Mystery surrounds presidential adviser on unity and parliamentary affairs Simon Vuwa Kaunda’s K800 million compensation claim for a house vandalised in the July 20 2011 demonstration as it has emerged that his son sold the property at K2.75 million.
Kaunda has sued government claiming K800 million for the house at Katoto in Mzuzu which was being used as a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) office before it was damaged in the demonstration.
He claims government failed to protect property but also showed negligence when it did not assess the damage for compensation.
According to a source who sought anonymity, Kaunda cannot claim the compensation when the plot was sold and there is also a case in court for the same property.
The court documents seen by The Nation show that Kaunda’s son, Simon, sold the plot at K2 750 000 on November 29 2012 to Asema Jabi who later sold it to Kashif Muhammad Iqbal at K3 million.
Initially, the house belonged to Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) which sold it to a sitting tenant. The tenant sold the house to Martin Machipisa Munthali who later sold it to Kaunda.
However, the ownership was not transferred to Kaunda and the house is still in Munthali’s name.
The court documents further indicate that Iqbal started to push for change of ownership with Munthali following the sale agreements but Kaunda blocked the ownership change through the courts.
The blocking of title transfer forced Iqbal to sue Kaunda’s son, Kaunda and Munthali to ensure that the plot ownership is changed to his name or that Kaunda repays him over K15 million which includes money spent on buying the plot, K7 million spent on constructing a new house, house rentals of K150 000 per month from July 2013 and other related damages.
However, Munthali and Iqbal managed to get a tax clearance certificate from Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) on December 8 2012 and MHC in February 2013 also gave a licence and consent to transfer lease of the plot to Iqbal.
“In terms of section 85A of the Taxation Act, the transfer of the property above from Martin Machipisa of Box 5, Mlowe, Rumphi to Kashif Muhammad Iqbal of P.O Box 826, Mzuzu is approved,” reads the tax clearance certificate.
Iqbal’s lawyer, Mustafa Amidu, on Wednesday confirmed handling the plot dispute case in court but could not comment on the matter.
Reacting to the development, Kaunda said the sale agreement was done without his knowledge; hence his blocking the ownership change.
He said when he offered to pay the K2.75 million, Iqbal refused and claimed to be paid about K15 million. He said Iqbal only wanted to dupe him arguing K2.75 million cannot yield K15 million in a space of a year.
Unity at Independence prayers
On Wednesday July 6, President Peter Mutharika led Malawians in the National Service of Worship to mark the 52nd Independence Anniversary celebrations. The service, held at Bingu International Conference Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe, attracted clerics of various faith groups, the diplomatic community, traditional leaders and representatives of various political parties, among others. In the picture, the President greets Leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera after the service.—JACOB NANKHONYA, Staff Writer