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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23 thoughts on “Let JB clear herself, probe DPP era cashgate — Malawi watchdogs”

  1. Fatsani Boyilo says:

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

  2. ZZ Junior says:

    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.

  3. mankhaulee mlaamu baabaa says:

    zavutatu apa

  4. Yosefe gambatula says:

    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 .

  5. Jang'ala says:

    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.

  6. akweni says:

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

  7. bugdad says:

    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 are really impartial in ur pursuit then start with Bakili,no matter Atupele is in govt or not. Koma mukumusiya munthu kumapita akuonera mipira ngati mfulu mkumati mukufufuza JB,mukumufufuza chiyani?

  8. makito says:

    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?

  9. Zanga Phe Basi says:

    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.

  10. Hendrix says:

    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.

  11. Kenneth Kaunda Jnr says:

    Malawians should thank the donors and their Ambassadors / High Commissioners for pressuring the state to prosecute the Cash Gate looters. Peter Mutharika and his late brother Bingu remain the main culprits and as donors were providing Malawi with $150 million, and will not provide a cent until the K92 billion is accounted for these brothers will have cost Malawi $150 million x 5 years in office, equals to $750 million. Never mind JB first of all let the Mutharika’s account for the billions they stole including the $300 million from Taiwan.

  12. Teams says:

    The Muluzi case needs conclusion too! No selective justice please!

  13. IMPRESSED says:

    SOUL SEARCHING

  14. 666 says:

    Well done CHRR and CEDEP for a well written press release. At least now we know that you stand for the good of all of us and not just the gays/lesbians as some quarters want us to believe.

  15. ... says:

    CHRR, do you really think that this K577 billion cashgate gouvernment (DPP) can be bold enough to arrest itself? 2014 campaign was done by using part of the K577 billion which DPP syphoned gouvernment coffers from 2009 to 2012.
    If there is a president bold enough is JB as she is the only president that took a bold step forward to uproot this evil called cashgate.
    Mutharika is the worst incompetent, clueless, good for nothing other than mapwevupwevu celebrations of all malawian presidents, and further more he is the greatest chicken of the land. Starting probe of K92 billion (now K577 billion) will put end end to the K577 billion (DPP) party.

  16. lawrence kutaumbe says:

    Chief cachgator must be given tuffer punishment as we waiting for the big Fish to be cault.

  17. Trad says:

    Lutepo is not the ‘Chief Cashgater’. Rather it is the one who was dubiously paying Lutepo who is the Chief Cashgater. In this case it is Paul Mphwiyo and his accomplices at the accountant general who are the chiefs. No one can pay him/herself from government to his own bank account. Someone has to. Why are people deliberately choosing to overlook this basic fact? I wonder. This scandal does not end with Lutepo. You may end up leaving the real perpetrators and they will devise new and sophisticated ways of stealing

  18. Mzimba Luwelezi says:

    Anyamata inu mulibe nzeru zedi. Musaiwale kuti auditing firm ya ku UK idakana za K92 billion. Auditing firmiyi idavomereza za K24 billion basi. Tsopano K92 billion ikuchokera pati. Agaru inu eti.

  19. George phiri says:

    Well spoken. Politics aside, the claims being made about Joyce should really be investigated. Let justice clear her.

  20. captain says:

    How can DPP investigate itself on 92 billion kwacha, by putting Dpp in government u accepted to be duped, full stop

  21. skopion says:

    former president, kasambala should face the court…witness khumbo kachali

  22. Malawiyano says:

    Lutepo should be investigated as to what type of business he did for him to declare himself to have been a billionear before JB’s MWK24b cashgate , ACB and all other organisation should know that Lutepo has been working for all the muiltparty presidents rooting taxpayers money.
    The claim he is making is opening cane warms for ACB and other stakeholders to do sole searching .

    1. Maliroagonepati says:

      I agree: By declaring that he was a billionnaire BEFORE JB became President, Lutepo is implicitly admitting that he was cashgating long before PP was born. He had no known means of generating millions, let alone billions.

      However, pinning down JB now would not be a bad thing. It will set a precedent that former presidents can be held to account for their misdeeds while in office. I would very much like to see DPP thieves also being held to account; but they are safe – for now. After May 2019 their time to account will come. It is just about 3.5 years from now. The long arm of the law will catch up with APM and his sidekicks before too long…

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