Government is fast closing in on former First Lady, Gertrude Mutharika, for her links with Nyala Mines Limited which is being investigated for failing to pay sanctioned dues to government as extraction fees while mining rubies at Chimwadzulu Mine in Ntcheu.
It is estimated that the company failed to honor payments amounting to K307 billion when it closed business in 2017. Nyala Mines Limited came to Malawi in 2008 and was granted a 10-year contract to mine rubies. Their license was not renewed after that period.
An ongoing investigation has unearthed strong links between the former First Lady and Nyala Mines Limited.
Meanwhile government has written the company, now based in the United States, reminding the
m of their unsettled financial obligations in Malawi. It has also been asked them to explain more about their link with Gertrude. They are yet to respond.
If there is no satisfactory reply from the company, government plans to use necessary legal and diplomatic instruments to deal with both the financial issue and that of the former First Lady.
During her husband’s rule between 2014 and 2020, Mrs. Mutharika amassed a huge fortune through her Beautify Malawi Trust, a charity she used as a front for self-enrichment.
However, a 2017 report on extractive industry raised eyebrows on whether the company was fulfilling its tax obligations after its files could not be traced.
Government had 30 percent participation and 10 percent equity in the company from which it used to receive 10 percent royalties on the exported product. Surprisingly, Nyala Mines never remitted any funds to government as per the agreement.
It was established that the company had no taxpaying code after all those years.
Mining companies in the country are mandated to publish details of their contracts and proceeds from mining ventures and listings of government payments, things Nyala Mines never fulfilled.