Attorney General Thabo Nyirenda Gives Government Fraudsters a 60-Day Amnesty to Pay Back

By Cedric Nkungula

Malawi’s Attorney General, Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda has issued out a 60-day amnesty to all alleged crooked companies and individuals who have defrauded the public purse in their business dealings or illegally acquired wealth through procurement fraud and corruption to voluntarily pay back the said wealth or face the long arm of the law.

Government’s Chief legal advisor, Chakaka Nyirenda, has therefore urged procurement entities in the country to produce copies of contracts with entities owned by, or connected with, Mr Zuneith Sattar.

The Attorney General, in his capacity as overall principal legal advisor to the Malawi Government and on behalf of the government procuring entities, has been decided to terminate all the contracts owned by or connected with Zuneith Sattar’s business entities with immediate effect.

“This is on the basis of convenience and public interest pursuant to section 46(c) of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act, 2017,” reads in part the Attorney General’s press release.

In the press release, the Attorney General explains that in terms of section 46(c) of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act, Government enjoys immunity from paying a supplier lost profits and any other compensation save for the payment of goods supplied or services rendered and expenses reasonably incurred.

Payment to the said entities, if any, will be restricted to payments contemplated in section 46(c) of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act.

In addition, all companies owned by, or connected with, Mr. Zunieth Sattar remains barred from public procurement.

Accordingly, all procuring entities remain advised against dealing with Mr. Zuneith Sattar – owned companies or companies that Mr. Zuneith Sattar has either a controlling interest or minority interest.

President Lazarus Chakwera upon taking over the reigns of power promised Malawians that his administration will clear the rubble and make Malawi corrupt free.

Chakaka Nyirenda, who president Chakwera appointed as the government’s chief legal advisor since his appointment has made significant strides in ensuring that every public penny is accounted for and of benefit to every Malawian taxpayer.

In the run-up to the general elections, in one of his campaign promises, President Chakwera and his Tonse Administration promised to give an opportunity to all those that looted government funds to pay back what they have stolen from the government coffers and be exempted from persecution.

According to a press release dated January 09, 2022 and signed by Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, the general amnesty, which is with immediate effect, is extended to the 77 cash gate files that are currently before the prosecution authorities, the commercial banks that facilitated cash gate and to the investigations connected with Zuneith Sattar.

“Pursuant to justice and restitution balancing act, the Attorney General also wishes to announce a 60-day general amnesty to all those who might have defrauded Government or illicitly acquired wealth whether through procurement fraud and corruption or otherwise, but willing to restitute or voluntarily surrender the said wealth within 60 days from the date hereof.

Nyirenda says commenting on the ongoing investigation of Sattar who is under the microscope for fraudulently obtaining contracts from Malawi Police Service and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) using underhand tactics, Nyirenda said his office is constantly engaging British Government to recover any money that might have been illicitly transferred from Malawi to the United Kingdom.

“The Office shall also ensure that all legal formalities including the prescriptions under the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act are followed to the letter when collecting evidence from the United Kingdom or sending evidence to the United Kingdom to avoid needless and undeserving acquittals or needless and undeserving loss of lawsuits and as a matter of compliance with the rule of law,” reads in part the statement.

“The Office shall also cooperate with the United Kingdom on exchange of evidence through normal diplomatic channels as set out in the above prescribed legal framework while at the same time respecting the sovereignty of the two nations.”

Just recently, government advised all its agencies and departments against dealing with companies owned or controlled by Sattar.

Political commentator Humphrey Mvula described the move as brilliant idea. He said public money lost through corruption must be returned to Malawians.

“It is a welcome idea. Very welcome. There must be recovery from corruption,” emphasized Mvula in a telephone interview.

“This is money meant to help citizenry and it will be fair for those that took this money regardless of who they are to pay back. I am in total support of government on this.”

Source: Nyasa Times

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