Dedza South West MP Clement Mlombwa (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) has accused a Cabinet Minister of taking bribes from Raiply Malawi Limited resulting to a court injunction restraining government from implementing a moratorium, stopping individuals and some organization from harvesting their trees.
Mlombwa made the claims in Parliament during the debate on Forest Bill that the injunction was obtained because “one Minister seated somewhere here goes to Raiply and gets fat cheques. “
He did not mention the minister in the front benches of government side.
Mlombwa said the Minister is exempting Raiply to continue harvesting trees whilst they are stopping other individuals.
“Is it in order that government should remain quiet, while some of the Ministers are sleeping and they do not offer any answer to that allegation? Are they saying that indeed it is true that a Minister was involved in some kickbacks, if it is true can they tell us who is that particular Minister?” said Mlombwa.
Leader of the House George Chaponda said Mlombwa made a “very serious allegation” and as required under Standing Order 102 he must provide evidence to substantiate his allegation that has been made concerning the Minister.
But Mlombwa said it is not an issue of the Leader of the House asking evidence from him.
The MP said the allegations were made in the House and he is not the person who first made the claims.
“I am just repeating what was said yesterday and he is asking me as to the one who said that because he has been sleeping the whole day. Yesterday he was sleeping, today he has been sleeping,” said Mlombwa.
Commenting on the matter, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining ( Msaka said he was not in the House when the allegation was first made and said “the request for proof should have been made” against the Member that made that allegation.
Msaka said government is not aware of any Minister that is going to Raiply and receiving kickbacks.
“However, if someone insists on it, they should bring the evidence so that it can be proven because we are talking about two things here. An allegation of bribery against Raiply and an allegation of receipt of bribery by a Minister. All those pieces of evidence should be brought before the House by the Member who made a statement or any Member who believes in it,” said Msaka, a trained lawyer.
Msaka praised efforts by Total Land Care (TLC) and Raiply Malawi Limited to embark in sustainable harvesting of their concession areas in Viphya Plantation in Mzimba.
“Madam First Deputy Speaker, the information I have about Raiply and Total Land Care is that they both have long term concessions which make them responsible for the management of the pieces of land apportioned to them. I said that when I visited them last month I was extremely happy to see that the areas where they are operating, the forest is extremely impressive, “said Msaka.
TLC is managing a concession of 2 600 hectares while Raiply is managing 20 000 hectares.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :