Vocal Rumphi East Member of Parliament (MP) Kamlepo Kalua on Thursday raised a motion for Ministry of Foreign Affairs to comment why the Indian High Commission in Lilongwe has been demanding diplomatic immunity for deported Chandrashaker More an Indian businessman.
More evaded K20 million which he owed Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and had been jumping bail granted by the Malawian court. He was also accused of uttering racial slurs to police officers and a Magistrate.
The Indian despite owing the public tax collector and breaking the law still wants to be treated in a special way because he has money and can be regarded as an investor.
Kalua said it is “very surprising” that a Malawian cannot be treated with kids’ gloves for breaking the law and evading tax both locally or even in India, yet Moore wants “special” treatment.
“It is very surprising that a persona non gratta in the country is asking through Indian High Commission to give him high powered security which is VIP treatment. That’s very strange,” said Kalua.
He was apparently referring to a letter which Indian High Commission sought for security escort for Moore and his Indian lawyer.
“This is the same person who was shouting racists’ remarks at Malawi Police officers and dragging State House into disrepute,” said Kalua.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Francis Kasaila promised to respond to the concerns.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services deported More because he was not a law abiding foreigner.
Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) spokesperson Steven Kapoloma said despite the Indian deportation, MRA will use lawful ways to recover the money he owed the body.
Kapoloma, who is corporate Affairs director, said they could consider appointing an agent such as a bank to recover the money on MRA’s behalf for the money he has within Malawi.
More’s lawyer Justin Dzonzi said the Indian was on court bail on the tax evasion matter, left for India in 2015 after the court allowed him to travel but fell sick while there and his business permit expired in October 2015, meaning he could not have returned without applying for one.
The Indian, who owns a company in the name of Mansi International, has challenged that he will come back to Malawi by all means necessary.
A governance lobby group, Forum for National Development (FND) through its director Fyson Chodzi asked government not to let the businessman be treated as above Malawi laws.
“Malawi – being a constitutional democracy- demands that all citizens be equal under the supreme law of the land regardless of race, tribe and creed. We understand Mr More has been shielded by the Indian High Commission in Malawi thereby facilitating his jumping bail. This is an act in contempt of the law of the land. The FND hereby calls on government to see to it that Mr More is brought in to face all charges related to his misdoings,” reads part of the statement.
The lobby group says it is also troubled by the conduct of Moore for insulting police officers during his re-arrest at Lilongwe Magistrate Court.
“We are also concerned with how Mr More reacted to his arrest by using vulgar and demeaning language towards law enforcers. It is not right for him or any other person to call police officers ‘plebeians’ and challenging them that he would be out of police cell within 48 hours owing to his connections.
“Further to that we understand that the businessman insulted the Magistrate, which led to the case coming up for hearing on Thursday. We find such arrogance unacceptable and demeaning to our judicial officers,” FND also adds.
“Such a vile conduct vindicates our fears that Mr More relies on his connections with either people at the Indian High Commission or within Malawi Government to cut corners in his operations.”
The group says it will stay focused on the issue to the end as they want to see justice prevail.
Of late indigenous Malawians have been complaining that Malawians of Asian origin and Indian businesses are treated with kid gloves when it comes to trade and tax rules. FND’s stand therefore comes as a new wave of lobbying for fair trade practices to all Malawians and investors.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :