President Peter Mutharika returns home from a high level Comesa summit held in Zambia just to find demands from rights activists to refund to government K145 million that was deposited into a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) account by Pioneer Investments (PI) Limited for which he is the sole signatory, or risk a civil lawsuit.
The money was allegedly fraudulently acquired from the Malawi Police Service (MPS) food rations deal.
Mutharika is reported to have not been aware about the investigations of the deal and the deposit in the account by his handler at the time.
The President dismissed the matter when it came to light as “fake news” but when he was told the deposits were made without disclosing details of the donor into a party account, he asked law enforcing agencies to investigate without fear or favour.
The Human Rights Defenders (HRD) have since instructed lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa to commence legal action against President Mutharika should he fail to give back the money to government coffers within five days.
“We are duly informed that the said funds which are the subject to the said deliberate withdrawal by you are funds which came from a fraudulent transaction between Pioneer Investments and officers of the Malawi Police Service,” says the letter from Mwafulirwa to President Mutharika.
The letter says the K145 million was intended to benefit and must have been used to the benefit of Malawians.
The activists, through lawyer Mwafulirwa say that the opening of the bank account with only himself as the sole signatory, the subsequent deposit of the funds into the account by Pioneer Investments and the subsequent withdraws from the said account has nothing to do with his job as the President of the Republic of Malawi.
“We are of the informed view that the immunity you enjoy as Head of State does not extend to this transaction as this was a private transaction not related to the office you hold such that you do not enjoy any immunity on this respect,” says the letter in part.
The chairman of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition Gift Trapence confirmed the letter was authentic.
On Wednesday, Mzuzu-based Youth and Society (YAS) in two separate letters through Ritz Attorneys-at-Law to DPP and PI Ltd, demanded that the two institutions immediately refund or indicate how they intend to repay the said sums within two days..
YAS argues that the governing party is aware that the said money represents proceeds of a fraudulent sham procurement by MPS officers and Karim of PI Ltd.
“You are no doubt aware that the said moneys represent proceeds of a fraudulent sham procurement by officers at Malawi Police Service in conjunction with one Zameer Karim of Pioneer Investment that resulted in the sum of K466 000 000 of consolidated revenue being misappropriated under the so-called ration packs contract between the Malawi Police Service and Pioneer Investment, according to the leaked investigation report of the Anti-Corruption Bureau….
“Our client remains baffled that even after you, your party members and especially your party president/chairman learnt of the fraud that yielded the sum of K466 million, of which K145 million is considered a part of, you have not in good conscience refunded let alone committed to refund the moneys to government for the use and benefit of the people of Malawi,” reads the letter in part.
DPP secretary general Grazider Jeffrey refused to comment, saying State House already explained the alleged K145 million that Karim deposited into the DPP account was among donations deposited into the party’s headquarters construction project account.
A leaked dossier from the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) into the K2.7 billion MPS food rations scam indicates that PI Ltd made an abortive interest claim of K466 million and deposited K145 million into a DPP bank account at Standard Bank whose sole signatory is Mutharika.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :