President Mutharika – Prince of thieves

LILONGWE  (Muchanakhwaye Khwepeya, Malawi NewsNow ) – President Peter Mutharika received K145 million from proceedings of Pioneer Investments from fraud scheme of through a fraudulently awarded K2.3 billion contract at Malawi Police, according to a leaked document by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

In anticipation of committing fraud, President Mutharika opened a bank account  in 2015 of his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and he was the only signatory.

A few months  later a Mr Zameer Karim shared the loot from corruption and deposited K145 million through his aide Mr Paulos Chisale.

A day later Mutharika cashes K65 million from the account, according to official ACB report.

The report which is circulating on social media and was classified as secret shows that the money was defrauded from Malawi Government through a deal for the procurement of 500,000 ration packs.

According to the report, Malawi Police Service (MPS) awarded a K2.3 billion contract to Pioneer Investment for the procurement of food ration packs for MPS.

The company which is owned by Mr  Zameer Karim signed the contract with MPS in August 2017.
Six months later, the company asked for upward adjustment of the contract from K2.3 billion to K2.79 billion with the difference being K466 million. This was fraudulently approved by MPS Director of Finance Mr G.I Bottoman.

ACB also established that Bottoman and Karim connived to award Pioneer Investment the contract.

When Karim received payment for the supply of the packs in 2016, he deposited K145 million to a Democratic Progressive Party Standard Bank Account number 014003192200.

“His excellency President Peter Mutharika benefited K145,000,000 from proceedings of Pioneer Investment fraud scheme from Malawi Government through DPP account at Standard Bank to which he is a sole signatory,” says the report.

In the report which officials have indicated is a genuine document,  ACB recommends that Mutharika should not be prosecuted because he is protected by Section 91(2) of the constitution of the Republic of Malawi.

Mutharika’s implication in this corruption scam is coming at a time when the Vice President of Malawi Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima recently called for the repeal of Section 91(2) of the Constitution which guarantees immunity for Head of State from prosecution during their term of office, saying the President should face criminal proceedings for his or her actions as giving such immunity was like giving the Presidency licence to commit corrupt crimes.

“This provision is a licence for the presidency to conduct corrupt practices knowing he would not be prosecuted. I am calling for an amendment to this section in the Constitution if we are to truly fight corruption in this country,” said Chilima.

In its recommendations, the ACB said Bottoman and Karim should be prosecuted for stealing K466 million, forging and uttering false documents to CDH and for acquiring K1.4 billion while knowing that the money was proceeds of a crime.

The development has also vindicated Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera—who is also leader of opposition in Parliament— who branded President Peter Mutharika  as “a Prince of Thieves” presiding over the most corrupt administration.