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Supreme Court freezes DPP, Pioneer Investments accounts

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By Jameson Chauluka:

The Supreme Court of Appeal Friday overturned a High Court ruling to unfreeze bank accounts of Zameer Karim and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Supreme Court of Appeal Justice Rezine Mzikamanda said the two accounts should remain frozen until the matter is resolved by the full bench of the Supreme Court.

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Youth and Society (Yas) obtained a court order freezing bank accounts of DPP and Karim until issues in the alleged fraudulent transactions in the K2.8 billion Pioneer Investments and Malawi Police Service food rations deal are resolved.

A leaked Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) report into the contract found out that the contract was bloated by K466 million, and a day after payment was made Karim deposited K145 million into a DPP bank account whose sole signatory is President Peter Mutharika.

Speaking after the court session which took place in the chambers of Justice Mzikamanda, Yas Lawyer Doreen Manjandimo said Mzikamanda had observed that it was not up to the High Court to decide whether the supreme court would find Yas with sufficient interest in the matter or not.

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“The court has observed that the stay is important. The accounts should remain frozen because we are dealing with funds which can always be transferred,” she said.

Lawyer for the respondents Chancy Gondwe asked the High Court to dismiss the case on grounds that Yas did not have sufficient interest in the matter.

Gondwe observed that the country’s laws give powers to specific offices such as that of the ABC and Attorney general to prosecute on behalf of Malawians.

“Yas is just a busybody. Giving powers to everybody to prosecute on behalf of Malawians will create chaos. After all Yas as an organisation has not directly suffered from the alleged fraud,” he said.

The matter will be heard by a panel of nine judges on a date yet to be announced.

DPP has come under serious criticism following revelations that it may have benefitted from the alleged corrupt transactions in the deal to the point that it returned the money to Karim but insists it received the money just like any donation.

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