Chihana tears apart Peter Mutharika in court

Yeremia Chihana, the evaluator of former president Bingu wa Mutharika’s deceased estate, has filed a defence against a lawsuit by Peter Mutharika, arguing the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president has no political or any reputation to protect.

Chihana: He has no reputation
Chihana: He has no reputation

Peter, DPP’s 2014 presidential candidate, sued Chihana for allegedly damaging his reputation through a letter he wrote to the DPP leader, allegedly leaked to the media, regarding the former president’s estate.

But in his defence filed before the High Court in Blantyre this week, Chihana said Peter has no reputation at all regarding his political career, arguing the complainant is held in low esteem as a politician and his career is already disparaged in terms of leadership integrity.

Reads the defence in part: “The plaintiff [Peter] even though a professor of law and Member of Parliament [MP] still holds dual citizenship and effectively owes allegiance to a country, other than Malawi [being the United States of America].”

Chihana has denied leaking to the media the letter he wrote to Peter who argued it was supposed to be private correspondence.

Felt injured: Mutharika
Felt injured: Mutahrika

Chihana said he wrote Peter in his capacity as valuer appointed by the Estate Duty Commissioners and that such correspondence under a statutory instrument can never be private in the spirit of transparency and accountability.

According to a statement of claim filed by Peter, on June 25 2013, Chihana wrote him as brother to the former president, asking him to provide details of bank accounts that were held in Bingu’s name with Peter as a co-signatory, administrator or executor.

Through his lawyers, Peter responded on June 26 2013, denying knowledge of any bank accounts held jointly with Bingu, according to the claim.

Peter is claiming general damages for libel and legal costs.

Bingu’s wealth has recently been embroiled in controversy after an evaluation report by Chihana indicated that the former president had wealth totalling K61 billion (about $152m).

Government is claiming a K5 billion (about $12.5m) cut from the deceased estate, an amount the Mutharika family challenged.

But last week, both parties agreed at the High Court in Blantyre to negotiate before the matter returns to court for further directions.

On the other hand, the late Bingu’s widow, Callista, and her stepdaughters, Duwa and Tapiwa, also entered consent at the High Court in Zomba earlier to settle out of court their battle over the deceased estate.

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  • Chambat

    Show them Mr Chihana that they don’t have any reputation to protect. Even in the US, his reviews were so bad and not even worthy of someone wanting to hold a high position like that of President. I wonder where he gets the courage anyways. Anthu akuba awa osamawasekelera, abweze basi asaa. Mmene timalimbana ndi atsamunda iwo anali busy kuchitita uyoo ku NY pano azi fwifwifwi, tiye uko.

    • che jemusi

      Zoonadi akambelembele awa,i wonder some people mopanda ndi manyazi omwe, nkumati pitala for prezidency.munthuyi siwathu iyayi,wangobwela kuzatibela.changamukani a malawi.musagulise dziko lanu chifukwa cha dyela.asaa!

      • Chambat

        Mkulu ameneyu amandilemera koopsa aise che jemusi, and he goes on to say kuti afuna apitilize pomwe achimwene ake anasiira, zoona a Malawi tizisekelera zimenezi? This guy is too arrogant ans tribalistic, just like his brother. Atcheya ananena, vuto a Malawi sitichedwa kuiwala, chaka chatha chomwechi si mmene anthu timavutikira ndi mafuta iai, kumachita kugona pa mzere, nde wina aziti azapitilize zimene zijazo, chamba eti. kazikadyani ma billion munatiberawo basi.

    • http://google Isaac Banda

      Those who know Peter can confess the man is big brains, he has achieved a lot in life, we can not compare Joyce Banda with Peter, JB is uneducated, empty headed and dump, Peter is an accomplished lawyer, educator and a great politician. Yeremiah Chihana doesn’t really know what he is doing and if somebody is forcing him to do what he is doing then he will live to regret it. and from Mr. Chihana statement it now shows that even his 61 billion claim is politically motivated he is an opportunist, a liar and insane.

      • angie7

        One thing northerners will discredit any achiever in Malawi as long as he is not from the north. That is what they are good at. They will parade Khumbo Kachali as educated and best thing to happen to Malawi. They will parade Zikhale Ng’oma as very educated and a deserving doctorate holder. They will parade so called proffessors from the north teaching at technical schools in the US as briliiant Malawians. No matter how great ones achievements are as long as you are not from the north, you have no reputation. I only met one professor from the north who acknowledged that what Prof Peter Mutharika has achieved and done in life, not a single professor at UNIMA can match him. So who is Yeremiah? The Bandit?

  • Mutoni

    Can a reputable law firm please sue this Peter in court over his dual citizenship? The constitution doesn’t allow such a person to be a presidential candidate.

    • Geekk wa gekk

      You dont know anything about Law. So shut your Filthy mouth and filthy mind. Kusaphunzira

    • http://google Isaac Banda

      you don’t know what you are talking about, why is PP so afraid with Peter? they know that he will soon become the next president

  • Jigga

    Useless article and headline!!!!!!!!!

  • Namala

    The article is full of PP propaganda and pathetic in its taste. I am just wondering when did The Nation become PP government propaganda machine. It seems The Nation has forgotten that when you pamper a government it comes back to bite you. I am getting frustrated with The Nation. One can see a real bias – mandasi adzadza mkamwa. At the end of the day, musayambe kudandaula kuti boma likuzunza Nation or the media. The media in Malawi needs to grow up!

    • caddon

      WHERE IS THE ‘TEARING APART’ HERE? Odandaula says “Mr Northerner, you are hereby being accused of robbing Mr Southerner of his only bicycle to an extent that he is left poor and miserable”. In defence, the northerner argues: My lord, it is not true that by stealing the bicycle I will make Mr Southerner poor and miserable because he was already poor. Kikikikikikiki. Mwawuluzatu mulanduwu che Chihana. Kungoti the problem with anzathuwa aku Tanzania they will always appeal to emotions coz quite often mfundo ndi nzeru zakuya zimawasowa.

  • gang’antha

    Where is the tearing apart here or i need to go to school once again. I thought they meant a thorough cross examination and prosecution with substantive evidence confirming as true allegations made by Chihana. I dont know where these pipo in govt find lawyers, i think Chihana should look for one to advise him. Its obvious Peter as president of DPP has a reputation to protect, even Kamlepo could have the same if he had maintained his defunct MDP. 2. The fact that Peter is viewed lowly on the political scene is without evidence, its subjective, it circumstantial. That he holds dual citizenship is wrong, but that he has an American green card which facilitates his travel and stay in America. I doubt the Nation Newspaper for such mediocre reporting, as an ordinary customer i feel robbed by such reporting. What we need to hear is about sufficient, appropriate evidence being tendered in court proving Peter as being a co-signatory of his brother’s accounts.

    • Tati

      And this is supposed to be a daily newspaper. How pathetic! The headline was meant to up circulation, I presume.

  • Manyuchi

    Mr Chihana has given his own personal and biased opinion of Mr Peter Mutharika and I beg to differ because Prof Mutharika does have a reputation to protect so this stupid Mr Chihana had better quickly learn to respect people before we start calling him an idiot. Mr chihana is a sponsored out in danger of committing career suicide in full view of the nation. Mr Chihana you acted very unprofessionaly by leaking the letter this alone makes you contemptible

  • http://google Isaac Banda

    This is not the Nation Newspaper we used to know, you are a shame and a disgrace to Malawians what kind of journalism do you really practice? Tearing apart Peter? and its pathetic that this paper is geared to destroy one candidate, how much did you receive from PP? you killed Bingu and now you want to kill his surviving brother because of greed? stupid journalists

  • caddon

    interestingly mr chihana is saying he did not leak the letter but he continues the letter was even open for the public…kikikikiki