It does not rain but pours for locally-owned business conglomerate Mulli Brothers Limited.
At a time when the group of companies faces legal battles almost on all fronts for, among others, alleged graft charges,
government has just blocked a move in which Mulli Brothers wanted to dubiously change ownership to 36 motor vehicles off their fleet.
This follows the state having obtained a preservation and restraining order on 36 motor vehicles against the local conglomerate that is often accused of political meddling, promoting tribalism, nepotism and abusing its workforce.
Recently, an application by states agencies Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), and Malawi Police Service (MPS) Fiscal and Fraud Department saw the preservation order successfully secured at the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate.
The development by government was necessitated after a ploy was uncovered when Web Commercials, through directors Muhiyeni Mulli, Joseph Khupe, Leston Ted Mulli, had written the Road Traffic Directorate to change the ownership of the vehicles in question.
The communication to Road Traffic Directorate by the firm intended to change ownership of the listed vehicles to Muhiyeni Mulli, recognising him as as the new owner.
Wrote Web Commercials Limited in the letter to Chief Road Traffic Officer: “We would like to request you to change owners of the attached list of motor vehicles to Muhiyeni Mulli, P.O. Box 51280 Limbe.”
However, the preservation and restraining order that Chief Resident Magistrate Madalitso Khoswe Chimwaza granted the State indicates that the latter is prohibiting Mulli Brothers Limited and others to change ownership of their vehicles into other names.
In its arguments, the State has said the owners of the 36 vehicles are believed to have directly benefited from alleged offences of money laundering.
According to the order, the State believes that the vehicles were obtained with money that was fraudulently obtained and hence calls for some indepth investigations.
The development should be yet another dent to Mulli’s empire whose reputation has always been soiled by the family’s association with the ousted regime; with some quarters deducing that they have always been for state capture.
Mulli is also seen as the force behind the recent spate of anti-government protests on the premise that the Chakwera-led adminstration is targeting his business interests owing to his association with the past regime.
This was made clear when, in one of the protests, some demo organisers alleged that government was discriminating against the Lhomwe people in accessing equal economic opportunities in the country.
Apparently, Mulli is seen to thwart attempts to have his ill-gotten wealth scrutinised by taking his personal fight to innocent masses by, among others, perpetuating an alleged government persecution against Mulhako Wa Alhomwe, a cultural grouping he chairs and bankrolls.
Chakwera rose to the country’s presidency two years ago on the premise of restoring the rule of law and curbing corruption which was commonplace during the ousted Peter Mutharika-led Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime.
The President has, time and again, relentlessly pronounced that he won’t be shielding anyone in his national fight against graft.