Let JB clear herself, probe DPP era cashgate — Malawi watchdogs

Malawi’s former president Joyce Banda has been urged to return home and clear herself on the allegations cashgate convicts have been making , to link her as one of the beneficiaries of the ill-gotten wealth,  the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) have said.

Mtambo (L) and Gift Trapence :  Demand no selective justice for economic crime

Mtambo (L) and Gift Trapence : Demand no selective justice for economic crime

Banda is already scheduled to return home next month, her Peoples Party (PP) confirmed .

The two organisations said in a joint media statement made available to Nyasa Times on Sunday that the state machinery should institute investigations into the recent claims made before the court implicating Banda in cashgate.

“We feel these claims shouldn’t just be taken lightly considering the fact that Malawians are waiting with bated breath to see justice being not only seen to be done but also manifestly done on the infamous cashgate.

“The state shouldn’t be afraid to investigate, and where necessary prosecute, the former head of state merely for fear of being labelled as embarking on political witch-hunt against the former head of state or the Peoples Party. As long as there is credible evidence, the state is obliged to act and ensure that justice is done and seen in the general interest of Malawians,” reads the statement.

The statement was signed by CHRR acting executive director Timothy Mtambo and Cedep executive director Gift Trapence.

The two organisations pointed out that the notion that political power can be a safe haven for impunity would create dangerous double standard and set a bad precedence.

“ It’s important that we all, irrespective of political, social or religious divide, directly participate in the fight against impunity for the crime of cashgate so that those responsible for –whoever they are and wherever they are – can be held accountable for this crime that gravely offend human dignity and human rights,” reads the statement.

CHRR and Cedep have also expressed the need for the state to extend the same zeal and commitment it has shown on the K24 billion cashgate to the alleged K92 billion cashgate under the DPP era from 2005 to 2012.

“There are public concerns, in a case of selective justice, that government has so far not demonstrated any political will in ensuring that the alleged K92 billion cashgate is dealt with once and for all.

“Justice should not only be seen to be done but also manifestly be done on both issues,” the watchdogs said.

However, investigations of cashgate into the Mutharika administration is facing hurdles. Recently, a senior official in the Anti Corurption Bureau (AC) Isaa Njaunju was murdered in the midst of the investigation.

And President Peter Mutharika told national broadcaster that there was no K92 billion cashgate, saying it was only an audit query.

The cashgate scandal, prompted foreign donors — who provide around 40 percent of Malawi’s budget — to pull the plug on aid worth around $150 million, which made up 40% of the national budget.

Meanwhile, CHRR and Cedep said they welcome the recent conviction and sentencing of “chief cashgater” Oswald Lutepo , saying it is a triumph of justice .

“We commend the state, the judiciary and other key stakeholders for remaining steadfast in pursuit of justice on cashgate cases. Despite some earlier growing public concerns of the slow pace of cashgate cases, it is indisputable that there has certainly some notable progress in the court’s hearing and prosecution of the cases. This is a positive development that we need to build on as a country as we move forward in pursuit of justice on all cashgate cases,” said the two organisations.

Various socio-economic and legal experts have hailed the 11-year jail term which Justice Redon Kapindu meted out on ‘Lutepo at the High Court in Zomba last Friday.

On the first count of conspiracy to defraud government, Lutepo was slapped with the maximum sentence of three years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) while money laundering earned him eight years IHL.

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Fatsani Boyilo
Guest

Palibe chanzeru ndamvapo apa. Kodi anyamata awa siochinditsa kumtumbo aja?

ZZ Junior
Guest

Why are we always talking about JB, PP, Peter, DPP. Have we taken time to investigate how these so called Malawi watchdogs get their funding. these guys could be dong their own mini cashgates that the nation would be pleased to know about.

mankhaulee mlaamu baabaa
Guest
mankhaulee mlaamu baabaa

zavutatu apa

Yosefe gambatula
Guest

Malawians are fed up with the selective justice system.Malawi is Animal Farm.Some animals are more animals than others.We are not interested by using this terminology of political witch hunting to serve some ass of some cheap politicians of ours.Joyce Banda should also be grilled like anybody else.Nothing red carpets.Thereafter Muluzi should also get ready for the 1.7 billion and finally Pitala should be ready for 577 billion kwacha.The justice system should stop looking at people’s face.This is what is dragging Malawi backward by worshipping some cheap politicians who are only interested in self enrichment.Chilingamo chidziwike basi .

Jang'ala
Guest

Weldone CHRR and ur collegea for taking part to ensure that justice is done eqaully in all sides. Apapa ndakuyamikilani. Now iwant to tell those who r saying that DPP should also b investigated in K92billion cashgate. Hw cn they investigate themselves? Mukufuna kuti azikwate ndi chala? That is impossible. That is lyk commiting suicide. Inde tikuziwa kuti ndalama nthawi imeneyi, koma sangazimanga wokha. Analakwisa ndi JB kusawagwira ndiye poti naye analinso momo amaopa. Tidikire wina ndi amene azawamange a Dpp aftr Peter. Not now, its there tym pls. Leave them.

akweni
Guest

ngati muli madolo bwanji osafufuza za a Peter Mulamba pa nkhani ya chimanga anagulitsa pamodzi ndi amasofawo.

bugdad
Guest
Anti Corruption Bureau Malawi chapter is a joke of a century. A message to one famous Reneck,yes I mean Matemba of ACB. You are talking of probing JB on cashgate issues as presented by Osaward and yet u have left scort free Bakili of the K1.7bn saying there is no evidence,ru serious? Here he is,watching soccer in Mbabane on behalf of government,simply because he has started walking together with government? Ur friend can be killed in cold blood my sponsored mafia and there is literally nothing u r doing as a bureau,serious? If anything,let JB be a free person,if u… Read more »
makito
Guest

Interesting how both PP and DPP are suddenly uninterested in this story. Well I understand when it comes to PP zealots, but why is DPP suddenly quiet?

Zanga Phe Basi
Guest

We know govt will kill lutepo while in prison; so before thaf let lutepo mention all involved parties regardless of their political affiliation.

Cashgate started long way back udf and dpp kno it.

Hendrix
Guest

Yes I agree Akabwera joyce Banda mufufuzeni basi ngat ndaramazo waba nawo apereke basi chilungamo chiyende ngati madzi komanso china amalawi amzanga musamati anthu akafuna kumufufuza uje inunso muzikamba za ujeni mumasokoneza aja ofufuza wait untill the full investigation is done then we can always do the other we have to do things systematically.

wpDiscuz

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