Government may have been losing some revenue following reports that some politically connected people have allegedly been collecting rentals for government properties and pocketing the money.
In a letter to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) dated September 21 2020, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has raised the issue, asking the bureau to investigate the matter and recover the lost funds.
The letter, signed by HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence, alleges that after Malawi Railways Company was dissolved, its successor Central East Africa Railways handed over several properties to government, including some properties in Blantyre near the Clock Tower, behind Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Malawi Revenue Authority offices, but that the rentals collected are pocketed by some politician.
Reads the letter in part: “Someone is collecting rentals for these properties and this person is not acting on behalf of government. Ministry of Lands officials have been failing to take back this land. HRDC would like your office to investigate this case and if indeed rentals were being collected, we urge that the money should be claimed back.”
In an interview yesterday, Trapence indicated that the organisation is still receiving many tip-offs regarding dubious people collecting rentals on government buildings across the country.
He said government may have been losing billions of kwacha in revenue through such malpractices.
The letter also alleges that two other government properties in Mzimba, a rest house at Ekwendeni and Rumono Estate at Nthungwa in the Chikangawa Forest, were cheaply and dubiously sold to a politician.
ACB director general Reyneck Matemba was not available to comment on the new cases submitted to the bureau for investigations.
But Trapence observed that through its whistleblowing initiative, a number of citizens of goodwill have submitted to HRDC evidence of cases showing that the previous administration tolerated corruption. He said: “My advice to the new administration is that they should institute stringent measures to curb corruption instead of waiting for cases to happen, as is the situation now.”