Written by Patseni Mauka
In a story that could easily qualify as a movie script, investigations have revealed that Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is fielding a United States of America convicted criminal Gerald Kazembe. Kazembe, 43, is currently serving as a Deputy Social Welfare Director in the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Malawi’s opposition MCP. He is also a 2019 Member of Parliament aspirant for Mangochi Monkey-Bay constituency.
After years of thievery and money laundering, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) descended on Kazembe like in the action movies with a full SWAT team. He was charged, convicted and sentenced to prison. He served and was eventually deported back to Malawi. Kazembe is reported to have stolen money exceeding $3 million or MK2.25 billion from different people and companies.
How did he start? He started stealing a few thousands of dollars from unsuspecting trusted friends and graduated to millions of dollars. As a car dealer, he could sell one car to two or more customers who gave him down payments. At a minimum, he would pocket $5,000 from innocent people. There is a website dedicated to the victims he left behind. All one needs to do is google Gerald Kazembe to read sad stories of a conman written by his victims.
One of his biggest victims is a Malawian who he convinced to invest in a car dealership that he ‘purchased’ from his old boss. He then sought out one of the most hard working successful young Malawians in the Washington DC area to pull out his life savings and invest in the dealership.
Since the two had known each other for years, the victim didn’t need a lot to be convinced to part with huge amounts of money. After all, they were supposed to be “brothers” watching out for each other.
Little by little, he would tell his partner that the
dealership was losing money and his partner would pump in more money.
Meanwhile, Gerard lived life of a king. He would take trips to Miami,
live in famous hotels, rent boats and hang out with beautiful women like
Back in Washington DC, he would go to expensive restaurants, buy expensive suits, rent a house in one of the most expensive places and then ask for more money from his business partner.
By now you must be asking why would his business partner keep giving him money? According to his victims, Kazembe knows how to talk. He is a master conman. This is why after being convicted, given 10 years to serve in a federal prison and then eventually deported, he was able to get himself into the inner circle of MCP.
Within a year after leaving jail and deported, he now sits at the high table with MCP Presidential Candidate Lazarus Chakwera and his running mate Sidik Mia. According to his victims, if you had a chance to be in his company, you would see a different side of him. He is polite, knows how to speak convincingly and will pounce on you without knowing that you are being conned. That’s how he managed to get Mia to finance part of his campaign and rise to the stature he is now.
It is the millions of dollars that he conned people and Mia’s money that is financing his bid to become ‘Honorable’ Gerald Kazembe, MP in Malawi parliament. If his victims heard that he is now a popular politician and in the inner circle of an aspiring president of Malawi, they would be shocked.
Make no mistake, in the unlikely event that MCP gets into power, he would be in the cabinet. He is that good at convincing people to be in charge. Kazembe would be a cabinet minister who will never set foot in America again because he is a convicted criminal.
If MCP, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) or any blind supporter don’t believe that Gerald Kazembe is convicted criminal, they can obtain an official record from federal courts in the US under the freedom of information act. All they have to do is fill out a form and get all the information they need.
There are also many private companies that keep background information of different people online. All one needs to do is subscribe for a few days and download pages and pages of his criminal records.
Section 51 of the Malawi constitution that lists qualifications of a member of parliament says ‘no person shall be qualified to be nominated or elected as a member of Parliament who has, within the last seven years, been convicted by a competent court of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude.’ This begs the question; does MEC really conduct investigations of candidates before accepting their nominations? How did Gerald Kazembe beat MEC’s due diligence?
As for MCP, it has demonstrated that it doesn’t care about who brings votes from the southern region of Malawi where it always loses miserably during elections. Once Kazembe convinced Chakwera and Mia that he is going to bring them votes from Monkey bay, they didn’t care to investigate his American exploits. They have now ended up with a convicted criminal right in their NEC. That’s how they also ended with a marriage of convenience with the cashgate queen.