In the aftermath of the court-sanctioned June 23 fresh presidential election that ushered in a new government, two top aides of former president Peter Mutharika have come under the spotlight over their personal wealth.
Fiscal Police have interrogated former State House head of security and Mutharika’s personal bodyguard Norman Chisale and State Residences director general (chief of staff) Peter Mukhito in connection with their alleged roles in the importation of cement allegedly using the President’s duty-free status.
In the course of the interrogations and arrest—in the case of Chisale—speculation has heightened regarding the duo’s personal wealth.
But what did the two former top aides of Mutharika declare as their wealth as required by law?
The Nation inquiry at the Office of the Director of Public Officers’ Declarations established that both Mukhito and Chisale declared residential houses and motor vehicles among their assets.
However, the two differed on sources of their income with Mukhito citing salary, allowances, farming and business while Chisale said three of the vehicles on his personal fleet were “gifts” and that some of the houses he owns were financed by loans both from a commercial bank and individuals.
The records show that in September last year, Mukhito declared three residential houses located in Area 43, Area 12 (valued at K75 million) and Area 44 (valued at K80 million). But he did not indicate the value of the Area house he constructed in 2010 while serving as Inspector General of Malawi Police Service.
Besides the above properties, Mukhito also declared a vacant plot in Area 47 residential area under the segment of immediate family, but did not name the specific member of his family who owned the property or its value.
He also listed a plot in Namiwawa residential area in Blantyre valued at K30 million and another one in Mangochi worth K95 million as part of his assets.
On the other hand, a search on Chisale’s declaration forms does not provide a clear source of his income.
Further, the former president’s aide declared that three of the luxury vehicles he owns were “gifts” from his friends in London in the United Kingdom, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Lilongwe.
The vehicles include Mercedes Benz with personalised registration NPC1 (initials standing for Norman Paulos Chisale), Toyota Landcruiser VX and BMW X5 Series.
The list also includes a Mercedes Benz registration NPC2 pegged at K8 million, a house in Kanjedza Township in Blantyre valued at K30 million he said was a “a loan from Mr L. Fazeh”.
Chisale also declared to have sold a plot in Area 49, Lilongwe to former Cabinet minister Ben Phiri at K12 million.
On liabilities incurred, he indicated on the declaration forms “K200 000 000 FDH Bank account”, suggesting he might have borrowed money from the bank.
But Chisale declared no business outside his work at State residences.