Malawian President Peter Mutharika on Monday lashed out at opposition Peoples Party (PP) Rumphi east MP Kamlepo Kalua, saying he is politicsl rubble rouser who makes “crazy allegations.”
Mutharika said in Salima on Monday when he officially opened Salima Sugar Factory that he is “tired” with “irresponsible lies” peddled against his government.
He denied accusations made by Kalua that President Mutharika has a forensic audit report which mentions seven ministers implicated in the Cashgate plunder of the national coffers.
“There has been a story in the paper that somehow that there some seven ministers who were involved in the so called K577 billions scam which turned to be K236 billion, which 96 percent that happened during the PP government and not during the time of DPP,” said Mutharika.
But opposition lawmakers claim the audit names serving cabinet ministers for participating in contract inflation and procurement fraud during the late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s time in office.
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The President strongly denied that he has the names of the cashgate suspects.
“I do not have the names,” stressed Mutharika.
The Malawi leader said he even sent the chief secretary George Mkondiwa to the auditor general Stevenson Kumphasa to get the names of the cabinet ministers named in the report but came empty handed.
Mutharika also rejected accusations that he is showing diminishing zeal for fraud prosecutions, which have severely dented the country’s reputation and cost it hundreds of millions of dollars in budget support funds.
“ That’s completely nonsense. I am saying it again, nosense, nonsense, nonsense.I am not hiding anybody. I don’t have the names,” said Mutharika.
He continued: “If this MP in the north, who is always making crazy allegations about anything else , if this MP has names [let him bring them to me.
“I am tired of irresponsible lies by some irresponsible politician.”
Mutharika said the opposition lawmaker is “daft”, hitting back after Kalua called him “liar” for saying he has no names.
“It’s on the internet [Nyasa Times reported] that I am a liar that am hiding ministers because they are my friends, my cronies.
“I want to tell him to come to State House within 24 hours to give me the names or else he must shut up forever,” said Mutharika.
Major frauds started under Bingu were of a different nature to the Cashgate type that was instituted during President Joyce Banda’s reign. Under Bingu they were of the more typical over-invoicing and over-pricing variety.
Preliminary audits of government finances between 2009 and 2014, carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and financed by the German government, indicate that at least K577 bn. ($807 mn.) could not be accounted for.
Later, the estimated loss was reduced to K236 bn. ($330 mn.), still a gigantic figure for such a small country, about one third of the government’s annual budget.
PP legislators, led by Mzimba West MP Harry Mkandawire and Kalua, led calls for the names of all suspects to be made public.
In parliament, Mkandawire mentioned Agriculture Minister George Chaponda to have been named in the report.
Chaponda denied any involvement.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :