Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Muluzi, Kalaria Tussle Over Companies

Bakili Muluzi fighting with a Malawian of Asian origin over companies. He has several other cases that he is also answering in the courts of Law including fraud and corruption.

By Rex Chikoko

Former President Bakili Muluzi has dragged his former business partner and manager Pramod Kalaria to court over failure to complete payment for Muluzi’s shares worth K350 million in companies the two jointly owned, Malawi News can reveal.

Kalaria, a Lilongwe-based businessman was Muluzi’s equal partner and manger on several companies including Nationwide Marketing Services Limited, Nthawi Investments Limited, Rocksizer Mining Compant Limited, Rare Earth Mining Company Limited and Chitsime Drilling Company Limited.

Sworn affidavits in case number 3 of 2011 which were filed at Commercial Court in Blantyre, show that Muluzi had asked Kalaria to buy all the shares in all their companies after Kalaria had allegedly failed to account on how the companies were being run on Muluzi’s behalf.

The Court records indicate Muluzi dragged Kalaria to court when the latter stopped paying Muluzi as per agreement of sale of shares which was drawn on May 21, 2010.

The agreement indicates that the payment would be made in 16 months starting from May 21, 2010 to June 30,2011. But the agreement was only signed by Muluzi. Kalaria only agreed and signed to follow the schedule for payment.

“I have agreed with this Agreement and I will sign on Monday 24th May, 2010,” endorsed Kalaria below the schedule of payment and signed.

Kalaria’s main contention in a sworn affidavit is that Muluzi forced him to agree on the buying of the shares. He also argues that Nthawi Investments Limited, whose shares Muluzi claimed to own was already sold to Kalaria’s wife by Muluzi’s late brother Friday Muluzi.

In a case before Justice Michael Mtambo, Nthawi Investments Limited has petitioned Liwonde Properties Limited – owned by Kalaria – to stop it from winding up one company, Malawi Fertilizer Company, in which Nthawi Investments Limited had shares.

Witnesses in the case include Atupele Muluzi who was collecting money from Kalaria, Tiyesi Chigambawho was one of the shareholders of Nthawi Investments Limited, Christos and Dimitri Giannakis, Ishmail Chioko and a Mr. Baisi.

Chioko argues in his affidavit that Kalaria was unable to manage various companies on behalf of Muluzi family. “Kalaria offers to buy shares of companies he failed to account. The initial amount was K750 million, the amount was reduced to K500 million. Dr Muluzi accepted the last offer of K350 million since he was sick and wanted the money for medical bills,” reads the affidavit in part.

But while Kalaria agreed to buy all Muluzi’s shares in all the companies, the two jointly owned, argued that Muluzi’s shares in Nthawi Investments Limited were sold to Pushpa Pramod Patel on July 7,2005 by his late brother, Friday. Muluzi refuses to buy this position and claims that at that time Friday had relinquished his shares to Muluzi.

In his affidavit Kalaria describes the affidavits of Chioko, Muluzi and Baisi as a pathetic attempt to mislead the court into believing that he (Kalaria) is dishonest. He says the affidavits were irrelevant to the issues in the case because they relate to dealings concerning Rocksizer Mining Contractors Limited and Chitsime Drilling Company Limited which have nothing to do with Nthawi Investments Limited.

“Completely false and misguided in so far as they suggest that in 2010 I negotiated or agreed to purchase from Dr Muluzi any shares in Nthawi Investments Limited or any interests of Nthawi Investments Limited, in Nationwide Marketing Services Limited, Liwonde Property Investments Limited and Rare Earth Company Limited.

“Dr Muluzi did not have any direct or indirect interest in Nthawi Investments Limited and the companies in which Nthawi Investments Limited had interest after Mr. Friday Muluzi sold his shares in Nthawi Investments Limited to Pushpa Patel on 7th July, 2005. Dr. Muluzi could not sell what he did not have,” argues Kalaria.

Kalaria further argues the affidavits are of no consequence in so far as they question the adequacy of the consideration by which Pushpa Patel got Friday Muluzi’s shares in NIL. He says the purchase price was freely agreed upon by the parties based on their own valuation of the shares. The affidavit indicates that Kalaria in 2010 purchased 200,000 shares in Rocksizer from the former President Dr. Muluzi at K20 million and 400,000 shares in Chitsime Drilling Company Limited at K50 million from Mrs. Anne Muluzi.

“Contrary to the baseless allegations of Messrs Chioko and Muluzi, I did not send the share transfer forms to Dr. Muluzi in South Africa. The share transfer forms were collected by Messrs Chioko and Muluzi from my office on 24th May 20…..and were only returned to me by Atupele Muluzi in an envelope from America, duly signed by
Dr. Muluzi and Mrs Muluzi, respectively,” Kalaria said.

He said he refused to sign the alleged agreement and give a report because the meeting which he was summoned to on My 7,2010 by Dr Muluzi did not make sense because Dr. Muluzi and his family no longer had any interest in some of the entities including Rare Earth Company Limited and Chipiku Stores. He added that at a subsequent meeting on May 21,2010, Dr. Muluzi, Atupele and Chioko demanded that he buys Dr. Muluzi’s interest in several companies including Nthawi Investments Limited and its interest in other companies at K750 million.

This was bizarre because Dr. Muluzi no longer had any direct or indirect interest in Nthawi Investments Limited and there was no basis for setting the price for his or his family’s interest in other companies and I rejected this.

“Muluzi then without any basis lowered the price to K500 million and then K350 million and threatened that I was not going to be released from his house unless I signed the BCA draft agreement which Mr. Chioko drafted there and then. When I insisted that I could not sign the BCA draft agreement, I was detained for seven hours and told that I had to sign the BCA draft agreement and would only be released if I made an immediate payment of K10 million.

“I was also told, and this was confirmed by telephone calls from my office, that Dr. Muluzi’s men, including Mr. Baisi had surrounded my workplace in Lilongwe. They were intimidating my family and workers and threatening to drive away 20 vehicles belonging to Chitsime Drilling Company Limited unless I signed the agreement at Dr. Muluzi’s house.”

“I was only released after my workers in Lilongwe had collected K10 million from daily sales in various businesses and delivered it in cash to Mr. Baisi and I succumbed to the duress and promised to sign the BCA draft agreement by endorsing the schedule to the said agreement” he said.

According to the affidavits, Kalaria did not sign the new agreement because he did not agree with the price of K350 million.

The case is coming before the court on May 19, 2011-Malawi News


  1. Malawi Digest mwabweranso! this is a hot one. keep it up

  2. Kodi munthu uyu Bakili nkhani yama Young Democrats sanasiyebe? Koma kamuna uyu uchifwamba, mpaka mwenye kumpanga choncho. Ndilibe mau.

  3. The 2 fraudsters are at it again. First they stole from public funds and now they want to steal from each other. They were very close and carried out many fraudulent transactions together and now they want to cheat each other. Interesting case this one is. Lets see who ends up cheating who!!

  4. Imeneyi timati Kathyali ndi mzake Physiphysiti. Alizana bambo and akuoneka kuti this time Tchair amuliza.