By Staff Reporter
Vice President Saulosi Klaus Chilima and businessman Leston Mulli have been named that they are the ones funding former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cadet Silvetser Namiwa to stage demonstration on July 28 aimed at pushing for the amendment of the constitution to remove Presidential Immunity.
Chilima has so far put the removal of the Presidential Immunity as top on his agenda to get at President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera who recently withheld delegated duties to the office of the Vice President following revelation that his deputy received huge amounts of money from businessman Zunneth Sattar to influence award of government business.
The main agenda of the July 28 demonstration include scrapping off of the Presidential Immunity through amendment of Section 91 of the Constitution or Chakwera to resign if he fails to do so. Ironically, it is only through Parliament and only after a two-thirds majority vote in the House that the said Section could be amended.
While Mulli was also days ago mentioned as the one who sponsored the Phalombe demonstration where the Lhomwe’s raised concerns that the Tonse Administration is side lining them and he is also said to be the main financier of the flopped Anti-Judiciary demonstration which were to take place on July 20 but only turned into a violent event characterised by theft and looting of private property.
At least 80 people have since been arrested after they defied a court order restraining them from going ahead with the demonstration.
Sources from Parliament and those within the UTM, Chilima’s party, have disclosed that of late there have been a horde of meetings involving Namiwa, Chilima and Mulli.
“Even as MP we were approached to support the demonstration and the amendment of the Constitution to remove the Presidential Immunity but some of us or I can say the majority of us are not supporting this idea because we feel laws should not be changed willy nilly to satisfy the political greed of individuals,” said an MP who did not want to be named.
A very senior member of the UTM also collaborated the story but added that in the party there are also division on the push for the removal of the presidential immunity.
“Most of us in the UTM feel that Chilima wants to use the party to fight his own battles and he wants to hide behind the issue of the Presidential Immunity to cover up his own involvement with Sattar. Our position is that this is wrongly timed and will greatly not get any support even in Parliament where UTM only has four MPs.
“Yes he can join hands with DPP but it seems the support on the removal of the Immunity is only from those not in Parliament. He is courting wrong people. As for Mulli, we know he just want to use us also to cover his many illegal activities which he did during the DPP era,” said the UTM senior official.
While Chilima has been vocal on the issue of the Immunity and his accusations on MCP not fully honouring the Tonse Agreement since his mention in the Sattar Corrupt case, Mulli also has a number of cases against government mainly to do with fraud.
In the first case he is accused of fraudulently getting a K5 billion loan from the defunct Malawi Savings Bank (MSB). Through a court judgement the amount has since accumulated to more than K10.4 billion which the current administration is questioning the legality of having a 50 year repayment period at the rate of K5 million per month.
The Attorney General Thabo Nyirenda has said that it is believed that Mulli fraudulently got a total of K15 billion from MSB. Mulli was weeks ago arrested along former Chief Secretary to the President Lloyd Muhara for the MSB matter.
He is also being accused of fraudulently getting a K4 billion compensation through his Mulli Brothers Limited despite a court ruling being in favour of government and refused to award him such a compensation which was for the alleged damage of property during the July 20, 2011 demonstrations.
Again the businessman is embroided in another scandal involving K2.350 billion which he obtained from the Reserve Bank of Malawi by fraudulently obtaining letters of credit from the central bank on pretext that they will import or purchase fertiliser but never purchased the products for the farmers on behalf of SFFRFM, forcing RBM to settle their liabilities of the amounts stated.
In this case he is accused along his brother Felton Mulli and others. His brother owes RBM K789 billion.
Mulli is also at the moment tussling with government over the ownership of bus depot which belonged to former Shire Bus Lines. Mulli is being accused of fraudulently owning the bus depots as part of his National Bus Service which acquired Shire Bus Lines of which government is saying the deal did not include the depots.
In this matter Mulli is expected to pay billions of kwachas which he has been fraudulently correcting from the buss depots across the country.
Following his recent arrest, Mulli mobilized and paid people from his home district Phalombe to stage demonstrations against government complaining that the Tonse Administration is only arresting people from the district and other Lhomwes. Most commentators have since described the use of tribes to evade justice as dangerous.
Some eye-witnesses have indicated that some of the Lilongwe July 20 demonstrators were ferried in truckloads from as far as Phalombe District, where Mulli comes from, and some parts of the southern region.
On the other Chilima’s known supporters on Facebook and other social media platforms have been vocal supporting the demonstrations.
This raised suspicions that some politicians are bankrolling the demonstrations for their own political goals and not a genuine concern to the plight of Malawians.
Renowned seasoned rights activist Undule Mwakasungula has also described the demonsttations as questionable and ill-timed.
“The issue of removal of presidential immunity must not be politicised as it can create a Constitutional crisis and chaos. We need to seriously reflect and be sober with the issue without being manipulated by or for political interests in the name of fighting corruption,” he said.
He said many countries have such laws to ensure that a sitting president is not distracted from his job as Head of State because of useless law suits.