Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has penned Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda to side with Malawians by facilitating cancellation of the K1.6 billion “dubious” claim by President Lazarus Chakwera’s former aide Pastor Martin Thom.
The Cleric is demanding a whopping K1.6 billion from taxpayers’ money, saying he was illegally arrested in August 2021.
But in its findings, based on the letter in our possession, addressed to the country’s Attorney General and signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, the organisation says Pastor Thom was never arrested but only summoned for questioning and that the interrogation never lasted for an hour.
“It is in the same vein that CDEDI, on behalf of Malawians, writes your good office to protect the public funds by challenging the claim itself first, and not only the amount,” says Namiwa.
He has also reminded the Attorney General about previous engagements CDEDI held with the former police Chief George Kainja which established that Pastor Thom neither had a police bail nor court bail.
“Therefore it is an insult to the intelligence of Malawians to compensate someone who was only called for questioning and driven home an hour or so later. By the way, how many people are called for questioning by the Malawi Police Services on daily basis? Is it feasible that all those called for summoning should be compensated,” queries Namiwa.
He said cancellation of the absurd claims by Pastor Thom would do much good to the reputation of the Attorney General and much to the general public at large.
Nyirenda has since been advised to take a deep reflection and some soul searching before acting on this matter.
It transpired during an interface between CDEDI and former Inspector General George Kainja held at the police headquarters at Area 30 in Lilongwe that Pastor Thom neither had a police bail nor court bail.
Nyirenda over the weekend told the local media that Thom had not indicated in his claims that he indeed lost business worth K1.6 billion due to the arrest.
Namiwa argued that Nyirenda’s response gives impression that Nyirenda is in support of Pastor Thom’s dubious claims.
“To many of us, your response in the said article meant that Pastor Martin Thom will be compensated, but from where we are standing we strongly challenge this arrangement as it smacks daylight robbery and an outright abuse of public funds,” he said.
Meanwhile Lawyer for the Pastor, Silvester Ayuba James, has confirmed that the compensation claim has already been presented to the courts for assessment.
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