Name and shame cashgate suspects

“The greatest advantage of speaking the truth is that you don’t have to remember what you said.” – Anonymous

The donor jury’s verdict is unequivocal: No meaningful support for Malawi until CashGate, JetGate, MaizeGate and related issues pertaining to the shameless plunder of public coffers have been effectively dealt with and proper transparency, accountability and financial management systems are implemented. The British government has made this abundantly clear and the German government has expressed its intentions by funding investigations into Malawi’s financial management systems from 2005 to 2012; their sentiments are surely representative of all donor and development partner views.cash

The current administration has gone into overdrive by speeding up prosecution of Cash-Gate cases and securing convictions for a number of suspects. More arrests have been made and Minister of Justice, Samuel Tembenu, has pointed to more high-profile arrests, most likely based on the Baker Tilly Forensic Audit Report. Unfortunately, there is a feeling that the arrests are selective and are targeting current and former members of the People’s Party and their associates. Such speculation does not help the government’s cause of restoring donor and development partner confidence and regaining the trust of the people.

And in the absence of the published list of suspects, Malawian’s will continue to view the government’s moves with suspicion whilst donors, who must already have the list, will not be hoodwinked by any efforts to cover-up certain individuals and institutions. Consequently, Malawians will continue to bear the brunt of aid withdrawal until our benefactors are convinced that the government is acting in good faith.

During the 2014 election campaign, the DPP promised the people of Malawi that, once in power, they would release the names of all those people implicated in the financial scandal. However, almost six months down the line, it would appear that the new administration has grown cold feet and is wary of releasing the names. This is only adding fire to the rumour mill that the list contains names of influential individuals that are linked to the DPP administration.

Therefore, the government is reluctant to publish the names for fear of the embarrassment and backlash that this could bring. Once more, Malawians are being denied their right to know and to hold their leaders accountable.

Running government is not an easy task. Especially when a country is rocked with an unprecedented financial scandal that threatens its very foundations and points to the involvement of core senior leaders in society. However, decisions have to be made and sometimes these choices can be painful but must be made, nevertheless, in the interest of the nation. There should be no room to play double-standards when the nation’s interests are at stake.

The DPP administration would, therefore, be well-advised to publish the names of CashGate suspects as a means of showing to the people that it has nothing to hide. Recent calls by Minister of Information, KondwaniNankhumwa, for people to hand themselves to the police are, at best, ludicrous; just release the names and then maybe people can choose to hand themselves to the police!

In view of the potential numerous cases in this saga, I would propose that we establish a “Cash-Gate Truth,  Reparations and Recoveries Court” to speedily deal with court cases under special terms of reference regarding the processes for referring cases to this court, forfeiture of all plundered property and funds under appropriate legislation, rewards and protection for whistle-blowers, plea bargains, pardons or lighter sentences for those who willingly confess their crimes and make good partially or in full. The focus should not only be on indictment only but on unraveling the truth behind CashGate and ensuring that reparations and recoveries are made from and by those who confess to their guilt.

The Cash-Gate Scandal opened a stinking can of worms. Now, the Malawian people want to know the source of the stench. They want the truth and publishing names of suspected players and masterminds of CashGate is a positive step in this direction. It’s simple: no truth, no public trust, no IMF program, no donor trust, no much-needed direct budgetary support, no meaningful economic activity and growth, limited and ineffective delivery of state social services, education, sanitation and health services and, a resultant negative impact on development.

The longer this truth is hidden, the more disastrous the consequences. Already, the country is experiencing the signs of a stressed economy and we do not have the luxury of time to waste on unhelpful political machinations. The DPP administration would do itself a big favour and score points by publishing the names of Cash Gate suspects and fast-tracking prosecution of cases in order to quickly restore confidence and unlock budgetary support in these difficult times.

Contrary to some beliefs and opinions, naming the suspects will not prejudice their right to fair triaI and will effectively put a stop tto potentially damaging rumour-mongering.

Lets name and shame all CashGate suspects NOW!

(Chikavu Nyirenda is a Senior Lecturer in Banking and Finance at The Catholic University of Malawi and contributes, in his personal capacity, a weekly column, ‘Views from the Sunset’which is published every Monday in ‘The Daily Times.’

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phunda
Guest
Naming names is not enough, our legal system must be overhauled. It must grow some canines otherwise the sentences are not encouraging at all. Forfeiture act must come back. Civil servants must account for what they have and I agree with Fahad Assam who suggested profiling these essets. All ministries and departments must be audited by foreign firms. All those suspected must be on paid leave for one year until they are proved innocent. All accounts departments from MRA, RB, and all ministries must be manned by totally new personel . If we were serious for once, we could recover… Read more »
Phili
Guest

Only jst few people make the malawian’s punished.

Mbowe Mulambia
Guest

The main problem is who is going to catch who? because the president himself and some of his cabinate are involved tisapusisanepo apa if they think their clever mugozipusisa noka chilungamo chiziwika Mulungu simunthu take those words.

nick
Guest

I like your article Mr Nyirenda but there are one or two problems with it.
(1) IF the Baker-Tilly lists of Cashgate suspects were published would that not mean that accountants in London may now take over the jobs of lawyers and judges in Malawi?
(2) You appear to suggest that Cashgate thieves should be allowed to keep SOME of their loot if they confess. Can we not expect back ALL of the stolen money?

JAYJAY
Guest

APA PASAVUTE ANTHU TINGOGWIRIZANA KUKANA KUKHOMA MISONKHO BASI,CHIFUKWA MPOVUTA KUTI DPP ITULUTSE MAINAWO NANGA SI ACHINA APM,GOODALL,CHAPONDA,ETC ALI MOMO.UFUNIKA MISONKHO OSAKHOMA TIWONE NGATI AKAKAMILEPO PA MIPANDOYO OPANADA NDALAMA

Manuel
Guest

A Malawi tisapusitsike ndi Baker Tilly, the British were hired by JB as part of Public Relations team now a british co. t do the forensic audit??? They hid the info. even aftr the polls, they were still holding on t it. Why don’t w wait for neutral pple like the Germans are doing t complete the gaps. ‘Mwana(British firm) sangathyole chala(JB admin.)chomwe chikumkombera phala’

jolly
Guest

so what has this got to do with not releasing the list? is the pp still in charge of the list or the dpp?

KAMBEWA CHISALE
Guest

THE ORIGINAL FULL LIST WILL NOT BE GIVEN BECAUSE MOST OF THE SHIT BWANAS OF DPP ARE INVOLVED. DPP WILL USE SELECTIVE JUSTICE AS A COVER UP.KOMA IFE MALAWIANS WE ARE STILL SLEEPING WHEN A FEW ARE USING OUR HARD EARNED MONEY . HIGH TAXES .

Anabiyeni
Guest
My hope is that this whole saga should b solved for Malawi and its innocent citizens. The repercussions of us been feeble on the open crimes that hv been aired has already started showing its effects. It is in effect the already poor that continue to suffer. How do u convince a state that has oiled ur governments palms in trust when u hv approached for assistance and then u seem to falter the process when u knowingly are aware that it is ur own henchmen that have betrayed the needy people of this country. I would be ashamed to… Read more »
KUKHALA
Guest

APM AKUWOPA KUTI IYESO ZIKUMUKHUZA. KAYA WOKHA THE MUTHALIKAS KUBA

ujeni
Guest

DPP government having found that most of its vip members are on the list, they have decided not to release the list. But Baker Tilley is not a Mulli company

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