Malawi ‘cash-gate’: PAC calls for arrest of ‘big fishes’

The influential interfaith religious grouping, the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has asked the Malawi government to investigate and bring to book some ‘big fishes’ implicated in the plundering of public resources at Capital Hill noting that so far the arrests have targeted lower ranking officials.

PAC says the action is mandatory because it will be the beginning of dealing with serious fraud and corruption incidents in the country.

However, the religious body commended government for  arresting  some  culprits  and dissolving  the   cabinet then appointing  almost  same cabinet  size.

“Although  these  moves  do  not  necessary  deal  with  the  whole  picture  of  the  crisis , but it  is   a good first step   to  towards  political  responsibility,” PAC said in a statement seen by Nyasa Times on Thursday.

Malawi quasi-religious organisation PAC

Fr Mulomole; PAC spokesman calls for  arrests of key plunders

The statement was signed by Chairperson Bishop James Tengatenga and Publicity Secretary Father Peter Mulomole.

New information from Capital Hill implicated Vice President Khumbo Kachali, former Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara and former Budget Director Dalitso Kabambe among other top government officials.

Kasambara was dropped from cabinet and no reason was given.

An insider confided to Nyasa Times that the main player in the looting was the former Budget Director Dalitso Kabambe who was authorizing some payments under pressure from Vice President Khumbo Kachali and Kasambara.

PAC reiterated that it raised the issue of corruption prevailing in the state machinery with the State President on 12 September, 2013 prior to the shooting of Budget Director, Paul Mphwiyo.

“We also raised the importance of declaring assets by the Head of State and other senior officials. It has been our serious concern that senior officials involved in abusing state funds have never faced the wrath of the law in Malawi,” PAC said.

Last week the ruling People’s Party also called for the arrest of all those involved in the plunder regardless of their positions either in the party or in government after it emerged that some were involved in the financial scam.

PAC Executive Committee met at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe on Wednesday to discuss the recent cash scandal at Capital Hill.

“While we note positive strides in arresting some culprits and the provision of information to the public and donor partners. We further note that the argument of previous conduct on corruption is not a valid justification for taking appropriate measures against senior officials.

“Simply, the current leadership will be judged by how this crisis will be dealt with. PAC will be looking forward to seeing the roadmap developed by the State,” PAC said.

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