By Chisomo Phiri
One of the prominent human rights organizations in the country,Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has written the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) demanding probe into suspected money laundering acts at Salima Sugar Company Limited (SSCL).
This follows a leaked interim forensic audit report which reveals payments amounting to K50 billion at the company in Salima District that cannot be validated.
The development at the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) venture has come under strict scrutiny forcing Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) Colleen Zamba to order deployment of State security.
In its letter to the FIA director general Jean Phillipo Priminta dated October 24 2023, CDEDI is demanding prompt action “on this matter of national interest within seven days” failing which it will decide to take the next course of action.
According to CDEDI, what happened at the sugar firm, as revealed by the forensic audit report, affords realistic ground to suspect acts of money laundering and that some funds being proceeds for crime.
“Almost eight years down the line, Malawians are yet to reap the fruits of the good intention that led to the establishment of the private entity with public stakes through the Greenbelt Authority,” reads the statement signed by executive director Sylvester Namiwa.
In particular, the organisation has drawn to FIA’s attention the issue of equity contribution, loan capital and utilization and the source of K3.741 billion AUM SAL equity contribution.
FIA is Uganda’s National centre for the receipt of financial data, analysis and dissemination of financial intelligence to competent authorities.
The authority was established by the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2013(AMLA) and has the mandate to combat money Laundering, countering Terrorism financing and countering proliferation.