Civil society organisations (CSOs) have questioned ACB priorities on the alleged Malawi Police Service (MPS) food rations fraud, arguing, instead of expediting prosecution of those allegedly involved, ACB is busy trying to discover the whistleblower of the report.
In a letter dated July 12 2018, and directed to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director Reyneck Matemba, the CSOs have said what is of public interest is the speedy prosecution and conclusion of the matter in courts.
The ACB leaked report suggests President Peter Mutharika may have benefitted from K145 million that a supplier deposited in a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) account for which he is the sole signatory.
The money is suspected to be part of proceeds of payment from MPS to Pioneer Investments—a firm ACB suspects fraudulently supplied food rations.
The bureau also alleges that the bill was inflated from the contract price of K2.327 billion to K2.8 billion days after it was signed in August 2015.
Under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), the CSOs say the Bureau’s action on the matter, in knowing the whistleblower, is not only immaterial, but also a ploy to derail the course of justice.
Reads the letter in part: “The use of polygraph to find out who leaked the investigation report on police fraud may be important, but it is not an immediate priority. What is of public interest is speedy prosecution and conclusion of the matter in the courts.
“Anything outside this scope is immaterial and a clear tactic to derail the judicial process. It is tantamount to misuse of taxpayers’ money.”
HRDC vice-chairperson Gift Trapence, who is one of those who signed the letter, said they hand-delivered the letter to ACB offices in Lilongwe.
Earlier, State House explained the alleged K145 million was among donations deposited into the party’s headquarters construction project account.
Presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalilani said Mutharika had no knowledge of the ACB investigations on transactions involving Malawi Police Service and Pioneer Investments—a firm suspected to have fraudulently supplied food rations.