Analysts critical of Chakwera’s reaction to K4bn scandal: Malawi Parliament nods to political corruption

The reaction of the leader of opposition  and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera on the recent infamous K4 billion  scandal USF dubious funding to constituencies has been described as an act of hypocrisy and betrayal to the national cause.

Leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera: Faulted on K4 billion MPs capture 

In his closing remarks to the sitting of Mid-term Budget review of Parliament on Friday, Chakwera accused the Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe and Minister of Local Government Kondwani Nankhumwa of the act of criminalizing the government unbudgeted money  allocated to parliamentary constituencies, saying the opposition has saved the State from being criminalised by regularising the funding with MCP president demanding that the two ministers should resign with immediate effect.

But  a Lilongwe based governance analyst Makhumbo Munthali told Nyasa Times that  Chakwera’s closing remarks “did not inspire any hope and confidence in Malawians in as far as the oversight role of Parliament through the opposition on the executive’s actions is concerned.”

Munthali said Chakwera’s remarks was brather “a mere political statemen”  aimed at sprucing up the already tainted public image of the opposition as “an accomplice to government” in the act through regularising the “illegal and suspicious conduct.”

Added Munthali: “It’s regrettable to note that just as it was with the famous Lilongwe-Salima Water project, Chakwera (and the opposition especially the MCP) has again fallen prey to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government’s crooked, suspicious and illegal manoeuvres this time under the guise of ‘stopping a thief from stealing from his employers kitchen to reward his friends and then using legal means to return the food to its rightful honour’.”

Contrary to Chakwera’s justification that the redistribution of the mysterious K4 billion was motivated by national interest, Munthaki pointed out that the picture one gets from the whole saga is that just like the DPP government the opposition MCP and others do not have the interest and plight of Malawians at heart but rather are “skewed at satisfying their self-political interests”.

Munthali, formerly National Secretary of the Ethics, Peace, and Justice Commission (EPJC) of Evangelical Association of Malawi and National Advocacy Coordinator for Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) said it was an “act of hypocrisy and contradictory” on the part of Chakwera to mention government’s decision to hide the source of the K4 Billion funding as one of the five bad decisions by the Government on the matter but still proceed to approve the the funding  with the new agreed understanding that the money be spread to all constituencies in the absence of such vital information.

“In fact, Chakwera’s analogy of ‘stopping a thief from stealing from his employers kitchen to reward his friends and then using legal means to return the food to its rightful honour’ is flawed in many aspects when you consider opposition’s decision to approve the suspicious fund in the absence of convincing information as regards to the source of the fund and also contradictory statements from the Minister of Finance on the same.

“Besides, it is wrong and unethical for the leader of opposition to promote the message of using the law to regularise crooked and suspicious actions – instead of using the law to come to the bottom of crooked actions- under the guise of saving the state from being criminalised. This sets a bad precedence, and must be condemned in the strongest terms,” said Munthali.

While concurring with Chakwera’s calls for the Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe and Minister of Local Government Kondwani Nankhumwa to step down following the scandal, the soft spoken Munthali also said Malawians would also in the same vein be justified if they decide to call for the resignation of Chakwera and other opposition leaders –besides Nankhumwa and Gondwe- in Parliament for failing to provide the much needed  oversight role of government’s decision on the matter and hence betraying the trust of Malawians.

“How do you explain the opposition decision to approve government’s proposal to reallocate K4 Billion to all constituencies in the absence of convincing information of the source of funds and financing modalities? Chakwera and the Opposition would have been taken seriously if they had suspended the approval of such funds until all the mystery, suspense, and all corruption allegations linked to the moneys as being used as a ‘thank you’ to all legislators who rejected electoral reforms were cleared through investigations. Otherwise, parading himself as a saint and crusader of corruption in Malawi on this matter is not only an act of hypocrisy but also mockery to the plight of Malawians,” said Munthali.

Munthali also took a swipe to challenge Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe’s recent statement that the K4 Billion funding was an experiment outside the current mechanism following allegations of abuse of Constituency Development Fund (CDF), Local Development Fund (LDF) or District Development Fund (DDF).

“The Minister is not being honest on this one. If this was really a new funding experiment, then certainly enough information about this arrangement would have been shared. It wouldn’t have required the media and other Opposition MPs to expose this for the Minister to come out and say this is an experiment.

“How do you explain a new funding experiment in the absence of the information of the source and modalities of such an experimented fund? If truth be told, indications from the whole saga clearly attests to the fact that this so-called experiment fund was purely meant at rewarding patronage in the face of the previous frustrated electoral reforms. This is further worsened by the fact that behind’s legislators (both opposition and government) decision to redistribute the moneys to all constituencies was merely political – that is to use the funds for campaign rather than the so-called intended projects. The CDF experience attests to this’” said Munthali.

Meanwhile, newspaper columnist Suzgho Khunga also commenting on the matter, pointed out that the  MPs entered into a deal with the devil, when the DPP government had not given any explanation as to who made the ill-conceived decision to reward 86 MPs at the expense of others.

Khunga argues that  the opposition MPs had little interest in getting to the bottom of the scandal but to get in on the deal, in whatever way.

“All the representatives that the opposition sent to the roundtable discussion could see was millions dangled before their eyes and they could not resist but to throw morals out of the window and partake in the loot that was about to be shared irregularly.

“The opposition representatives came out of the meeting with milk scones stuffed onto their mouths and did not even have the guts to rise up and continue questioning what had a mere 24 hours ago sounded like an illegal act,’ the columnist wrote.

According to Khunga,  Malawians who had expected these MPs to be noble and refuse ths irregular manner of distributing development projects must feel betrayed and they have every right to be.

“Those MPs who are trying to sound holier than thou after the fact but have made no attempts to refuse this handout are not innocent. The same paintbrush applies to them as long as they continue to make senseless justifications,” wrote the columnist.

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Listen and Love
Guest

A Gudo and prince of thieving in banana republic… Is there anything better you be thinking of with your brains other than spending sleepless night plotting how you can steal from government and leave it bankrupt when you kick the bucket? I am ashamed these idiots represent Malawi at any level in world community. Anthu ochititsa manyazi zedi. You are now on a mission recruiting new converts to your thievery cultism. Mayooo ine! Mpaka abusa ayamba kusamba padzithaphwi tsopano? KODI AMALAWI TITHAWIRE KUTI TSOPANO?

Family and Corrupt Party
Guest
Family and Corrupt Party

Where are MCP strategists? You mean you don’t read that the DPP is trying to paint a picture that you are not different? Reject the money outright if you are to remain relevant. It’s going to affect DPP. Let the money be channeled towards hospital. If u get this money they will steal more and that one want shared believe me.

Nalingula
Guest
Nalingula

This is what happens when those governing have no clue.Firstly let us come up with a National Development Plan.All magic money that Madala team will come across will be used towards achieving the NDP.As for the opposition they will be always blamed for doing their job.Remember how they were punished for making Bingu do his job during his first term.If they had rejected this you be all over claiming that they don’t want rural areas to develop.Akukana budget .Let’s just accept that the country is on autopilot.

Mbungwa
Guest
Mbungwa

I do not really have a problem with the Mk4billion distribution towards CDF – that is development at grassroots. My question is how that funding will be utilised can we go to our constituencies please and take our MPs to the task. It is a shame for people to argue on this platform and crying funds have been stolen, Chakwera this, Goodal that…that is nonsense – let us go home and demand accountability for the distributed funds so that it is not stolen. The problem with Malawians is that we only argue and not truly objective sometimes………..

Bwanga Mtiti
Guest
Bwanga Mtiti

Kodi guyz mmati chakwera atani popeza iye mtima ukumuwawa boma akuti limafuna kapena linakupatilitsa amphungu uti bill IJA ilephere ndiye ndimkwiyo umenewu ka.

Westerncorridor
Guest
Westerncorridor

Amalawi ndife otembereredwa. Time is coming when people will regret but it’s gonna be too late to save our beloved country. Let us learn to point out any wrong doings regardless of gender, tribe, colour, political party and religious group. Let us preach peace and love. That’s the only way we can change Malawi. Let us not forget that we are all human beings. Let us adopt a proper way of exercising Democracy because in my opinion, there is no democracy in Malawi. We live with fear, the government and those in power have all the ammunition to destroy anyone… Read more »

Nabetha
Guest
Nabetha

I hear you sir but its not very easy to separate a rotten nut when you are in the process of chewing, Its complicated! In other words this is what happened to JB /the best president by far! This corruption is deep rooted and has gone on for too long hence it will take processes and systems and lots of WILL power to get out of it. This is what happens when you are surrounded by thugs!!!

Hatton
Guest
Hatton

How many times have I said this Leader of Opposition should not be trusted? How often have MCP boot lickers criticized me and even calling me names? Let’s change the title of leader of opposition to leader of opportunists. Remember how he ditched CCAP Nkhoma synod for Assemblies of God on flimsy excuses of infant baptism. Remember how he ditched Assemblies of God for MCP. Remember how he mismanaged Assemblies of God to the point of taking it down to its knees. Remember how he used Dzonzi to vent his hatred for the people of the north. Simply put the… Read more »

Family and Corrupt Party
Guest
Family and Corrupt Party

Hatton you are full of hatred and naivety. Chakwera has always criticized where it’s wrong and just done it here. It’s painful that you are amongst the disappointed after foiling of your corrupt practice. We are with Chakwera no matter what. He is far much better than APM. Anthu akudziwa kuti DPP is the stealing and corruption govt. You are out come 2019.

Family and Corrupt Party
Guest
Family and Corrupt Party

Kuchita kupanga hunt mulandu was Chakwera. Looking for a lone hole for him. Mwagwa nayo.

Blaming him here is accepting u r corrupt.

kaka ni dada
Guest
kaka ni dada

Vuto la aMalawi ndi limeneli, timafuna munthu mmodzi amenyele nkhondo tonsefe, bwanji sitinadzuke mkupita ku nyumba ya malamulo kusonyeza mkwiyo wathu, ngakhale iweyo walemba nkhani yako apa ndi aMalawi tonse tili mtulo .Chakwera has always been alone in condemning corruption and he has fought many battles alone. He still has my vote come May next year.

Dunlop
Guest
Dunlop

This is one issue that Public Affairs Committee should organize a country wide revolt. This, I am too sure would get everyone of their houses and offices to match and insist government through ACB and whatever else, tells the nation what this thing is all about. PLEASE PAC!!

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