Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa is reported to have amassed more wealth in the last two years and is amongst top five richest ministers in the cabinet of President Peter Mutharika giving him more political stamina to hold the balance of power and fend off challengers in Mulanje Central Constituency where he is a member of parliament.
In flamboyant way, the cash-rich minister spent over K25 million giving cash handouts an ambulance to Mulanje district hospital, two motor cycles to Police station in Mulanje and 300 bicycles to the people in his constituency.
“Nankhumwa is among the wealthiest ministers in cabinet,” informed a ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) official at the rally where Nankhumwa was distributing the items.
The extent of his current wealth is unknown as he is said to be secretive on his assets and his financial affairs.
“But clearly we know Nankhumwa has made more money and is amongst top five ministers swimming in wealth and power,” added the DPP officials as Nankhumwa was busy splashing cash to constituency after carrying bundles of Kwachas in a briefcase.
He is suspected to be among the seven rotten ministers in cabinet who are fingered in ‘Cashgate’ scam.
The minister was also implicated in the aborted a multimillion dollar military equipment procurement deal worth $54 million in which Nankhumwa and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) commander Griffin Supuni Phiri planned to procure 500 vehicles from Ashok Leyland for the MDF reportedly without the matter being discussed within the MDF ranks.
The details of the deal are contained in a leaked memo written by former MDF general Maulana dated July 2016 reference number CQ/206.
Running under the headline ‘Procurement of ammunition and vehicles for Malawi Defence Force’, the memo says Nankhumwa and Supuni made an arrangement to procure vehicles for MDF and the matter was not discussed anywhere within MDF.
Nankhumwa has since come under intense fire to explain the source of his multimillion donations to his Mulanje Central constituency.
Some Malawians have taken up on Twitter and Facebook to question the source of the money for the donation.
This comes at a time when his colleague, Agriculture minister George Chaponda who is also parliamentarian in same Mulanje district is accused of corruption in the procurement of 100000 metric tonnes of maize.
The Peter Mutharika administration is tainted with corruption scandals.
Nankhumwa, who is also director of elections in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party has not responded to queries about his sudden wealth.
He was a reporter at the state controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation before he took politics as a career.
But speaking to a crowd of DPP supporters who gathered at Chisitu Primary school in his Mulanje central constituency, the cash-rich minister said he decided to donate the items to ease mobility challenges for the smooth implementation of development activities in the area.
“I want people in my area to access medical services in time as well as the Police to act swiftly to situations affecting people in my constituency,” said Nankhumwa.
He also said he has the financial muscle to start looking after orphans and the elderly in the area to improve their livelihoods.
Senior Chief Chikumbu thanked the parliamentarian for initiating various development activities citing a newly constructed maternity clinic at Chisitu Health Centre.
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