chaos awaits jb’s land deal

President Joyce Banda’s move to order distribution of Nantipwiri Estate—the subject of a court battle—could create chaos in Thyolo and Blantyre rural where beneficiaries sound reluctant to respect a ‘pass-on’ deal. Nation on Sunday has established that authorities have already allocated the land—which Press Agriculture and Deloitte & Touché (Malawi) on one hand and Ralph…

jb sinks into land dispute

President Joyce Banda is caught up in a legal land battle between Press Agriculture and Deloitte & Touché (Malawi) on one hand and Ralph Tseka on the other. According to court documents, Tseka accuses Press Agriculture and Deloitte & Touche (Malawi) of selling 260-hactare Anchor Farm—formerly Nantipwiri—in Thyolo that he says was already offered to…

Government dumps Bingu Hotel

Malawi Government has dodged bailing out debt-ridden Bingu hotel complex as National Bank of Malawi (NBM) zeroes in on the facility to get its overdue repayment, Nation on Sunday has learnt. Both the Ministry of Tourism and Treasury have said Umodzi Holdings Limited (UHL)—a vehicle that government formed to warehouse the Bingu wa Mutharika Conference…

Capital Hill hunts170m for cashgate trials

Malawi Government is looking for K170 million (US$406 698) to speed up cashgate trials set to start on January 29 2014, Minister of Information Brown Mpinganjira has confirmed. Authorities will initially start prosecuting cases handled by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) before taking to court from February 4 2014 those under the Anti-Corruption Bureau…

Chibambo chides donor dependence

that to stop President of the People’s Transformation Party (Petra), Kamuzu Chibambo, says Malawi suffers from a disease called ‘donor aid’ that has affected the development of the country. He was addressing a sizeable group that attended the party’s national conference at MPC Hall in Blantyre. Chibambo retained the presidency of the party after amassing…

Cloud over Atupele contract saga

Malawi Government agencies have contradicted one another on the supposed probe into allegations that former minister of Economic Planning and Development Atupele Muluzi illegally signed a K72 million (US$171 837) advertising deal with an Indian firm. While the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (EP&D) says the matter is in the hands of law enforcers,…

JB hijacks prayers

President Joyce Banda yesterday hijacked the Nation Day of Prayers, turning the function into a mini-political rally where she drummed up support for her 2014 presidential ambitions. The prayers, which were organised by Malawi Council of Churches, Episcopal Conference of Malawi, Evangelical Association of Malawi and Muslim Association of Malawi, were held at Comesa Hall…

jb sucked into iron sheets scam

A South African company has sent a K214 million bill to President Joyce Banda for iron sheets the firm claims it supplied to Mudzi Transformation Trust, but which apparently never reached the Head of State’s pet organisation. Mudzi Transformation Trust has denied ever receiving the materials from either the said South African firm—Engineering&Elec Supplies of…

Court sets dates for cashgate cases

The Judiciary has set dates between January and April 2014 on which government should start prosecution of all cases related to cashgate, Nation on Sunday has learnt. High Court registrar Joseph Chigona confirmed in an interview on Friday that the court has drafted a tentative programme to facilitate speedy prosecution of cashgate cases. “As a…

Government rambles on presidential jet

Government has issued a statement to clarify President Joyce Banda’s usage of the presidential jet it insists is from “well-wishers” and is different from the one bought four years ago and sold this year. In the statement released yesterday, government explained that the presidential jet Falcon 900 EX, registration number ZS-FCI was sold to Bohnox…

Joyce Banda’s hotel move on the rocks

President Joyce Banda’s move early this year to cancel a hotel management deal with Peermont in favour of Legacy is turning sour as contractual disagreements during negotiations threaten the multibillion kwacha investment. As a result, Umodzi Park in Lilongwe—comprising the Bingu wa Mutharika Conference Centre, the President Hotel and Presidential Villa—remains without an official operator…

k250m payout sparks row

Government has paid K250 million (US$609 756) to one Elliot Amini of Lilongwe as compensation for a building that authorities had condemned as illegal but whose construction the claimant says was duly approved. Ismael Wadi, lawyer for Amini, popularly known as Mr. Kampala—while validating payment to his client—refused to corroborate the figure, citing ethical considerations.…

Mphwiyo-MRA battle on

On the day he was shot, then Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo wrote the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) asking it to extend tax investigations to 15 more companies that were claiming payments from government, The Nation has established. Last week, some members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament—currently conducting hearings on…

Double standards in PP, fails to discipline some officials

The governing People’s Party (PP) was swift to suspend Ralph Kasambara and Oswald Lutepo from the party because of their court cases, but how about other suspects facing criminal charges such as Cassim Chilumpha, Yusuf Matumula and Paul Maulidi? Chilumpha, PP Central Province vice-president, and the party’s treasurer general Matumula are facing treason charges following…

ACB investigated Mphwiyo in 2008

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) launched investigations in 2008 to ascertain how Treasury budget director Paul Mphwiyo acquired his wealth after receiving information that he had unexplained property. ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala said on Friday Mphwiyo submitted information to the bureau to justify the property that had raised questions. Nation on Sunday sought information relating to…

MRA contradicts Mphwiyo’s testimony

Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has contradicted some of the testimony budget director Paul Mphwiyo gave when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday in the ongoing cashgate inquiry. Among other things, Mphwiyo, who was shot in September this year in Area 43 in connection with the scandal, told PAC that he initiated…

Bingu’s children, govt battle over K65m

Children of former president Bingu wa Mutharika are demanding back K65 million (US$162 500) the Registrar General authorised to be withdrawn from their father’s estate, arguing that the money was obtained illegally. The children, working under administrators of the estate, said alternatively the money should be converted as part payment of estate duties government is…

Ministers in Mozambique over lake dispute

Malawi has responded to the four questions mediators of the border dispute with Tanzania on Lake Malawi asked, among them on the legal implications of the acceptance by either party of the importance of the lake to the local populations. The mediators, led by former Mozambique president Joaquim Chissano, asked Malawi to answer the following…

Law enforcement agencies query CSOs

Agencies investigating and prosecuting suspects in the cashgate scandal have warned some civil society organisations (CSOs) against issuing deadlines on conclusion of cases. In separate interviews this week, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Malawi Police Service (MPS) said the CSOs’ demands are unrealistic and amount to interference in investigations…

Finance Bank returns, wears‘new’ face

Finance Bank (Malawi) Limited, which the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) closed in 2005 amid accusations of wrong-doing, is back under the name New Finance Bank (Malawi) Limited. Despite the rebranding, the company has the same principal shareholder, a move that a banking expert has argued raises questions about the regulation of the banking sector…