Malawi Police urged to impound vehicles Lutepo donated to PP

Pressure in mounting on Malawi police to impound 22 vehicles which the principal suspect in the cash-gate scandal Oswald Lutepo donated to the ruling People’s Party (PP) until Lutepo provide source of the money used to buy the vehicles.

Lutepo, a former member of PP’s executive committee,  who is accused of using his companies as a conduits of billions of stolen money from  government coffers, had recently donated 22 vehicle to the PP.

Since his arrest early November and after making allegations that part of the siphoned money was meant to assist the ruling party, police have never impounded the vehicles which people believe are directly linked to the scandal.

But on Monday, Police impounded buses suspected to have been bought using cashgate exploits at the Ministry of Tourism  after  top authorities denied having involved in the procurement.

PP car

PP car

“We are surprised that up to now the 22 vehicles which Lutepo donated  to PP are not impounded. This is double standards. We don’t want to see this in the issues of national concern. Why have the police only impounded the buses leaving the donated vehicles,” queries Mayamiko Guza a resident of Chilobwe Township in Blantyre.

This is corroborated with a reader who posted a comment on Nyasa Times story about the seizure of the four of the six busses under probe.

“Malawi Police, you cannot go about applying the law selectively. If you have impounded these buses on the account that the monies used to procure them were stolen from government, it follows that the vehicles PP received from Lutepo should be of interest.”

The reader adds that while the vehicles may not impounded per se, one would expect conditions imposed on their use so that if it turns out that Lutepo used the tax payers money, can salvage something from this.

“Does it mean that there are no patriotic people in the Police service and Anti Corruption Bureau who can stand on the truth? So frustrating, this is.”

However,  President Joyce Banda had earlier told the Malawi nation that those who need to be punished in the cashgate scandal should be those who were looting the public funds and not the beneficiaries, she did not elaborate.

Lutepo handed himself to police a fortnight ago after being listed on Interpol as most wanted person in connection to theft of billions of public funds at Capital Hill, Lilongwe.

Lutepo’s company International Procurement Services is said to have been used to siphon K2.6 billion through ghost contracts.

He has been charged of money laundering.

Donors under the Common Approach to Budgetary Support (Cabs) have since suspended their aid for the first quarter of the 2013/14 financial year following disappointment over the looting of public funds.

Cabs comprises the United Kingdom (UK), Norway, Germany, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Union (EU) and the World Bank with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) participating as private observers.

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