Former President Bingu wa Mutharika’s alleged offshore bank accounts with K61 billion has literally knocked down debate in Parliament as the opposition demands that the money be brought back to Malawi.
Mzimba West MP Harry Mkandawire brought a motion in the House asking the Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu and the whole government machinery to bring back the alleged wealth which he said is in various bank accounts and various countries.
“There is money there which belongs to the people of Malawi,” said outspoken and fearless Mkandawire whilst presenting copies of a document containing the allegations to Speaker Richard Msowoya, the government side and Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera.
Mkandawire said the money would help resuscitate the ailing economy.
Bingu wa Mutharika died of cardiac arrest in April 2012. In 2004 Bingu declared his wealth at K150 million (about $375 000.
Mkandawire said the wealth which Bingu accumulated while in office from 2004 to 2011 cannot be explained.
He alleged Bingu obtained the money illegally and through cashgate and shoddy means, saying the money and assets belong to Malawians.
However Leader of the House George Chaponda said it was unprocedural for the issue to be brought to the House before the business committee, the political leadership of the House examined the document.
Information minister Patricia Kaliati said the Peoples Party government had all the time to investigate the matter during its two year reign and wondered why Mkandawire is bringing the issue now.
Minister of Justice Tembenu said Mkandawire had no fact and evidence, saying he just cooked up the story and needed to be dismissed.
“All what we are hearing is speculation, everything is factually incorrect,” he said.
Speaker Msowoya said he had problems with the authenticity of the document because it was not original but a photocopy.
He then ruled that debate on the issue be curtailed and the government be given time to respond.
However, when he floated the motion to curtail the debate, the opposition defeated the motion and the government demanded vote by roll call.
State broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation as expected on issues to do with government and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party stopped live transmission from parliament.
President Bingu wa Mutharika left a party that sponsored him into power, the United Democratic Front to form his own DPP in 2005 accusing the UDF of high level corruption.
He then groomed his brother, Peter, to take over the mantle from him.
Government-hired assessor Yeremiah Chihana estimates Bingu was worth K92 billion when he collapsed and died due to heart attack in 2011, allegations the DPP has denied.
DPP disputed the figure, saying it was exaggerated. They, however, failed to disclose how much Mutharika, accumulated while in office.
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