President Peter Mutharika has angrily challenged Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament to go ahead and investigate the K61 billion wealth of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, the late brother to the president, saying their probe will yield nothing in relation to corruption.
The committee vowed to investigate allegations that part of the late Bingu’s riches were illegally obtained and that he stashed some money in foreign bank accounts.
PAC chairperson Alekeni Menyani confirmed they are pursuing the matter and will even engage Transparency International, a global corruption watchdog.
But President Mutharika on Wednesday called the probe a political tactics to torment his family.
He said the investigations into late brother Bingu wa Mutharika was launched by former president Joyce Banda and the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Ralph Kasambara SC – currently imprisoned on conspiracy to commit murder.
According to Mutharika the investigation carried by the Banda administration yielded nothing.
“Mr Ralph Kasambara and Joyce Banda they searched all over the world, they found nothing,” said Mutharika in an angrily tonne.
He told the parliamentary oversight committee to “go ahead “with the investigation, saying “you will find nothing.”
Said Mutharika: “Investigate or shut up.”
He added: “Stop torturing my late brother and my family. Go ahead to investigate and you will be ashamed you will find nothing.”
Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Lucas Kondowe said indeed the bureau instituted investigations into Mutharika’s wealth but it did not yield “any results requiring following up as of now.”
Kondowe said: “The ACB did institute an inquiry into the alleged accumulation of wealth of the former president (Bingu wa Mutharika) through an international inquiry using international requests for information and that inquiry has not yielded any results requiring following up as of now.”
President Mutharika also challenged that they can include him in the investigation on corruption allegations and they will not find and cashgate footprints.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Mzimba West Harry Mkandawire (People’s Party-PP) raised the issue of Mutharika’s wealth in the National Assembly.
Late Mutharika’s wealth was established by YMW Property Investment Limited after his death in 2012, and has become talk of scrutiny as Mutharika had declared his wealth to be about K150 million ($209 790) in assets both in Malawi and Zimbabwe.
Mutharika deposited the records with Parliament in August, 2004.
After seven years at the helm of government, he was a proud owner of farms in Kasungu, Salima, Mitundu- Bunda, and the most famed glamorous Ndata Estate. This is apart from real estates in Lilongwe and Blantyre including one brought from former president Bakili Muluzi.
Mutharika reportedly also owned a hotel, a villa and a yatch in Portugal. He was also founder and chairman of the Bineth Trust and the Bingu Silver-grey Foundation. He is also the founder of the Malawi University of Science and Technology on his Ndata estate land.
There have allegations by opposition politicians that funds stashed in offshore accounts belonging to the ex-president – part of it was illegally obtained – and should be brought back and utilised towards recovering the country’s ailing economy.
PAC Vice-chairperson Kamlepo Kalua said they want to trace the money to the countries where the accounts are held and then probe the source of that money as well as probe into Mutharika’s local business interests.
Malawi Law Society (MLS) backed calls for a probe into former president Mutharika’s billions.
John Suzi Banda, MLS President, said that citizens of the southern African country had a right to know if money was looted during Mutharika’s tenure as president from 2004 until his sudden death in 2012.
MP Mkandawire, while presenting copies of a document containing allegations regarding Mutharika’s accumulated wealth, blew the whistle on Portuguese multidisciplinary engineering group Mota Engil that it has been front runners in providing bribes to grease the wheels of government contracts.
He highlighted that some of his money was accumulated through inducements from Mota Engil.
Mota Engil made separate cheque payments to the late president wa Mutharika personal accounts at some commercial banks from as low as K1 million (about $4 000) to as high as K10 million (about $40 000) at a time.
Among others, Mota-Engil made the cheque deposits into the late president’s personal bank account number 0140001886701 at Capital City Branch of Standard Bank.
One cheque worth K10 million was deposited into Mutharika’s Standard Bank account number 0140001886701 on March 3 2010.
On the deposit slip, the depositor only identified himself as Mota-Engil, but the signature is the same as the one on an FMB cheque number 9480 belonging to Mota-Engil. The other signature on the three cheques is for managing director Antonmarco Zorzi.
The other two cheques are numbered 12570 (worth K2.5 million) and 12571 (worth K1 million). These cheques were written on March 24 2011.
The other two cheques are numbered 12570 (worth K2.5 million) and 12571 (worth K1 million). These cheques were written on March 24 2011.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :