Anti-Corruption Bureau obtains order against Karim Batatawala, others
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has issued an order restricting Abdul Karim Batatawala, Fletcher Nyirenda and Limbani Chawinga from disposing of, or dealing with, listed properties and vehicles connected to a probe the bureau is undertaking.
Businessman Batatawala, Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services former commissioner for operations Nyirenda and deputy director Chawinga are answering charges bordering on corruption and money laundering.
A statement issued Monday, signed by the bureau’s principal public relations officer Egrita Ndala, indicates that the restriction is in line with Section 23(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.
“The restriction notices have been issued as part of various investigations by the bureau following allegations of unexplained wealth and other corrupt practices against these individuals. Following the restriction notices, Abdul Karim Batatawala, Limbani Chawinga and Fletcher Nyirenda are restricted from dealing with the properties and vehicles outlined above until the ACB has concluded the investigations or lifted the restriction notices,” the statement reads.
On March 25 2022, the bureau issued restriction notices to Batatawala, Nyirenda and Chawinga, stopping them from disposing of, and generally dealing with, some properties and vehicles.
According to the restriction order, some of Batatawala’s listed plots include title numbers Blantyre West 145 and 146 plot number BW 588 and BW 599 (Pamodzi Settlement Trust), Title Number Blantyre West 2/229 Plot Number BW 1164 (Abdul Karim Batatawala t/a African Commercial Agency), Title number Blantyre Central 818 and 819 (Pamodzi Settlement Trust) d. Title number Ndirande 480 plot number NW278 (Pamodzi Settlement Trust).
The bureau has also stopped Nyirenda from, among other things, disposing of several vehicles as well as plots, land and houses in Blantyre and Mzuzu while Chawinga has been stopped from disposing of several plots in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu, among them vehicles.
According to the ACB, the three are restricted from dealing with the properties and vehicles until the bureau has concluded the investigations or lifted the restriction notices.
On March 23 2022, the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate court renewed the restriction notice that ACB Director General issued on December 23 2021 on Zuneth Sattar properties.
According to a statement issued by the bureau, the renewal is valid for three months from March 23 2022.
“The restriction notice restricted the Ministry of Lands from disposing of or dealing with the properties listed in the said notice, in which Zuneth Sattar has a beneficial interest.
“This follows an application that the bureau made to the court for the renewal of the restriction notice to allow the bureau to finalise investigations it is carrying out on the allegations that Zuneth Sattar, together with his agent Ashok Nair, paid bribes to public officers and other politically exposed persons to obtain public procurement contracts in Malawi,” it reads.
Sattar, who was arrested in the United Kingdom last year by the British anti-corruption agency, NCA, is alleged to have been giving bribes to politically exposed persons in Malawi to influence public officers to corruptly award contracts to companies belonging to him.