Mutharika alleges being victim of identity fraud in Malawi cement-gate scandal

Former president Peter Mutharika has denied instructing his personal bodyguard Norman Chisale for the controversial importation of K5 billion worth of cement allegedly using Mutharika duty-free status for sitting presidents.

Mutharika. To accept results for the sake of peaceI neither bought nor instructed anyone to buy or import the cement in question..-Photo: Thoko Chikondi, AP

Chisale was arrested by Fiscal Police and  faces fraud and money laundering charges as he is alleged to have used Mutharika’s taxpayer identification number to facilitate the transactions.

According to particulars of the offences, Chisale during the years 2018 and 2019 “by deceit or other fraudulent means imported 800 000 bags of cement without paying duty thereby causing a pecuniary detriment of 5 billion Malawi kwacha to the Government of Malawi.”

But  in  a statement released on Friday and made available to Nyasa Times, former president Mutharika appears to be distancing himself to the importation of the cement from Zambia and Zimbabwe using the duty free status that presidents enjoy to import goods for personal use.

Reads the statement signed by  Linda Salanjira the personal secretary to Mutharika denied to have bought nor instructed anyone to buy or import the cement in question.

“Accordingly, the former president did not, as he could not, request the Malawi Revenue Authority to invoke any of his privileges to clear the alleged consignment of cement duty- free.

“Further, the former President was never at any point undertaking any construction project (s) requiring such substantial volumes of cement,” reads the statement in part.

Fiscal Police also arrested businessperson Shaffe Chunara, owner of Prestige Imports and Exports, in connection with the controversial K5 billion duty-free cement saga.

Chunara reportedly told the police “the truth” on how he got the cement that impliucates the former president’s aides and MRA.

But Mutharika in a statement said: “In any event, the former president does not operate any business to sell cement on retail or wholesale.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the former president did not have any dealings with the alleged cement traders either personally or through a third party.”

Written correspondence between State Residences and MRA indicated that through former director general of State Residences Peter Mukhito, Mutharika asked the public tax collector to facilitate clearance of the cement duty-free.

In his statement, Mutharika spears to be distancing himself from the cement-gate, paying way for his personal legal defence.

Observers say Mutharika could not be called as a witness to testify against his aides because the former president is saying he is a victim of identity fraud.

Police also arrested former Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) deputy commissioner general Roza Mbilizi in connection with cement-gate scandal.

Before Mutharika was ousted from power in the June 23 fresh presidential election, State House and MRA on June 16 justified the transaction as “within the law”, as it was for personal use.

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JustinTug
1 year ago

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Pachalo
Pachalo
1 year ago

APM says he did not anything about billions of Kwacha worth of cement imported in his name! But Ngeme his ex spokesman said the President I added inpoterd the cement and was legally using his privileges!Either way this is a very sad situation! Here is an old and tired former President who was used and abused by the people he trusted so much! APM cuts a very pathetic figure! He was not meant to be our leader this guy….he is better left alone to his private life. Am sure APM now is happier than when he was President. We saved… Read more »

Agulupa ku Statehouse

DPP shall slap MCP on the face again in 2025 like it did with the accidental acting president Joice Banda. DPP is a system. No more judicial coups in 2025 please . We vote as a country and it is not fair for five corrupt judges to rule against the will of the people by reversing election results the way the regime change judges handled the 2019 elections results.

Chakwera konzeka kusamuka, we want our government back .

Cashgate1
Cashgate1
1 year ago

Keep on dreaming! Hope this dream is not in black and white

Mina
Mina
1 year ago

Nkhani ngati izi ndizimene zinagwetsa Joice Banda Kuti adzitchedwa Mai cash gate , mbava zimene zimaba mdzina la president asakudziwa. Joice Banda anauza a IMF Kuti awafufuze amene amaba ndalama Za boma mapeto Ake anatchedwa madam cash gate, awa muwapatsa dzina lanji coz ndalama ndiye zabedwatu muulamulilo wao wa a pitalawa .opeleka Maina tiywni nazoni.

Mbola
Mbola
1 year ago

Mgeme Kalirani can you please explain this to the nation

Banda
Banda
1 year ago

Eish. What comes to mind – I paid for these buses out of my own pocket. If Mutharika can lie about a bus purchase what credibility does he have about cement when the Secretary of the Government has said no issue here Mutharika can buy cement duty free.

ChapaChapa Condemned Cells Zomba
ChapaChapa Condemned Cells Zomba
1 year ago
Reply to  Banda

I have been reading Nyasatimes for over 12 years. The above post is one of the most to the point and responsible ever.Thank you.

New Democrat
New Democrat
1 year ago

Police show your independence from political interference by bringing Old Fool Mutharika to account for saying that he paid for the 2 buses the cement gate and many other crimes.

Mbava
Mbava
1 year ago

A Maliseche akusambirani mmanja ma cadet! He just threw you under the rug

Revolutionary
Revolutionary
1 year ago
Reply to  Mbava

Bus you mean?😂😂

Fake Petros
Fake Petros
1 year ago
Reply to  Mbava

@Mbava
Whatever the case it just vindicates the fact that APM was not fit for office. How does the whole of the president not know all these massive looting and financial scandals?
Ma news amalemba, mabungwe were raising the red flag but APM was dismissive and arrogant. Appointing crooks in positions of influence. He shouldn’t cry foul today he didn’t know. No, no, no! He was in fact the architect and beneficiary of this mass looting. The PI scandal is just an example

nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
1 year ago

Amnesia kapena dementia kkkk mndhara wakunama uyu. m bale ace uja anfayu akanathandizana kuyantha with all the fraud looting of our monies. thank God amao anafa kale she would have been more mentally disturbed for bearing these 2 bastard rats .
liars

VanessaGak
1 year ago

A Surprise Bag, Zara Haul & How I Self TanAmelia Liana

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
1 year ago

Shall we say sleeping on the wheel? We all along said that the country was on autopilot during nkhalambas rule, didn’t we? That aside, didn’t we have his people defending him to the effect that he was entitled to duty free imports? Hence his argument doesn’t hold water and I believe the net is closing in now.

I.I.
I.I.
1 year ago

You mean Chisale bought the two buses from Peter’s pocket? How can you fail to understand that Peter is a crook? He was the master crook. His subordinates just perfected the art of crookery to suit the master.

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