Batatawala wants to gag Nation newspapers

Aslam Batawalala

Corruption suspect Abdul Karim Batatawala wants to gag the Nation newspapers over its reporting of him which he argues portrays him as a corrupt businessperson and Malawi’s top fraudster.

Batatawala, who is accused together with three others of defrauding Malawi Government of K1.5 billion, has written the media house to protest its reporting and inform it of his intention to take legal action.

The businessperson in the letter has expressed concern over an article titled “Batatawala Tops Government Claims List”.

He argues that the article only quoted Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda but made no effort to contact Batatawala over the allegation even though the AG is also a party to the issue which is in court.

Batatawala has also claimed that the K250 billion he is said to be demanding is an “erroneous figure” but the newspaper claimed that the amount would be enough to carry out projects at Ministry of Health to make Malawians angry.

He has also raised concerns over another article about a court ruling which was published in February this year, two months after the ruling was delivered.

According to Batatawala, he is worried that judges and members of society could be swayed by the coverage in the Nation Newspaper.

“The unprofessional and biased reporting could lead to our client’s partners deciding to stop doing business with our client’s companies thereby seriously impacting our client’s constitutional right to economic activity.

“Lastly, the said unprofessional and biased reporting which is clearly aimed at instigating anger against our client, could result in violent mob action against our client, members of his family and their property. This would carry criminal liability on the part of the directors of NPL, its editors and concerned reporters,” reads part of the letter dated 4 March, 2022 and signed by Henry Phoya, lawyer for Batatawala.

Batatawala through his lawyer has since demanded an apology from NPL to be issued in all publications within the next seven days.

“If there are no steps to comply with our above stated demand within the stated period, we shall assume that you are unwilling to resolve this matter amicably, and we shall proceed with court action without any further recourse to you whatsoever,” reads party of the statement.

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