The country’s leading opposition party Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Professor Peter Mutharika has demanded the ruling Peoples Party (PP) to surrendor to police 22 vehicles its former member and businessman, Oswald Lutepo donated.
Lutepo, a former PP deputy Director of Recruitment is currently answering to money laundering and corruption charges for using his companies as a conduit of billions of stolen money from government coffers dubbed as cashgate scandal.
Despite Malawi police and the Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) impounding vehicles and property from other cashgate scandal suspects, and Lutepo’s claims that part of public siphoned money was meant to assist the PP, the two law-enforcing agencies have not until now moved in to confiscate the said 22 vehicles.
Mutharika during media briefing on Monday at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre said there was a need for PP to immediately surrender the vehicles since were bought using stolen money.
“Cashgate is serious crisis this country has ever faced,” said the DPP torch bearer. “Government is currently dysfunctional. If we get into government we will investigate cashgate cases thoroughly according to law and not shielding other suspects or persecuting people as it is now. And we demand the ruling party to surrender those vehicles bought using stolen money.”
Mutharika said Malawi could not afford to be in hands of incompetent people like the current administration, saying “This is why I have chosen Saulos Chilima as my running-mate. I have known him for long time. He is clear a local boy who has done good to lead this country”.
But in its reaction, PP argued that Mutharika should be last person to stand on higher moral ground to talk about plundering of public resources.
PP deputy Publicity Secretary, Ken Msonda said: “His late brother, Bingu wa Mutharika took over presidency when he was a mere minibus drunken driver but died a multi-billionaire. Asatipute, ayalusitsa mtembo! DPP came into power with one broken push-push minibus but ended up with over 200 brand new pick-ups from dealers”.
Msonda who intentionally ignored the demand on the alleged vehicles, reminded Mutharika not to deliberately forget that 99.99 percent of those involved in cashgate were DPP members before they joined PP.
“His party confessed that during their time there was corruption and not cashgate; whatever that means. Lets wait until forensic audit report is out, PP like any peace loving Malawian is also prayerfully waiting for outcome. We in PP respect separation of powers in a democratic setup; cashgate issue in a matter in court, we don’t comment on matters in court”.
Lutepo’s company International Procurement Services is said to have been used to siphon K2.6 billion through ghost contracts. And it is reported that over K20 billion of tax-payers’ money has been stolen in Capitol Hill looting christened as cashgate.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :