Aford backs Chinoko on JB’s cashgate alleged involvement

Opposition Alliance for Democracy (Aford) has backed controversial boss of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Peter Chinoko in accusing President Joyce Banda of being “part and parcel” of a massive fraud scandal that has rocked her government this year.

Chinoko alleged that Banda’s ruling People’s Party had tried to syphon funds from the national purse to bankroll the party’s campaign ahead of a general election due next May.

Aford which is led by Enock Chihana a minister in Banda’s cabinet  said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times that they backed Chinoko’s claims on the President’s involvement.

“How on earth would party officials implicated as such and in the most direct way not evidence the fusion of party and state activities and transactions, including transfer of funds from government to the political party?” Aford queried in statement issued by its secretariat.

Chinoko: Claimed Joyce Banda is involved in cashgate

Chinoko: Claimed Joyce Banda is involved in cashgate

It further said that Chinoko was spot on to show how “ruling” parties defraud government by assuming dubious privileges of making their political party functions as official government functions as well as transferring public funds to themselves.

Information Minister Brown Mpinganjira rubbished the Chinoko’s accusations as “not correct” and said they appeared to be politically motivated.

But Aford said it is “perturbed” by the response from Government.

“We would advise government to pause and think through what Chinoko has brought to light,” said Aford.

“We perceive adequate logic in his assertions which must be taken serious as well as use the light that he has brought forth to confront the defendants and demand full accountability of the funds involved in the Cash gate,” the party said.

The Office of the President and Cabinet described allegations from CCJP “baseless allegations” and warned that the presidency may be forced to seek recourse thorough the Courts.

But the Aford said it holds Chinoko in very high esteem.

“We value his integrity and also his patriotism. We believe he represents his organization (CCJP) in truth; he understands and upholds its core values as far as principles of social justice are concerned,” it said.

The Roman Catholic Church, Chinoko’s employer has consistently said that Chinoko is not the spokesperson of the Archdiocese or the Episcopal Conference of Malawi and that he owned his utterances.

Donors, who bankroll 40 percent of Malawi’s budget, have frozen their pledged aid of $150 million until next February when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will conduct a review.

forensic audit backed by British experts is under way.

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