LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi government on Saturday assured the nation that is in full guard of the embattled businessman Abdul Karim Batatawala’s MK53 billion daylight robbery of the state resources.
The assurance comes after country’s civil society ganged against the controversy surrounding the MK53.9 billion Immigration Department uniforms supply deal made by Batatawala .
In a statement made available to The Maravi Post government spokesperson Henry Mussa, who is also Minister of Information observed that it is the view of government that the concerns being expressed relating to the matter are “genuine”, saying authorities are therefore working tirelessly to protect the national interests.
Mussa also pointed out that the State is “vehemently opposing and challenging” the said claim in the courts of law.
Government assures all Malawians and those concerned that it will use “all our expertise and available legal avenues to defend the rights of Malawians against this daytime robbery of State resources.”
Below is the full statement;
THE POSITION OF GOVERNMENT ON THE K53 BILLION CLAIM
Government wishes to inform the public that it has noted and appreciates the ongoing discussion regarding the claim amounting to MK53 Billion by Mr. Abdul Karim Batatawala, against the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services.
It is the view of Government that the concerns being expressed relating to the matter are genuine and, we, therefore, are working tirelessly to protect the national interests.
Suffice it to say that Government is vehemently opposing and challenging the said claim in the courts of law.
It is the unflinching position of Government that the said claim is dubious and aimed at defrauding the Treasury and State coffers.
Government would like to assure all Malawians and those concerned that we will use all our expertise and available legal avenues to defend the rights of Malawians against this daytime robbery of State resources.
Our lawyers are meticulously examining the claim and any or all fraudulent and criminal aspects underpinning this transaction will be dealt with and responded to accordingly.
In this respect, all Government agencies responsible for civil as well as criminal justice are coordinating their efforts in handling the claim.
We shall regularly update the general public on the steps being taken by Government in defence of the people of Malawi.
HENRY MUSSA, MP MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY.
The authorities have noted that Karim’s two firms Africa Commercial Agency and Reliance Trading Company were profiteering by charging Immigration Department a single uniform shirt for at about MK60 000 and in some cases a belt quoted at MK100 000, sticks MK142 500, ladies trousers for Immigration officers at MK127 500 and woolen socks MK19 750.
Among other things, the suppliers pegs a single uniform shirt for an Immigration officer at about MK60 000 and in some cases a belt at MK100 000.
On Friday however Karim obtained High Court injunction stopping one of the country’s dailies, Nation Publication Limited from reporting on the “uniformgate scam”.