (MLS) says it is in the process of reviewing complaints lodged.
MLS president John Suzi-Banda is on record saying that they are investigating 400 cases that date back to 2008 where lawyers are accused of duping clients’ of money for compensation while others are accused of overcharging.
“There is a special committee that is reviewing all the complaints that were made lodged and we have special funding to clear the cases,” Suzi-Banda said.
He said the suspected lawyers will undergo a disciplinary hearing chaired by the Solicitor General starting next month and that MLS will be putting aside a week every month for the hearings.
Lawyers will also be allowed to have a legal representation during the hearings, he said.
There are about 400 cases being investigated, according to MLS president.
In critical theft cases, lawyers risk having their licences revoked as the disciplinary committee will be entitled to recommend to the Attorney General to make an application before the Chief Justice to have the lawyers’ licences revoked.
Suzi-Banda said allegations of embezzlement of clients’ funds are “unacceptable.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :