Ombudsperson receiving death threats for investigating tractors deal


Malawi’s Ombudsperson says she is getting death threats for investigating the sale of tractors which were meant to be used by smallholder farmers as part of the Green Belt Initiative.

Mwangonde: getting death threats

The Ombudsperson, Martha Chimuza-Mwagonde, is investigating the issue of 177 tractors and 144 maize shellers which were sold to government officials and other individuals at low prices.

The tractors and shellers were expected to be used at an agriculture scheme in Salima funded by a loan from the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank).

But they did not reach intended beneficiaries as they were sold at the giveaway price of K5 million even though they were bought two years earlier at K37 million each. Only 600-million kwacha was raised from the sale of the tractors which means Malawians will have to repay a huge part of the loan which was used to purchase the tractors.

In May, Mwangonde began demanding answers on the sale of the tractors from Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.

“It is alleged that these tractors have not reached the intended beneficiaries. It is further alleged that [they] have been sold to senior public officers, contrary to the justification put before the National Assembly when the loan authorisation was being debated and authority sought,” she wrote the ministry.

However, Mwangonde said she has been on the receiving threats since she began her investigations

“I’ve been told on many occasions by different people that I need to take care of myself’,” she told the Centre for Investigative Journalism Malawi.

The constitution gives the ombudsman power to investigate reports of abuse of power or injustice by government officials and when they find evidence of corruption they hand over the cases to the Anti-Corruption Bureau or the director of public prosecution to prosecute.

Mwangonde however admitted that it is difficult to deal with government departments.

“From my experience I would put compliance at 50/50. No wonder my predecessors decided to simply let sleeping dogs lie,” she said.

People who benefited from the sale of the tractors include minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Minister Francis Kasaila and Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya.

Mulli Brothers Holdings and Bineth Farm which is owned the family of late Bingu wa Mutharika also bought some tractors at low prices.




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  2. DPP ministers omwe mwakhudzidwa ndi kuba ndalama zaboma Nikukumvera chisoni coz 2019 ndi Zomba Maximum Prison Achaponda ndi anzanu osusuka aja mudzikangogwa ndi ma bp komabe bomalathu lamonzeratu ma cell anu

  3. Why you want to investigate while everyone knows that mr speaker Msowoya is one who take it.just send the police and collect our tractors at his farm but if you want to shield him you will die like Njaunji.

  4. wen writing comes to b yo profession u tend to write down the facts…..history wll shame malawi….n it wll change our generation to poor hence days stll numbered ….we were..we are n… ww wll az well b malawians wth shameful appearance … gvt cn come into power n satisfy everyone ….like wise dr kamuzu banda didn’t satisfy the past malawian citizens …..nw we stll live primitive lyf y owez malawi???? ……f kennedy sayd,,,,, do nt expect wat ur gvt cn do fo u bt ruther wat u cn do to gvt….we cn fool somebody one day bt our amagametion rights stand for us only ……

  5. Justince must be shown by giving her a maximum security around her……otherwise mmmmmmm, Winiko was also camplaining such things, its real guys, the current goverment is renspossible for the problems we are facing nw, corruption, albino killings etc, because those people who are coming up with the solution of ending up of these problems are not safe at all, I wish they could be provided with maximum security for job to be done without fear, but someone up there don’t want ths to happen bcoz of his / her selfish reseasons.

  6. when you still have people like this woman,who risk their lives and work hard to make sure Malawians are treated fair,it is up to the Citizens to stand up with one voice and send out a strong message and offer free protection for this Lady so she can carry out her duties without fear or favour,Malawian citizens must send a clear message to those who are threatening your Public Protector that should anything happen then you the citizens will hunt and track down the killers so they can feel the wrath of Malawians…..guys we are tired of these corrupt governments of Africa,they ve made almost all Africans poor!!!

  7. Welcome to Africa my dear,our own Public Protector in South Africa had a R750 000:00 price tag placed for her head,her sin was carrying out her duties to protect us from corrupt officials……..keep doing the good job and don’t be intimidated by anyone my dear,I’m sure Malawian citizens will protect you from any harm,just as we swore to protect our own Public Protector.

  8. It is the Malawi Constitution that gives her the powers to investigate the abuse of power even in gvt departments. These ministers, instead of setting a good example by respecting and abhoring the very constitution they pledged to protect, they are in the forefront of inappropriately securing these machinery for themselves at the expense of the poor tax payers…contrary to what is expected of them.

    It is very pathetic that in Malawi one can be condemned for doing the right and just. Recently, the Malawi Army General (Maulana) has been fired for refusing fraud and corruption to take place in his department. Ironically, some govt ministers have however been involved in his crucifixion. Now it is the Ombudsperson recieving death threats for charging her mandate without prejudice, fear or favour. Your govt has failed us dismally….we need a change come 2019. We need a clean system to govern us…a corrupt free leadership. #thedemocrats

    1. Thats true brn, it is now clear that the current gvment is renspossible for the problem we are facing now, but come to 2019 believe me people will still vote for the same problem we have today, malawians will never wake up!

  9. This Lady is gud at her job. I know she z at pains knowing that she z not free at all to do what she knows best , cry for my beloved country .

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