FDH Financial Holdings Limited chief executive officer (CEO) Thomson Mpinganjira on Tuesday expressed fear for his life following false allegations that he is poised to succeed President Peter Mutharika in 2024.
Mpinganjira, addressing a news conference in Blantyre, feared that politicians in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that are genuinely eying to succeed Mutharika, may plot to assassinate him and members of his family.
The CEO, whose FDH Holding Limited also owns FDH Bank, said recent fake news posted on social media a few weeks ago that Mutharika may anoint him to take over the DPP, are baseless and unfounded and putting his life and that of his family members at risk.
“They are putting my life and that of my family members at risk. People can eliminate me, mutipweteketsa. There are people that really want to succeed him [the President]…” he pleaded.
“All my life I have run business and I intend to run business even after my retirement. I plan to play advisory role to FDH businesses in my retirement.
“Let me make it very clear…I Dr Thomson Mpinganjira, have never been involved in politics and I have no intention. I have no ambition to join politics now or in future,” Mpinganjira declared.
The FDH boss, who confessed there have been a lot of Malawians approaching him both from the governing DPP and the opposition to lure him to join politics and help clean up Malawi, said he would not do it now or in future.
“As you can see politics is a dirty game, I would rather stick to running business and keep jobs of 800 people employed by FDH. Please stop putting my life and that of my children and my grandchildren at risk. You can get me killed, get harmed or make the business of FDH suffer. I’m not interested,” said Mpinganjira.
He said the false allegations against him and FDH Bank were damaging within Malawi and externally, explaining that companies including banks outside Malawi may not want to deal with FDH should they come across the false allegations against him and the bank.
“We are likely going to get challenges to operate internationally, there are issues of Letters of Credit and external banks are very sensitive. If they can [just Google FDH Bank or Mpinganjira, all these issues come out],” he said.
“As a Malawian and businessman, I talk to politicians. I talk to the President, I talk to Dr Lazarus Chakwera, I talk to Dr Saulos Chilima and I also talk to former president Joyce Banda. But that does not mean I am a politician. As a businessman, I cannot avoid that,” Mpinganjira said, taking questions from journalists.
The FDH boss feared that if FDH image is damaged and if people close accounts locally as some wanted, the country would also suffer as Malawi Revenue Authority also collects billions of kwachas from the company, apart from the 800 jobs it creates.
He said the allegation that the DPP, using government machinery, channelled funding through FDH Bank to corrupt Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) staff on 20th May before polling day is false.
“This is misleading information. The funds were made to cater for various payments. Some media houses were also paid using that account. FDH inherited this account from Malawi Savings Bank before it was sold.
“It is alleged that FDH Bank get all government business, again, this is grossly false and aimed at tarnishing the image of FDH Bank. The fact of the matter amongst the top five banks in Malawi, FDH has the lowest government business,” Mpinganjira said, challenging journalists to cross-check that with the Accountant General.
Mpinganjira said an injunction which his firm obtained against Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and its leaders Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence was withdrawn after meetings between the bank’s representatives and the activists.
Mpinganjira said following the discussions, it was not proper to sustain the injunction as most issues were amicably resolved and it helped to slow down some of the negative planned moves.
During the demonstrations organised by HRDC, the bank offices located in Umoyo house was stoned, and window panes damaged.