MCP accepted US convicted criminal Kazembe for votes
The governing Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) overlooked the law and allowed a convicted criminal, Gerald Kazembe, who is presently the party’s Deputy Secretary General to contest as parliamentarian despite being aware that it was against the law.
Kazembe cheated his customers of US $3 million through his bogus car dealership in the State of Virginia before being arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He was successfully prosecuted and sentenced to a US federal prison for crimes related to trickery and fraud.
Nyasa Times has learnt that the 2019 Mangochi Monkey-Bay constituency parliamentary aspirant “sweet-talked” the party’s leadership who deliberately did ignored basic vetting processes. MCP is known to have the most stringent vetting intelligence among all parties in the country.
Questions have also been raised about MEC scrutiny and vetting processes as they failed to capture Kazembe’s convictions with a a simple Google search.
“The development is worrisome. How can the two institutions both get it so wrong?” wondered James Mhango, Executive Director for Centre for Public Transparency.
Kazembe lost to Ralph Jooma, a former minister of Transport in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government but is still challenging the latter’s victory in the High Court.
Nyasa Times has learnt that the MCP central committee including party Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka, a savvy internet user, knew about Kazembe’s convictions and ineligibility to hold a public office but chose to cast a blind eye.
At the party’s elective indaba in 2018, Kazembe was allowed to contest for top positions and was appointed deputy social welfare director in MCP’s central committee.
In November 2020, he was promoted to his current position by President Chakwera. Nyasa Times has been told that no vetting process took place prior to his promotion.
The wealthy 46-year-old replaced Salim Bagus who had joined the DPP after the 2019 polls.
“At the time, we were desperate for votes, and since he is well resourced and was becoming popular, we decided to use him. it is likely that vetting did not take place to avoid uncovering what some thought to be rumours,” a highly placed source, who is MCP’s senior member, said in an interview.
One person who was swindled US$ 6000 for a car which Kazembe never delivered, launched a blog in 2011 with an aim of warning others not to fall prey to the latter’s tricks.
He described Kazembe as a “lying, crooked, dishonest common thief.”
A June 2012 newsletter from the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board in Virginia, published that in May 2009, Kazembe was convicted of selling a vehicle without a title.
“On a subsequent application for a sales license he answered “no” to the question concerning having been convicted of any criminal act involving the business of selling motor vehicles. An informal fact-finding conference was convened and at its November 2011 meeting, the Board revoked Mr. Kazembe’s salesperson certificate of qualification.
“This decision was appealed. For the formal hearing the Board also presented evidence against Mr. Kazembe and his alleged involvement in consumer complaints and payments from the Transaction Recovery Fund when he was a licensed salesperson with Automix. (A closed dealership.)
“Based on the information provided at the formal hearing, the Board voted to revoke all licenses and certificates issued by the Board to Mr. Kazembe and to levy a civil penalty of $48,000.00,” the newsletter said.
Despite a disturbing criminal record, Nyasa Times has learnt that Kazembe is “quite polite, humble and a selfless giver” – social attributes that make him very popular in the MCP’s politburo.
But Section 51 (2) (c) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi bars any person who has been convicted in the last seven years from standing for any public office.
It reads: “Notwithstanding subsection (1), no person shall be qualified to be nominated or elected as a member of Parliament who has within the last seven, been convicted by a competent court of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude.”
In October 2020, Nyasa Times reported that the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) slapped Kazembe with a K80 million tax bill arrears.
MRA said in a letter to Kazembe – who runs a beverages wholesale and distributor company – that he had neither been paying nor submitting VAT and its returns respectively.
“Such being the case, we calculated VAT on sales from July 2018 up to January 2019 before the acquisition of the distributorship business from Castel (Mw Ltd),” the letter to Kazembe had read in part.
MRA said during the period from July 2018 to January 2019, Kazembe’s records were scanty, insufficient and not summarized, saying such being the case, the tax collecting body considered only VAT on the sales Kazembe had been depositing with Ecobank during the period.
The calculated VAT to be paid to MRA, according to the letter, was K80 810 450.56.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
You see now comes around goes around you ask for it
What happens in Vegas stays there. Za USA zakozo zikhale konkonko. Charles Taylor the former Liberian President was not just convicted in the USA but he also escaped from a Federal Prison – boom he became the President of Liberia.
We said it, Mcp is a party of crooks. We are going nowhere as a country.
Malawian jealousy too much, that’s his past he saved and Life has to go on…
His next to POWER that’s his hardwork we have Criminals in DPP, UTM, MCP too.
So someone wants the Post Deputy Secretary General of MCP hehehe
NJala Nthenda Nanjeeee
If he was convicted in 2009, it means (using the the act you have quoted Section 51 (2) c ) the guy came eligible to stand in 2016 and in this cae he contested in 2019 so mukuti chnai apa?
This sounds more of personal than proffessional.Mr reporter,do you have personal issues with the guy??
But even you, u are internet user but u couldn’t write this until now, why? Where were you in 2019.
Tsano izinso ndiye chani? Milandu yakunja singagwire kuno ku nyasa bola munthu kukhala ndi khusa basi.
It’s over 7 years since conviction so it’s okay.