by Mzuzu-based Youth and Society (YAS) through Ritz Attorneys-at-Law has written Blantyre-based business mogul Abdul Karim Batatawala demanding that he pays back over half a billion kwacha he was paid by the Malawi Police Service (MPS) to supply uniforms.
Karim Batatawala [Malawian of Asian origin] trading as Africa Commercial Agency, Gratolite, Lido Electrical, Kasco Enterprise, L&G Tools and Engineering, Novatech Engineering, has been given seven days in which to pay back K585,940, 743.18 he received from the police service.
Apparently, Karim Batatawala never supplied the police uniforms as per the contract and YAS has warned him that if he does not pay back the money in seven days he will face litigation..
“Our client (Yas) contends that you fraudulently but/an knowingly received and had received tax-payers’ money in the K585,940,743.18 that you were not and remain not entitled to have received, retained and or have use of it. The Report records serious fraudulent transactions committed by your firms with your full knowledge and participation…” reads the letter signed by lawyer-of-the-moment Bright Theu from Ritz Attorney at Law.
YAS said their claim was based on an investigative audit dating back to 10 years ago into the management of procurement and distribution of the goods by the police service.
According to the audit report, out of 9 companies that supplied the goods to the police service, seven belonged to Abdul Karim Batatawala.
Among other things, YAS claims that the company was invoicing goods that were never supplied to Malawi police.
Under six of Karim’s companies, six invoices worth K170 million [K170,791,725.00] and Malawi Police paid but the goods were never delivered and Karim also overcharged for goods delivered to MPS by K295, 756,604.40 despite that other firms supplied goods of better quality and more durable
“After matching all the goods supplied to against the total payment made by MPS, the Report established that you (Karim) were overpaid by K109 million,” reads the report in part.
The letter further says Malawi Police Service paid Karim over K106 million for goods Karim never supplied and Malawi Police Service returned goods to Mr Karim to which he duly acknowledged yet he did not reverse invoices for the returned goods worth K10 million.
“On behalf of the people of Malawi , our client demands immediate repayment of the same and in any event within 7 days from the date hereof [with interest the thereon at 10 percent over and above normal commercial bank base lending rate as applicable from time to time since you improperly received these funds].”
This is further action by YAS after it took another matter to High Court which ordered Standard Bank Plc to freeze an account for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) through which the party allegedly received K145 million from Pioneer Investments Limited in the Malawi Police Service food rations deal.
YAS executive director Charles Kajoloweka said they are committed in fighting against the “stealing from the poor” by business moguls.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :