Parliament to start probe of Malawi ‘Guptas’ in K567.8m claim

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC)  will from Saturday  start investing a a K567 million interest payout controversy involving food supplier Pioneer Investments and Malawi Police Service (MPS), suspecting fraud with an arrest impending on the suppliers.

PAC chairperson Alekeni Menyani said circumstances of the case point to possible fraud; hence, his committee will summon all the players involved to investigate the matter

Nyasa Times  first reported recently that the Auditor General  Stevenson Kamphasa was  “bulldozed” to authorise a payment to a company owned by filthy rich Asians, Pioneer Investment for 500 000 units of food rations it supplied to Police.

The company is claiming K567 million in interest for what it says was late payment from January 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 for goods which were supplied  to government after receiving advance payment.

The matter was later picked up by Weekend Nation newspaper  and then Daily Times newspaper also followed it up.

Meanwhile, PAC chairperson Alekeni Menyani saidhis committe has summoned Inspector General (IG) of the Malawi Police Service (MPS), Lexten Kachama, and Treasury officials to explain.

The committee has also summoned Pioneer Investments managing director Zamir Karim to appear for questioning.

“You are ordered to come and appear before the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts at Parliament Building, to give evidence on the legitimacy of your interest claim totalling K567,866,013.38 for the delay in payment for the supply and delivery of rations packs to Malawi Police Service,” the letter reads of summoning in part.

The PAC chairperson said the payment controversy is “an indication of  continued  Cashgate (plunder of resources at Capital Hill).

The food supplier insists there is nothing wrong with their interest claim but Menyani said the committee feels Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa was forced to authorise the payment for the 500,000 units of food rations that Pioneer Investments supplied to police.

The Treasury stopped the interest payment after the initial authorisation by the Auditor General, Attorney General and the police.

Menyani emphasised that Pac is doing all the probes in ministries, divisions, corporations and other independent and semi- autonomous bodies.

“My committee will do everything possible to probe and examine all queries in Auditor General’s reports, without fear or favour,” Menyani said.

Menyani faulted Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe on the matter and urged graft-busting body, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to launch their own criminal investigations.

According to documents in possession of Nyasa Times, the company is claiming K567 million in interest for what it says was late payment from January 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 for goods which were supplied  to government after receiving advance payment.

Initially, the Auditor General rejected  the claim on interest, according to a memo seen by Nyasa Times dated  12 September 2017 reference number Aud/conf/03 but there has been change of heart following political pressure.

According to the contract, the agreement was for K2.3 billion to deliver food rations within 20 weeks starting from the day the contract was signed.

The contract, which was for supply of corned beef, energy biscuits, energy juice and pilchards, has no specific interest clause.

Finance Minister  Gondwe   confirmed that after being asked to audit the interest payment query by Pioneer Investments, NAO initially authorised Treasury to pay the interest.

“That’s correct; the Auditor General first said ‘pay,’ and now they are saying ‘don’t pay’. We wrote the National Audit Office, after they said ‘pay them the interest,’ because—in our records—this company was paid in time and in full,” Gondwe said as quoted in the press.

According to Deputy Inspector General of Police Duncan Mwapasa , the Police advised Treasury not to pay the claim.

He also insisted that there was “no clause about paying the supplier interest if we delay to pay the sum”.

Pioneer Investment is run by a  wealthy Malawian of Asian decent  family of Zahir Karim accused of wielding undue influence through its links to Finance Minister Gondwe.

Like the notorious Guptas of South Africa, the Karim family  is controlling some  state affairs as the the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government continues to be facinf allegations of corruption amid a worsening  unemployment

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Hatton
Guest

Hon Menyani, please do not forget MCP’s illegal water connection on your menu. As a desert, please include an obscenely expensive house being constructed at maula which made well meant Malawians wonder the source of funding for such construction. Hon Menyani, that is the only way to prove objectivity in your commendable job and Malawians will begin taking you seriously.

ndele
Guest

yes ce muluzi as nsilamu nde ndi amwaenye anakupatililana. fufuzani ku SA MA investments, ku UK ku Lester
azizao a ce mpinganjila omwe ali ndi manyumba ku UK ana ao akukhala mmanyumba osalipila ma rent misonkho yathu ikugwila ncitotu. tanfuseni baba muluzi nde poti munati mlandu alibe. werenganiko za AUSWISHIE MMNE akuwazengela milandu ma dala a mma over 90 years koma ife tikumanga ana olongosola dziko mtsogolo, kusiya omwe akufa soon. Indeed SHITHOLE MMAYOOO, it sucks

mjiba
Guest

Bvuto si a mwenye zoona a Police angadye zakudya za MK2.3 billion ?? akuba si amwenyewa ndi njira chabe kupolisi nthawi zonse kukhuzidwa ndi nkhani zakatangale. Choncho katangale angathe mudziko ngati a Police ali patsogolo kumalumikizana ndi a mwenye kubera boma??? mpaneni mwenyeyu awulula kuti ndalamazi amagawana ndi ndani???? chodabwitsa ndichokuti a Police angoti Phee osanenapo kanthu. Ngati akuti padalibe nkhani ya interest bwanji kalata imasayinidwa kupoliceko yokhuza ma interest? Amangeni amweneyewo ngati kalata ili ya fake hahah zoona a Police mukudya energy biscuits, energy juice, corned beef and pilchards hahahaha kuba mopusa

Angoni apaphata
Guest

Kwa kamba tinkavina myimbo yotchedwa dziko. Kumapeto kwake amati titokota za escom. Mavutowa si a lero nkhani ndi yosankha mbuli zosathandiza

Waku Gauteng
Guest

The notorious Gupta family are finally ring fenced and sun setting on them in RSA. I believe it has always been the trend of many Indian business men in Malawi since independence. The sad part is that we have never taken unscrupulous Indian business men to task. It’s business as usual and these guys even treats our locals badly when they employ them. Anthu a boma dzukani. Mwatani? You have thrown away the country to the lowest bidder

Gawa
Guest

Dada Gondwe at your age you still think corruption is a way forward. You dont feel ashamed when poor people suffer with no food to eat. Shithole Nations that let foolish indians to steal from government coffers apa Trump atukwanadi

Malawian Guptas
Guest

I like the headline….. “… Malawi Guptas…” kikik! I think Nyasatimes is now fast evolving into an incredible newspaper. Well done guys keep it up!

Bastards
Guest

why does the paper even class them as wealthy family!!! These dogs came here with nothing, ALL of them came to Africa as slaves working in sugar fields and now they have stolen all the money in broad day light!!! I mean it when I say a law must be passed for them so that all African governments seize all the stolen money and freeze all they stolen assets,,,

Mphaka
Guest

Who do you blame? You have always clapped hands for stupid politicians and kept on voting them to power. This poor country needs a fresh revolution against all politicians and government that has made Malawi a poorest nation for ages. Look at Iran, Tunisia? Revolution is a force to get of this mess otherwise these so called government officials will continue to plunder all the donations and the only country resources.

Ismail Bwanali
Guest
You need a reality check bro it takes two hands to clap if there is corruption then the other party has to agree to the deal so it make two criminals on the supplier and the other the buyer. If the authorities where so honest then we would not be having any issues of corruption. Today’s malawi we don’t need to offer Fanta the authorities ask for Fanta themselves whether you are wrong or right. Every department is corrupt. So no need to blame one side for what’s happening in our country. I’m sure some Malawian businesses are following the… Read more »
Mphaka
Guest

The problem is that most of the scandals the Head of State has a stake and to investigate this matter will end on a hard stone unless and independent body is summoned to do so. Do not forget amakugwiritsa chikwama kuti uthule (usatokote).

Bastards
Guest

Enough of these bloody Indians!!!!!!!! Where is IDI AMIN to get rid of these pigs!!! We need them out at all costs!! They have stolen enough from our country. They are just stinking dogs!! They ALL must go back to BOMBAY!!! A law must be passed specially for them, when they steal we must hang them!!! ENOUGHHHHHHH!!

Jacob
Guest

Our beloved country got very limited revenue collection means. .we can no longer allow the grafted fellows to continue looting our country through few corrupt individuals who got No heart for an already limping economy. .think of an ordinary citizen who can not even manage 50 kwacha somewhere in the remote village. …shame on you…Asians allowing u to be part of us..it’s not crime. .we’re watching you..one day is one day. ..you will pay back. .u came empty u will go empty..

Mphaka
Guest
Malawian Asians have been there for ages. It is unfair to blame them. In black and white, we need to blame our fellow black Malawians. Malawians in general are greedy people who do not care about their fellow Malawians. When Bakili tookover leadership he sold most of government entities to Malawian Indians which did not benefit the nation. This included the railway, Tea Estates etc. Indians take advantage of our own weakness. A total revolution will bring a reform to Malawian governance policies and power back to the people. Friends of our leadership will continue to plunder as long as… Read more »
Ian
Guest
If African countries in need of urgent development such as Malawi had any sense, they would invite White people to come and settle in the country long term on favourable terms (and PROTECT them, AND their property), and to make their lives there, and bring much needed skills, jobs and administrative experience. They should also hire in, or contract out government services to White specialists to provide operational leadership of government departments in order to turn them around and upskill local people in these departments. Malawi needs a skilled visa program to attract White human capital from Australia, NZ, Europe,… Read more »
Mphaka
Guest
You have valid points. Your concern is genuine. When you have looked for help from your own family and nothing seem to be working, you resort to people outside your family for help. This is desperation. Our country has reached a state whereby you cry and tears do not come down. The problem is that we have praised stupid governments. When elections are being conducted we vote the same people who have been stealing in government for decades. The Malawi political arena needs total reshuffle. We need to phase out all old politicians and replace them with new blood and… Read more »
Ian
Guest
Any country – any country, and that includes Malawi, can go from Least Developed, to Fully Developed, within 45 years. The fact that Malawi has not (and has probably actually gone backward in some respects – corruption and transparency, but also dire poverty) is a damning indictment of the Malawian Political Class. There were mistakes galore made with Colonialism – without question. But had Malawi and other African states remained Colonies, they wouldn’t be in the state they are now – there is no question about that. Consider this, what would the population be like in Sub Saharan Africa, be… Read more »

More From Nyasatimes