Anti-graft body concludes probe into K2.8 bn police fraud
By Jameson Chauluka
[dropcap]M[/dropcap]alawi’s anti-graft body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, says it has concluded investigations into the alleged fraud at Malawi Police Service involving Pioneer Investments.
The ACB has been investigating a K2.8 billion ($4 million) Malawi police food supply contract awarded to Pioneer Investments – a firm owned by an Asian-born Malawian businessman Zameer Karim.
“We concluded our investigations last week. I cannot tell you the internal processes which has to be followed as we decide our next course of action. There is a law which parliament made for the bureau to use in whatever we do,”said Anti-Corruption Bureau boss Renecks Matemba.
A leaked investigative report, widely circulated on social media, said the businessman deposited K145 million ($203,000) into an account belonging to the ruling party and of which President Peter Mutharika is sole signatory.
Karim denied wrongdoing. “My company was awarded the contract after a rigorous process so I don’t see any wrongdoing,” he said.
Last week, the ruling party announced that it had paid back the K145 million.
Matemba said the bureau has finalized its investigations but declined to divulge contents of the final report and the bureau’s next course of action.
Among others, the Corrupt Practices Act, which Matemba was referring to, states that the Bureau should seek permission from Director of Public Prosecutions before taking criminal proceedings on any of its files.
Matemba had told the press in the aftermath of the leakage of a report which brought to light the alleged fraud that the bureau would continue investigating the matter.
Meanwhile the bureau has been sued as third party cited by Youth and Society which wants the bureau to give them all the documents and evidence it collected during their investigations to use evidence against the suspects.
The Democratic Progressive Party has come under fire for accepting the K145 million which are believed to be proceeds from the fraud.
The party has committed to paying back the money but Youth and Society has refused to withdraw the case.
The DPP maintains that the party accepted the money just like any donation and is only returning it to Karim because of the misunderstanding which has surrounded the saga.
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