Head of State Peter Mutharika is being accused of lying in his presidential declaration of assets, overestimating the value of his house which is located in Missouri in the United States of America.
A house Mutharika said he bought at the price US$750 000 in 1982 – according to his assets declaration made public mid this month – costs less than US$300 000, Nyasa Times has established.
An agent in the US said houses like Mutharika’s, with the same structure and facilities, are currently being sold at around US$250 000.
Mutharika, his deputy Saulos Chilima, former president Joyce Banda, Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya and leader of opposition Lazarous Chakwera have made their assets public in accordance with the country’s constitution.
In his assets documents, Malawi leader declared to the Director of Public Assets Declaration what critics says it’s an overestimating the value of his house located in Missouri.
According to the President he bought his property in 1982 at U$750,000 at an address 81st Louis MO63105 in 250 Brentwood.
More information Nyasa Times sourced from, www.homes.com, a US portal into house selling business, corroborated our source’s estimation of houses in Brentwood.
A snapshot check on the site showed that the range of most houses in the neighborhood range between US$125 000 and US$300 000.
Mutharika claimed he purchased the house using savings from his savings as a university professor. The incumbent president taught law for many years across the world for more than forty years before joining politics.
Aside the US house, Mutharika also disclosed he owns a house in Area 10 Ulemu Drive and another in Nyambadwe, Blantyre number NY 453.
Special aide to President Mutharika, Ben Phiri, dismissed assertions that the wealth declared may be exaggerated. Asked if the President can explain how he attained his wealth, Phiri said the law does not provide such provision.
“The law says he should declare and it does not say that he should explain what he declared,” said Phiri.
Director of Public Officers’ Declarations (DPOD) Christopher Tukula has since warned that those that might have doctored assets in their declarations will have to face the long arm of the law as physical verifications are expected to be done soon.
Mutharika alsi declared that he had about $10 million deposited in banks in Malawi and the United States.
The details of his declared wealth show that Mutharika had a number of bank accounts both within and outside Malawi containing close to 4 billion Malawi kwacha (roughly $10 million) in cash.
The Malawi leader has over $8 million in two U.S. bank accounts. In Malawi, Mutharika has about $1.7 million at a local bank, along with a fleet of nine vehicles that he reportedly bought between 2001 and 2014.
Section 88 of Malawi’s constitution requires presidents and cabinet ministers to declare their assets – and those of their spouses – within three months of their election or appointment.
However, the declarations were postponed after Malawi’s Office of the Director of Public Officers Declarations gave public officials until December 31, 2014 to make them.
The idea behind the declaration of assets by elected or appointed officers is to check whether whatever assets they acquire while in office is commensurate with the perks of their offices.
Late president Bingu wa Mutharika, who died suddenly of cardiac arrest in 2012, had in May 2004 declared his wealth to be around K150 million. However, in an assessment of his estate after his death valued his wealth at K61 billion.
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