It never rains, but pours for former president Peter Mutharika’s private bodyguard Norman Chisale as the State has moved to seize and dispose of K5 billion-worth of his assets.
Speaking in an interview on Sunday, Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda said paperwork was at an advanced stage for the application, adding that the property ranges from houses, vehicles to cash in banks.
“For the cash, we are going to transfer it to government’s Account Number One or Forfeiture Fund and we will sell the property on auction,” he said.
The development comes five months after Chisale lost his Constitutional Court challenge of a preservation order Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steve Kayuni sought on his property.
Chisale, who is answering a number of criminal charges, including abuse of office over his alleged role in the importation of cement using the President’s duty-free status, is accused by State agencies of illegally acquiring assets worth of billions.
Kayuni in collaboration with other State law enforcement agencies successfully applied for the order to seize the property which High Court of Malawi Judge Mike Tembo granted.
Other State agencies in the case are Assets Forfeiture Unit, Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and Malawi Police Service Fiscal and Fraud Department.
But through his lawyers led by Chauncy Gondwe, Chisale asked the Constitutional Court to determine whether the preservation order is not a violation of his rights and those of other accused in the case to privacy and to own property.
Last year, Chisale also lost property worth K1.7 billion after the High Court in Lilongwe granted government an order to seize them.
The move to seize assets of a suspect on such scale before trial or conviction was unprecedented in Malawi.
The DPP through the Asset Forfeiture Unit, FIA, ACB and Malawi Police Service Fiscal and Fraud Department and other law enforcement agencies jointly applied for the court order which Tembo granted.