K750m recovery: Suleman says money will come from within Malawi, not UK

…says recovered K182m has been paid by a Malawian lawyer

…calls for immediate resignation of AG

Member of Parliament for Blantyre City South East who is also Chairperson for Agriculture Committee of Parliament Sameer Suleman, says the K750 million which Malawi Government was duped by UK firm through a fertiliser deal, will not be refunded by the said UK company, but rather some Malawians who want to adhere to President Lazarus Chakwera’s directive.

Suleman who is also the Co-Chairperson of the Joint Parliamentary Committee inquiring into the stolen AIP funds, made the revelations on Saturday, 24 December in an interview with Times Television where he also revealed that K182 million which is said to have been recovered already, was transacted by an SFFRFM lawyer.

He said he is not convinced why a lawyer would make such a transaction instead of relevant authorities and has since cast doubt if the entire money will be returned to the account number one from the  United Kingdom based Barkaat Foods Limited which is the center of the saga.

“This money which is said to have been returned, was banked by a lawyer for SFFRFM. He took the money and returned it to Ecobank in Kwachas. So, how is it possible for a lawyer to handle financial matters in a company to a tune of K182 million, returning it on behalf of someone from UK? There are questions all over.

“This is a serious issue with evidence. By now several officials were supposed to have been arrested. The minister and his PS were fired but this is about SFFRFM and the ministry. You may change ministers but there are some people there who are on the center of such corruption deals,” said Suleman.

Recently, the Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda promised that he will resign if the money is not fully paid back to Malawi.

However, Suleman said Nyirenda should resign now as he has been sleeping on his duty.

Suleman further faulted the AG for travelling to Germany to trace the money when there is a fully functioning Malawian embassy therein and he has described his trip to Germany as another wastage of the taxpayers’ money.

“I think he is being slow, he should resign now and I am calling for his resignation. Why did he travel to Germany when we have a fully functioning embassy there? This is a sensitive issue but he came back and never briefed the country. He knows the truth. I am very sure that if the remaining K516 million will be returned, it will again come from within Malawi. Otherwise, the whole money was eaten and what they are trying to do is to cover what the president said,” he said.

The Co-Chairperson added that he has an official document from Ecobank which claimed shows that Malawi will only get back the money if it will directly engage the beneficiary, Barkaat Foods Limited, who got the money from City Bank which as well got the money from Ecobank.

He further said Malawians should not wait for a report from the joint committee anytime soon, claiming other relevant authorities such as officials from Ecobank, the Reserve Bank of Malawi governor and others have not been interrogated on the matter.

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