Malawi Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale has stressed that he is not in the wrong after the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), reportedly sought to find out if any abuse of office after the K150 million government paid to a client of a law firm he previously owned.
“My conscience is clear. I have not exerted any influence in the payments and these payments started before I was appointed Attorney General. I do not personally handle such matters
“I am no longer managing the company since I was appointed as Attorney General and such matters are being handled by Mr. Ted Loka. Again at the ministry in the matters that I have interests such as this one, the chief legal advocate and the senior deputy chief advocate or even the solicitor general as a general player handle such issues,” said Kaphale as quoted in the Nation on Sunday.
According to the newspaper report, Kalekeni Kaphale Lawyers’ legal firm settled out of court a dispute government had with its client M and I Building Enterprise who were accusing Malawi Defence Force of defaulting payment on a construction contract in 2010.
Government agreed to pay owners of M and I Enterprise and Three Rivers Trading contractors the money as part of the settlement and the sum included payment for the work conducted plus accumulated interest and legal fees for the lawyers.
Kaphale told the paper that the AG’s office has no interest in how payments should be made, saying there are no records indicating he had a hand in any of the payments.
He said: “I did nothing wrong.”
The AG explained that government is now paying several people it owes huge amounts of money and suggested that the ACB interest could have resulted from a Finance Intelligence Unit’s (FIU) rapid response of issuing an alert for any payments rising above the K1 million threshold.