Bogus NGO swindles clients of K1million, busted

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A bogus non-governmental organisation, trading under the name Rock Relief Services and operating in Blantyre, has been busted after robbing people of over K1 million.

The NGO has been exposed following the intervention of Blantyre Kabula parliamentarian Felix Njawala, having suspected foul play in the body’s operations.

Njawala, in an interview yesterday, said he got news two weeks ago that the organisation was issuing loans to people, but on condition that prospective beneficiaries pay collateral.

“When I heard that people were told they would be getting loans 10 times their collateral but without attracting any interest, I smelt a rat and went to their offices in Chemusa Township to find out.

“Looking at the lifelessness at the offices I suspected that these people were up to something fishy that is why I reported the matter to Kabula Police who moved in swiftly and arrested two employees found at the offices,” Njawala said.

Officer Susan Sakala handling the matter at Kabula Police said in a separate interview that they had since released the two suspects who were arrested on Thursday as they were mere employees.

“We’ve now man a g e d to arrest the owner of the organisation known by the name Mathews Chirembo, 52, who was apprehended in Lilongwe following a tip off from well-wishers,” Sakala said.

She added that complaints launched at the police so far indicate that the organisation had collected more than K1 million from prospective beneficiaries in Chemusa and Chirimba Townships.

Chirembo, whom Sakala described as an ex-convict who established the organisation immediately after his release from Maula Prison in June this year, has since been charged with theft by trick.

He hails from Gedion Mwale Village in the area of Traditional Authority Kampingo Sibande in Mzimba.

He will appear in court this week as Sakala said complaints were still coming in.

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