As details emerge of the staggering wealth which former presidential aide, Norman Chisale, accumulated, the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has distanced itself from the revelations.
It has further argued that the findings have nothing to do with its image in terms of public resource management.
Details of the assets owned by the former president Peter Mutharika’s security aide came to light on Friday following a High Court order, granted to the government, for the seizure of property belonging to Chisale and other respondents.
Among Chisale’s property to be seized include 78 vehicles, houses and a speed boat. In a brief response on this development, the DPP, during whose 6-year reign Chisale was security aide to Mutharika who is leader of the party, said the revelations have nothing to do with the party.
In addition, according to DPP spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira, the image of the party cannot be affected by these revelations.
“As the former ruling party, we distance ourselves from the revelations. After all, this is an allegation. And the party cannot be dented just because of an individual who was a presidential aide,” Mpinganjira said in an interview.
And when contacted, Chisale declined to comment saying the matter was being handled by his lawyers.
On Friday, Judge Mike Tembo granted an order to the government to seize Chisale’s assets valued at K1.7 billion. The seizure extends to assets owned by other respondents in form of houses, vehicles and bank accounts.
According to the order, about K30 million which is in Chisale’s account at National Bank and another K87 million at First Capital Bank should be seized within 21 days.
Chisale is answering several charges such as the murder of former Anti-Corruption Bureau Issa Njaunju, the importation of vast quantities of cement using the former president TPIN to evade customs duty and the shooting of a woman in Blantyre.
The court order does not indicate whether the seizure is related to these cases. Human Rights Defenders Coalition Chairperson Gift Trapence has since said Chisale’s case reminds the government of the need to work hard on ensuring that every proceed of crime is seized and forfeited if Malawi is to turn around corruption trends.
“We need vigorous asset recovery campaign through the courts of Malawi using the collaboration of Financial Intelligence Authority, ACB, fiscal police and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions,” he said.
Trapence added that arresting people without recovery of proceeds procured through corruption is not enough as taxpayers lose.