LILONGWE -Senior cabinet ministers are alleged to have hired thugs to â€˜silenceâ€™ a whistleblower and a blogger Rebecca Chimjeka is living in fear and is emotionally disturbed after receiving an â€œanonymousâ€ call from one of the senior ministers implicated in corruption scandals.
However, the callâ€™s anonymity was revealed as Chimjeka was not the intended recipient.
The alleged Minister, by mistake, dialed Rebecca Chimjekaâ€™sÂ phone number, thinking she was an alleged assailant who the Minister had hired to â€œsilenceâ€ Chimjeka for being critical of the government.
â€œMwamumenya, mtsikana uja (Have you dealt with [Rebecca Chimjeka])?â€Â queriedÂ the said minister in the phone conversation.
According to Chimjeka, this prompted her to pretend to be the alleged mugger and responded with a â€œnoâ€ to theÂ question; something which enraged the Minister.
â€œNdiye kuti zikukusangalatsani zomwe akulemba eti (That means you are pleased with her blogs)?â€ The minister sarcastically probed.
Not known to the Minister, Rebecca was recording the conversation having received three anonymous calls threatening her security for her investigations which implicated the President, Joyce Banda and her vice president Khumbo Kachali in corrupt practices.
According to her investigations, Joyce Banda, the vice President Khumbo Khachali, and other senior government officials such as Ralph Kasambara and Sidik Mia, among other officials, flouted the Malawi constitution and illegally “offered themselves” contracts to supply subsidized fertilizer.
Consequently, Rebecca established that out of the 27 companies contracted to supply the donor supported fertilizer to uplift the wellbeing of Malawians who are currently living in chronic poverty, 14 companies are owned by members of the executive branch of the government.
Other senior party sympathizers and prospective Peoples Party financiers own other 7 companies on the list.
The suppliers include the following companies: JBÂ Investments, KK Properties, Astor Chemicals (owned by one Abdul Gaffer Mohamed Sidik Mia), Boss Distributors.
This blogger does not intend to imply that these companies are owned by anyone in the current regime.
However, it is an open secret that Joyce Banda and Khumbo Kachali are commonly known by their acronyms:- JB for Joyce Banda and KK for the vice President Khumbo Kachali.
Likewise, Sidik Mia is the Minister of Transport and Public Works something which may be intriguing as Astor Chemicals is owned by someone called Abdul Gaffer MohamedÂ Sidik Mia.
It is even fascinating to note that Malawiâ€™s Attorney General and Justice Minister, Ralph Kasambara, owns a company called Boss Car Hire as earlier until today stated on his FacebookÂ profile.
According to the list, a company calledÂ Boss Distributors has also been awarded the tender to distribute the â€œsubsidyâ€.
Of course, this blogger does not remove the possibility of this being a sheer coincidence.
The Director of Information, Isaac Â Cheke Ziba, when contacted to clarify on this “coincidence”, directed this reporter to aÂ publicity in the Ministry of Agriculture, Sarah Tione, whose phone numbers were all out of reach.
However, Kasambara had edited his Facebook profile and removed his proprietorship to BossÂ Car Hire.
Assuming that these companies are owned by the alleged owners, it should however be stressed here that it is not known if the owners had declared their business interests to the Speaker of Parliament, Henry Chimunthu Banda, as the Constitution of Malawi demands.
Fervidly, the constitution asserts in Section 88: â€œthe President and members of the Cabinet shallâ€¦within three months from the date of election or appointment, as the case may be, fully disclose all of their assets, liabilities and business interests, and those of their spouses, held by them or on their behalf as at that date; and, unless Parliament otherwise prescribes by an Act of Parliament, such disclosure shall be made in a written document delivered to the Speaker of the National Assembly who shall immediately upon receipt deposit the document with such public office as may be specified in the Standing Orders of Parliamentâ€.
The Constitution adds: â€œThe President and members of the Cabinet shall not use their respective offices for personal gain or place themselves in a situation where their material interests conflict with the responsibilities and duties of their officesâ€.
But Kasambara later revealed to Chimjeka that his Boss Car Hire is not related to Boss Distributors (which was found to be owned by a Malawian Indian).
We should also not remove the possibility of having different ministers rushing to the registrar of companies to â€œcover upâ€ their ownership of companies listed on this yearâ€™s fertilizer suppliers especially after the whistleblower had published the anomalies implicating the President and some members of the cabinet. With â€œorders from aboveâ€, this has the highest probability.
Tags: Ralph Kasambara