President Peter Mutharika’s used an interview program on the state controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) on Thursday which pleaded innocent to the contentious K145 million donation suspected to have been proceeds of crime in much-publicised Malawi Police Service (MPS) food rations scam.
The K145 million payout to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was deposited by Pioneer Investment Limited in a bank account for which President Mutharika is a sole signatory.
Anti Corruption Bureau investigation report showed that PI Limited made an abortive interest claim of K466 million from Police and deposited the controversial K145 million into the DPP bank account at Standard Bank.
Mutharika responded to questions by veteran journalist Vincent Khonyongwa, the newly promoted
acting director of News and Current Affairs in Talk to the President programme.
The President said in the 30-minute recorded interview that the K145 million was an “honest’’ donation which his party announced it will refund the funds, saying he did not know the donation is suspected to have been proceeds of a crime.
PI Limited deposited the funds in the DPP account immediately after getting a K2.7 billion payment for police food rations contract.
Mutharika said he was a victim of a political smear campaign ahead of nex year’s elections.
“I know of a few individuals who were sent by other parties to tarnish my name and the DPP,” he said.
“All over the world people receive donations and it is normal for people to receive donations,” stressed Mutharika.
But Mutharika said the graft-busting body were free to carry out investigations, saying he would never interfere with the bureau.
Said Mutharika: “I do not interfere in the ACB. Never. Interfere for what?”
During the interview program there a few gaffes as President Mutharika mentioned banks long ago closed as those processing civil servants housing scheme.
For instance, when he was asked about loans for a housing scheme for lower grade civil servants, Mutharika answered with confidence that he was talking to Indebank and other banks when in actual fact Indebank folded up in the country years back.
Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)—listed National Bank of Malawi (NBM) recapitalized Indebank Limited from retail to development banking. Indebank was established in 1972 and derives its name from Investment and Development Bank Limited—the original name at the time of its founding.
The aired program was heavily edited with most of the materials which Mutharika initially said and were in the promotion material were edited out.
MBC edited out his responses to vice president Saulos Chilima’s pledge that he would create one million jobs once voted into power as well as the part in which he said it was normal for a chief executive offiver of a company or organization to be a sole bank account signatory.
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