Malawi: Mutharika's Lavish Mansion - Ombudsman Probe Plot As Questions Raised Over Source of Money

11 April 2021

Here is the luxurious retirement beachside mansion of former president Peter Mutharika in Mangochi with top-of-the-range fittings that feature an excess of marble, mosaic and gold, raising questions the source of funds for the ex-leader to built the sprawling and opulent home.

The astonishing pictures show the gaudy opulence of Mutharika's retirement private residence.

Inside the property some walls and fixtures are covered in a gold and ivory colour scheme.

There are claims that the ex-leader had improperly benefited from public funds for the construction of his mansion.

But Mutharika through his personal secretary Linda Salanjira said he built his house in Mangochi with his own money.

"Mutharika did not use taxpayers' money to build his house," Salanjira said.

She rejected any insinuation that there could be any untoward abuse of state resources by Mutharika to build the Mangochi home.

But pictures of the mansion has attracted comments from citizens that amid a sea of poverty, Mutharika , who accumulated significant wealth during his six-year rule, went on with opulent display by the construction of his lavish home.

Apart from the mansion, the Mutharika estate includes staff houses.

The ex-leader's wealth has come under the microscope as his bank accounts remains frozen in criminal investigations to do with cement-gate scandal.

Mutharika has a vast personal fortune.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Ombudsman is investigating Mutharika over a land in Mangochi where he built his retirement home.

This follows a complaint filed by a Maldeco Fisheries retiree Albert Viola claiming that some people sold him his land and he wanted to be compensated.

Saulos Mkuluzado, a step brother to Albert Viola who brokered the deal, explained

The land was sold to Mutharika for K30 million when he was president, and after some deductions that went to Ministry of Lands and other charges, the balance was paid to Albert Viola, K7.3 million and Ernest Viola, K12 million plus, as per agreed percentages.

Albert Viola, however, felt this was far too little as compared to the land he valued to be worth K36 million.

On his part, Mkuluzado said the land, owing to the disagreements between the Violas and as directed by the two, was registered in his name, Saulos Mkuluzado, until it was sold to Mutharika.

He said the ex-Malawi leader duly paid for it though the he does not own it as it is registered under Moyenda Mutharika- his US-based daughter - a lawyer by profession.

The money to purchase the land was deposited into a National Bank account number 0000000520659, Lilongwe Gateway Service Centre on June 22 2017 and later, application for consent to transfer lease was made to the Commissioner of Lands and it was processed in favour of Moyenda Mutharika.

Former president Mutharika, after his loss in the June 23 2020 Fresh Presidential Election, relocated to Mangochi and settled at this land.

More From: Nyasa Times

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