Malawi: Court Orders Seizure of K1.7bn Chisale Assets for 'Presevation'

Former president Peter Mutharika (file photo).
27 February 2021

The High Court in Blantyre allowed the government to seize K1.7 billion worth of property for former security aide to Peter Mutharika, Norman Chisale.

Judge Mike Tembo has permitted the office of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) through the Asset Forfeiture Unit, the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), ACB and Malawi Police Service (MPS) Fiscal and Fraud Department and other law enforcement agencies who jointly applied for the court order to go ahead and seize the assets for "preservation" until his trial concludes.

FIA legal services manager Dr Jean Philipo Priminta, chief State advocate Edwin Mtonga, FIA legal director Collins Chitsime and senior State advocate Pilirani Masanjala made submissions to court on behalf of the State.

Recently Chisale has been in and out of court answering charges related to attempted murder, abuse of office over his alleged role in the importation of cement using the President's duty-free status, is accused by State agencies of acquiring billions worth of assets illegally.

Department, and other law enforcement agencies jointly applied for the Court order.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steven Kayuni confirms the development.

"Through their joint efforts and coordination strategy they have secured a preservation order for property worth 1.7 billion Malawi Kwacha in connection with Mr Chisale. Him alone accumulated all that property of which there is reasonable ground to believe that it is proceeds of a crime and is likely to be seized by government. Justice Mike Tembo has so ordered," said Kayuni.

Among the assets seized include d a Mercedes Benz with personalised registration NPC1 (initials standing for Norman Paulos Chisale) which he declared was "a gift from my friend in London Dhada Motors, a Toyota Landcruiser VX which he said was "a gift from my friend in Dubai" and a BMW X5 as a gift from a Mr. Kadango in Lilongwe.

The list also includes a Mercedes Benz registration NPC2 pegged at K8 million, a house in Kanjedza Township in Blantyre valued at K30 million which he said was a "a loan from Mr L. Fazeh".

Also seized is Zimatha Executive Lodge in Mangochi and Namauya Investment Distribution Depot in Ntcheu.

The judge ruled that the properties should be seized "until the conclusion of the forfeiture proceedings or until a contrary order of the court is issued."

The court will also seize K30 million in account at National Bank of Malawi and K87 million at First Capital Bank under. a freezing order obtained but the Financial Intelligence Authority.

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