Chinoko disappears, PAC panics as OPC warns of legal recourse

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) secretariat searched into late night of Friday December 13th the Catholic Church disowned “hero” to hand in his written submission he promised the hearing on scathing attacks on President Joyce Banda and several senior government officials.

Peter Chinoko, clad in a blue golf-shirt was allowed to break parliamentary dress code and sat before the committee by Chairperson Beatrice Mwangonde to narrate his animated Ocean’s eleven-movie-like feature to the excited members of the committee.

“We can’t find him. He cannot pick up his phone, he told the committee that he will hand in his prepared written submission today (Friday), but he can never be found,” a senior Parliament official told Nyasa Times.

This development has thrown into a reputation abyss for the most respected committee which has in the past sent back Principal Secretaries and Local Council Officials appearing before it just for not piecing up responses to read verbatim on.

Chinoko: Fails to submit material facts to PAC

Chinoko was allowed to ad-lib his information from his loose papers and enjoyed huge protection from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members namely Henry Mussa, Nicholas Dausi and Dr. George Chaponda.

Everytime, Chinoko made a point one could see from the back the trio heaving grins and often reminding Chinoko several points he forgot to say.

But it has now turned ugly for the committee for it has no any written submission from the hero turn villain by the Catholic Bishops. Despite not being in danger as no threat has been made against him from any quarter, the where-about of Chinoko is still unknown.

Meanwhile, the Office of the President and Cabinet has described statement by Chinoko as “baseless allegations”

Chief Secretary Hawa Ndilowe has warned that the presidency may be forced to seek recourse thorough the courts.

Ndilowe said the President “categorically refutes the scandalous and baseless allegations” made by Chinoko.

The OPC statement does not respond specifically to the allegations that the initiation of ‘Cash gate’ was to fund the ruling People’s Party in the forthcoming electioneering for the 2014 tripartite polls.

Nor does it say how PP is funded or how does it will raise or has raised funds for next year’s campaign.

The statement catalogues a litany of measures the Banda administration has instituted to bring to book the perpetrators of ‘Cash gate’ and or recovered the financial resources to replenish government coffers.

For instance it says “Immediately the President became aware of the looting of public resources, she initiated appropriate steps to ensure that the looting of the public resources is investigated; that the culprits are apprehended and prosecuted.”

“That the looted public resources are recovered; and further that an end is put to the looting of public resources. The President has resolved to continue the fight against theft of public resources and corruption, and is determined to do so until theft of public resources and corruption is eradicated”

OPC reiterated that the cashgate being investigated by the institutions legally mandated to do so, namely, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Directorate of the Public Prosecutions.

“ In order to facilitate the investigations and prosecute the culprits, the Government has sought and obtained assistance from Malawi’s Development Partners, including the United Kingdom, the Norway, the European Union, and the United States.

“To date commendable progress has been made, and continues to be made, in relation to the investigations. Over 35 suspects have been committed for trial at the High Court and 32 bail applications have been processed. In addition, 81 companies are being investigated. Trial for a number of suspects is scheduled to commence in early January, 2013.”

OPC urges members of the public to desist from making scandalous and baseless allegations against anyone, but to allow the institutions which are mandated to do so to properly investigate the cashgate.

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