They have done it again! The Malawi state house professional thieves have just beaten their own thieving record. President Peter Mutharika’s wife Gertrude and his step son Tadikila Mabfuza have been implicated in a ‘ghost’ company scam which got a government contract worth 7.8 billion Kwacha.
This disheartening news should not only shock Malawians, it should be cause for deep reflection on why mafias like Gertrude Mutharika are being allowed to get away with murder.The secrecy behind the contract shows all the hallmarks of a president and his wife who are using all sorts of tricks to milk the country as much as they can.
The first family’s interest is to enrich themselves and not develop Malawi. According to media reports, the first family already got a payment of K1.4 billion from the dubious contract. What’s more shocking is that there is no record of services rendered or any goods supplied in exchange for such a huge amount of money. This is daylight robbery.
President Mutharika and his wife have been implicated in numerous financial scandals. In spite of the anger that Malawians always express each time such scandals come to light, the Mutharika’s are not showing any signs of easing up on the unprecedented corruption spree. The First Lady has particularly shown that her mission at state house is stealing millions of Kwacha’s using different schemes.
Media reports show that just after President Mutharika’s inauguration as president, the First Lady immediately embarked on her thieving mission. According to The Nation newspaper, in November, 2014 Madame Mutharika personally wrote a letter to National Aids Commission (NAC) alongside, National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) and Mulhako wa Alomwe asking for funds that had nothing to do with Aids activities. Mutharika asked for K5 million for her Beam Trust, NIB asked for K43 million while Mulhako wa Alomwe was given K9 million.
The paper further reported that these donations came against the background of NAC announcing that it would scale down its funding mechanisms in HIV and Aids due to funding. Civil Society Organization (CSOs) tried to force the first lady to return the money but she refused.
On July 20, 2019, the paper also reported
that the First Lady’s charity has gone into business, leasing out
donated trucks to Blantyre City Council (BCC) in a deal that appears to
have violated procurement rules.
The paper reported that Beautify Malawi (Beam), a charity founded by Gertrude Mutharika, received the trucks as a donation from the government of the People’s Republic of China in May 2016.
However, they were leased to the council as refuse collection vehicles a year later. In 2017, the council paid K22 million to Beam and owes it millions of Kwachas for the years 2018 and 2019.
The same paper also reported that the First Lady used 30 million Kwacha of tax payers money on a ten day private trip to the United Kingdom for a graduation ceremony of her son. This was clear abuse of public funds which under normal circumstances would be investigated. But these are the people who decide who can be arrested or not.
The first lady has become so powerful that government departments can’t offer contracts to any company before her verbal approval. All big contracts are now given to companies related to her or those that have made deals with her. She has become stinking rich although she has no salary or any legitimate business that could make her so rich.
Among other things, she is now building flats in Lilongwe full with a tarmac road specially built for her flats. She uses her position as first lady to get money using questionable means. She is untouchable. She can not be arrested by the partisan responsible authorities.
Therefore, Malawians should add the first family’s corrupt activities in the list of demands for action as they continue fighting for electoral justice. That is the only way to save this poor country.