Karim, Botomani Out on Bail in K2.7bn Scam

The chief resident magistrate court in Lilongwe has granted bail to businessman Zameer Karim, Police Commissioner Innocent Bottoman and Senior Superintendent Grant Kachingwe who have been arrested for alleged corruption.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau has arrested the three in relation to the 2.7 billion kwacha food rations scam involving the police and Karim’s Pioneer Investments.

Mr. Zameer Karim of Pioneer investment has been charged with Theft, uttering false documents and acquiring proceeds of crime, says an ACB statement.

It further says Mr. Grant Kachingwe has a single case – forging documents in order to help Pioneer investment obtain a bank loan whereas Commissioner Innocent Botomani is charged with uttering false documents, abuse of office and acquiring proceeds of crime.

The case returns to court on December 13 when it shall be committed to the high court for further prosecution.

The ACB believes it has sufficient evidence on all counts leveled against the three suspects.

Suspicion around the 2.7 billion food ration deal at Malawi police headquarters heightened following a leaked ACB report that detailed alleged fraudulent activities in the deal.

The ACB report says days after the contract was signed, Pioneer Investment allegedly asked for a change to the agreed price from 2.3bn kwacha to nearly 2.8bn.

The report further claims the businessman Karim later deposited 145m kwacha into an account belonging to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), of which President Peter Mutharika is the sole signatory.

The ACB however, later said President Mutharika did not directly benefit from the donation and that there was no incriminating evidence.

Just last month it transpired that Zameer Karim donated five brand new vehicles registered in President Peter Mutharika’s name. State house said the vehicles belonged to the ruling part DPP. Last month, head of the ACB Rayneck Matemba said the ACB had yet to pursue an investigation on this matter.