PAC summons Karim Batawarara, govt top brass over K54bn claim: HRDC wants Mutharika’s intervention

As African Commercial Agency and Reliance Trading Company owned by Abdul Karim Batawarara are demanding K53 billion from government , the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has  summoned the controversial Asian businessman and  Attorney General and some officials  to explain the legitimacy of agreement signed in March 2012.

PAC leadership with Menyani on centre summon Karim Batawalala

The two suppliers signed a K9 billion contract with the Immigration Department to supply uniforms but failed to honour the deal  only to start delivery five years later and are now demanding K53 billion, which is more than five times the agreed amount.

In a letter  dated January 18 2019 seen by Nyasa Times signed by chairperson of PAC, Alekeni Menyani,  top government officials in Immigration, the Attorney General and Secretary to the Treasury as well as director of the two companies to appear before  the committee on February 1 2019.

“You are ordered to come and appear before the Parliament Committee on Public Accounts at Parliament Building along the Presidential Drive on Friday February 1 2019 to give evidence on the legitimacy of the payment claim totalling K53.9 billion for the supply and delivery of Immigration uniforms and other accessories to the Immigration Department,” reads the letter in part.

The letter states that PAC is invoking its powers according to Section 9 of the National Assembly (Powers and Privilege Act) to summon the government officials and directors or secretaries of Africa Commercial Agency and Reliance Trading Company.

In a related development, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has  asked President  Peter Mutharika  to  ask  the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Fiscal Police and the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) to investigate  Karim Batawarara and his two firms for possible corruption and fraud.

“Where there is reason to believe that crimes occurred; security agencies should arrest and prosecute suspects,” reads part of the statement.

The statement was signed by the group’s national chairperson Timothy Mtambo, his deputy Gift Trapence and regional chairpersons Happy Mhango (North), Madalitso Banda (East), Masauko Thawe (South) and Billy Mayaya (Centre).

HRDC also want PPDA to immediately disbar the two companies and any firms associated with Batawarara from participating in any public tender in Malawi.

The grouping also want government to suspend all current contracts that Africa Commercial Agency and Reliance Trading Company or any firms associated with Batawarara until the two companies are cleared.

“Should the Malawi Government not act on the above, HRDC will assume that the administration is in consort with the suppliers that want to reap from poor Malawians where they did not sow.

“Should that be the case, HRDC shall include this as one of the demands in the upcoming demonstrations in March 2019.”

The matter was first revealed by Nyasa Times and the leading daily, The Nation newspaper has followed up reporting that after signing the contract in 2012, nothing came through from the suppliers and the Immigration Department concluded that the companies’ silence on the order had invalidated the contract.

But on August 1 2017, the department got separate letters from the two companies both dated July 31 2017 with identical message that the goods the department had ordered would be in Malawi “within the next three weeks” and asked the authorities to facilitate duty free clearance from the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) for the consignments.

This shocked the department because as far as it was concerned the contracts were no longer valid in view of the five years that elapsed without receiving the goods.

The department then wrote the Attorney General (AG) on August 2 2017 seeking legal advice and the AG advised it to reject the goods based on the lapsed time, forcing the suppliers to resort to courts where government is now fighting the matter.

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bingu
Guest

Abdul karim Batatawala is the most crooked of the Indians in Malawi and his fellow Indians don’t like him.To begin with Mr Abdul Karim Batatawala owns Lido Eletricals,L&G and Engineering company, African Commercial Agency, Reliance Trading company .He is very dangerous guys -he can kill (moves with a guy in his car and his office) , he can corrupt, he can also make you fall in trouble whle is standing there watching you but in the end he is the beneficiary . ESCOM at escom Abdul Karim Batataawalaa has brought down escom , he is the contributing factor to these… Read more »

bingu
Guest

he own 200 fully furnished house in Blantyre under pamodzi trust. plus the office complex between polytechnic annex and Trade fair opposite Leopard matches …

bingu
Guest

There is no Indian crook in Malawi than Abdul Karim Batatawala – I bet you! challenge me! we fellow Indians have been telling him that his time will come and IT HAS COME AND MALAWIANS WONT LET HIM GO! we

Sandawana
Guest
Sandawana

Even the Asian community knows that this guy is a crook.

Stanley Mdala
Guest
Stanley Mdala

Malawians these contract scandals are just tips of the iceberg of how much tax payers money is been earned by corrupt practices. Look at Chaponda how much money was found in his house. How about Muli the money he claimed from the government.?How about the Mk70 billion claim from the Secretary General of the DPP?So how much money is been taken from the invisibly deals that we don’t know about in the background.?Let all good loving and patriotic Malawians get rid of these big thieves in Malawi. This wastage of tax payers money would have developed Malawi clinics and schools… Read more »

benjones
Guest

VERY TRUE

Yami
Guest
Yami

This is daylight State Cupture of Malawi. This is not corruption but Crime against Humanity.

Mlakaviwa
Guest
Mlakaviwa

Abale Uniform za Immigration mupaka 54billion Kwacha!!!!!!!!

UK Resident
Guest
UK Resident

Deport him back where he came from.

benjones
Guest

But PAC summoned Tayub and Chaponda and they were set free. This man is known thief. Hope this time round PAC will act accordingly.

Chifundo
Guest
Chifundo

Pac summoning is not a trial. Tayub and Chaponda were summoned for maize gate which was found to be non-existent. Pac only gained allowances for making noises for nothing. They were set free because maizegate did not happen. Where there is misdemeanours people must be held accountable. Unfortunately our news agency are not always reliable

Khima
Guest
Khima

PAC now you have started working…Thumbs UP

chimanga
Guest

Professor Maliseche Muthalika ndi amwenye ako, mudzafa imfa yowawa

Duncan
Guest

GOVERNMENT CANNOT SURVIVE WITH THIS KIND OF STEALING. DPP IS IN STEALING PARTNERSHIP WITH THESE DANGEROUS MWENYES.
– K54.9bn CLAIM BY DPP THROUGH THIS MWENYE
– K70 bn CLAIM BY DPP THROUGH THIS LADY
– A LOT MORE bns CLAIM BY ANOTHER DANGEROUS BUSINESS PERSON.

PLEASE SPARE THIS COUNTRY, YOU THUGS.

Vinjenje
Guest
Vinjenje

Ndilo boma la a Lhomwe.Kuba basi.

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