Two directors of Unity Gate Management System Company have reportedly been arrested following on-going investigations into gate fraud that marred the TNM Super League match between Mighty Wanderers and Sable Farming.
This takes the number of arrested people to six as four gate cashiers belonging to the company were arrested at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday for allegedly stealing K437,000.
Ironically, a Wanderers official [name withheld] has been implicated in the matter.
According to sources, the cashiers implicated their directors, who then implicated a Wanderers official.
“The cashiers were acting on instructions to hide the money to pay a Wanderers official who demanded K500,000 for giving the firm business. So the firm did not want to use part of its share but use unaccounted gate collections,” he said.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) President Tiya Somba-Banda confirmed the arrest of the two directors through a Facebook post.
“I spent the better part of the morning at Soche Police during the initial interrogation of yesterday’s [Saturday] Kamuzu Stadium suspects. A lot has been revealed, they were “working” under instructions from one club official.
“The official is still at large but two directors of the gate management firm have also been arrested, bringing the total number of suspects in custody to six,” he said.
Somba-Banda could not be reached for more comments.
However, Wanderers’ Secretary to the Board Humphreys Mvula said they were aware of the developments taking place.
“We have been notified that one of our officials is being wanted for interrogation. We have also been told that two directors of the gate management company are now in police custody,” he said.
Mvula said Wanderers will cooperate and not protect the official in question.
“We will not shield any official in this case. If it is me or any other director, then the police should do their work thoroughly. Justice must prevail,” he said.
Southern Region Police Deputy Public Relations Officer Beatrice Mikuwa asked for more time to confirm the arrest of two more people.
However, earlier, Mikuwa said four cashiers who were arrested for allegedly stealing K437,000 realised from gate collections would be charged with theft when they appear in court this week.
Police arrested the four at the end of the TNM Super League match between Mighty Wanderers and Sable Farming at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday.
The suspects are identified as Chiyembekezo Buffalo, 22, from Dwaleti Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Maseya in Chikwawa District, Tingo Fungulani, 22, from Chilobwe Village, T/A Kapeni in Blantyre, Prince Ndalama, 19, from Simon Village, T/A Ntingala and Gladys Meja, 23, from Chinthembwe Village, T/A Thomas in Thyolo District.
Mikuwa said the suspects were in police custody and would appear in court soon.
“They will be charged with theft when we take them to the court. We should be able to know when they will appear before the court on Tuesday as the courts are currently closed due to Easter holiday,” she said.
Mikuwa said Sulom hired Unity Gate Management System Company to collect cash from people who were entering the stadium to watch the match.
“Police detectives who were also deployed to provide security at the stadium noted something strange with the way suspects’ pelvic areas were looking. This prompted police detectives to search the four cashiers which led to the recovery of money amounting to K400,000,” she said.
Sulom General Secretary Williams Banda told The Sunday Times that the body engaged Police detectives following public outcry over poor gate revenue when Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers match grossed K12 million.
“It is an on-going exercise aimed at exposing every stakeholder involved in gate fraud. The idea is to empower the teams to get all their benefits,” he said.
Ironically, the match between debutants Dedza Dynamos and Nyasa Big Bullets grossed K12 million with relatively less spectators.