Money boxes removed from Ndata Palace

While government workers and others were busy with final preparations for the burial of former President Bingu Mutharika at his Ndata Farm, some of his relatives were also busy removing money boxes from the Mausoleum, Nyasa Times can reveal.

We can reveal that Ben Phiri, Personal Assistant to Peter Mutharika led a convoy of cars into Ndata farm premises. He was driving new a grey Kia Sportage without any number plates. He was followed by a convoy of executive two Black Toyota Prados and two White Land cruisers. All these had no number plates.

There were also two new Toyota Corollas with registration numbers ‘MDF’ without any corresponding numbers. Normally all MDF cars are registered ‘MDF’ and a number i.e. MDF 1, MDF 425.

Peter Mutharika: Keeping late Bingu's 'stuff'

Impeccable sources who were at the scene on Thursday, April 19 when the remains of the late president were being flown from Mzuzu to Blantyre said when the convoy arrived at the Mausoleum; Phiri had a brief chat with a woman dressed in black who was in the lead car with MDF registration.

Then they drove at a very fast speed to the main house and came back with a man who was riding a motorbike and had a bunch of keys.

The man with a bunch of keys proceeded to open an adjacent door to the main doors of the Mausoleum where men in black suits started taking out black boxes, suspected to have contained money including foreign currency.

“They took the boxes to the Black Prados which were parked next to the Mausoleum and everyone was surprised what was going and also the speed in which the boxes were being put in the cars,” said our source.

Then slightly after 17.45 hours, Phiri led the convoy out of the Ndata premises and headed for Blantyre and they were driving at ‘a very fast speed’.

Sources said some of the boxes were kept at Peter Mutharika’s house in Nyambadwe in Blantyre while the other boxes are at undisclosed locations but within Blantyre.

“Those boxes contained something very special that these people wanted to move and it must have been nothing but money,” said the source who admitted that he did not see the contents of the boxes.

But a worker at Ndata said the boxes contained foreign currency as well as hard Malawian currency which were being kept at the Mausoleum as selected people were allowed in the building.

Sources said the only people that they could identify were former MBC boss Bright Malopa, former Malawi Ambassador to China Charles Namondwe who is also a relative to the late president and Admarc boss Charles Matabwa, another relation of the late Mutharika.

“I am sure they were caught unawares, what if with the other bags of money that were found at the New State House, they wanted to have this moved before people started coming to the place for the funeral,” said our source.

Phiri said he could not discuss his work with Nyasa Times.

“What’s wrong with you people? You want me to discuss my work with you? Zoona?” said Phiri before cutting the line.

Namondwe blasted Nyasa Times when called for his comment on the matter accusing Nyasa Times editors  of ‘holding parties when the president died’.

“I thought you were the ones who were celebrating when our president died? I can’t talk to you about that nonsense,” said Namondwe.

Matabwa refused to comment saying they are still mourning the death of Mutharika and will only give interviews at the end of the 40 day mourning period.

He wondered where Nyasa Times got the story.

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