Director of Malawi’s graft-busting body—the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)—desperately wants to have enterprising private practice lawyer Frank Mbeta of Mbeta & Co. law firm arrested over a case he won against FDH bank. In the case, the court ordered FDH bank to pay MK784 million in damages to Maranatha Girls Academy Ltd, the party Mbeta was representing.
Our investigations reveal that lawyer Mbeta followed the letter and spirit of the law to have the judgment of the court effected. And this did not please FDH bank which consulted Kondowe for help.
Why did FDH bank consult Kondowe?
Our investigators have found that Lucas Kondowe is in deep financial trouble as he owes First Merchant Bank (FMB)millions of Malawi Kwacha in unpaid loans. Not so long ago FMB made a move to acquire the deputy director’s BlueBird Lodge in Limbe but FDH bank came to his rescue after National Bank gave him a cold shoulder.
As they say, scratch my back I will scratch yours, Kondowe when consulted by FDH bank advised the bank to cook evidence imputing misconduct on Mbeta’s handling of the case so that ACB can use that as a basis for his arrest thereby creating a room for the bank to play hide and seek on the payment of the damages.
Our investigations further reveal that this is not the first time Lucas Kondowe has bayed for Mbeta’s blood as he once failed to have him arrested on frivolous charges after he won a case involving businessperson Karamat Ullah Chaudhry.
Frank Mbeta was tight-lipped when our investigators reached him for his reaction to this development.
“I know nothing about what you’re saying. It is simply the nature of our profession that we crush shoulders once in a while; but that is normal. However, I’d not be surprised if what you’re insinuating gets to see the light of day given my troubled history with Lucas Kondowe,” Frank Mbeta said.
Our efforts to talk to the spokesperson of the ACB Egritta Ndala proved futile as we went to press but from our previous questionnaire on the body’s duties, no official let alone a director is allowed to use their position to settle scores with their enemies.