By IOMMIE CHIWALO
The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) is questioning the merit of maintaining Salima Sugar Company Limited leadership that is characterized by numerous financial scandals.
The target in the whole process is Executive Chairperson Wester Kosamu who at the moment is not understandable as to how he rose to the ranks and files of the company soon after the Malawi Law Society (MLS) Disciplinary Committee suspended him from practising law for six months on alleged misappropriation of clients money.
While commending Attorney General Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda for making public contents of the recent forensic audit commissioned by the Malawi Government on SSCL, Namiwa says the starting point should be to immediately remove the SSCL Executive Chairperson Wester Kosamu from his position.
“The best expected of him was to step down then. To be precise, we at CDEDI find Mr. Kosamu too conflicted to continue representing the interest of Malawians at SSCL, let alone at the Greenbelt Authority (GBA),” says CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa in a statement.
“If the AG is really serious about clearing the corporate governance rubble at SSCL, we believe government’s starting point should be to immediately remove the SSCL Executive Chairperson Mr. Wester Kosamu from his position. Actually, he does not seem to represent the kind of change Malawians anticipate to see at SSCL,” he says.
There is also documentary evidence indicating that in just a few months that Kosamu has served as SSCL Executive Chairperson he has suspectedly abused his position by instructing SSCL to pay K7, 514, 250 in respect of customs duty for his personal property, a super link trailer.
According to Namiwa, infact based on available documents, SSCL paid in two instalments of K3,514,250 through Payment Voucher 1767 and Cheque no: 008058 and also Payment Voucher 1766 and Cheque no: 008057.
Further confirming the abuse of power, it is also alleged that Kosamu single-handily signed a consent order for an out-of-court settlement on a lawsuit involving SSCL without the boards approval, and committed SSCL to pay about K252 million in respect of the same.
“In view of what has transpired at SSCL, CDEDI urges government to keep an open eye on all joint venture entities under the GBA as we strongly fear that what is happening at SSCL could also be happening elsewhere. It should start with forensic auditing of all those GBA entities,” he said.
Namiwa has therefore, urged government to desist from selective justice when pursuing the matter at hand.
“In the same vein, CDEDI would like to appeal for periodic updates on the matter, to avoid speculations and misinformation that may thwart the well-intended exercise,” he says.
Through the televised press briefing beamed live on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation television, the AG recently assured Malawians that every tambala suspected to have been lost in this enterprise will be recovered.
“We would like to believe that the AG meant what he said, and he will keep his word to the letter,” said the CDEDI Executive Director.
Meanwhile, CDEDI seeks support from all well-meaning Malawians towards the AGs efforts in bringing sanity at SSCL.
“We know that all these efforts are aimed at saving SSCL, which was established to break the monopoly in the sugar manufacturing industry for the benefit of low-income consumers,”.