CAMA petitions OPC over ‘cash-gate’ scandal, calls for forensic audit

The Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA) had called for the immediate establishment of an interim all-inclusive governing council comprising of various stakeholders saying Malawians have lost confidence in the PP led government.

The Council may include political parties, faith based community, civil society and youth groups, according to CAMA.

CAMA has also made various demands including the firing of all responsible officers such as the Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga, Secretary to the Treasury Radson Mwadiwa, shot Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo, Accountant General and all Principal Secretaries.

Lipenga has so far resisted  the ‘vuvuzela’ calls to step down arguing that all alleged financial maladministration is being investigated “without hindrance.”

Kapito:  Petitons OPC
Kapito: Petitons OPC

“There must be a forensic audit of all government ministries and departments by an independent firm of international repute under the guidance of the new governing council,” CAMA Chief Executive Officer John Kapito said in a petition to the Chief Secretary, Hawa Ndilowe, Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) dated October, 7, 2013.

Kapito also demanded the publication of all assets and income tax returns belonging to all public officials including the Presidency, ministers, Principal Secretaries and public officials.

So far Police have arrested six government employees in what is being dubbed as ‘cash-gate’ scandal after they were found with millions of unexplained cash in their cars and homes.

“While we appreciate the arrest of low level staff, we note that these individuals could not have engaged in such acts without the sanction and authority at the top.

“These acts of impropriety have directly led to high levels of unemployment, poor service delivery in all sectors such as scarcity of drugs in hospitals, lack of teaching and learning materials in schools and poor road infrastructure to cite but a few examples,” Kapito said.

CAMA said it has a solidarity demonstration against corruption on the 10th of October 2013 in Lilongwe.

Kapito said consumers are being reminded that the current thefts and plunder of public resources is an abuse of their own taxes saying it is therefore important that they speak with one voice in order to stop the plundering.

The CAMA Boss noted that the rampant theft of public resources  – which dates back from the previous DPP regime where former president late Bingu wa Mutharika accumulated K62 billion wealth in eight years – has resulted in the reduction of economic growth, high inflation, and a depreciated national currency.

“This also resulted in poor education and health standards, retarded foreign and domestic investment, distorted market and the allocation of resources, misallocated talent to rent seeking activities, pushes a lot of firms underground and undermines the legitimacy of the government and of the market economy,” he said.

Media reports have so far estimated the pilfered amounts  at the Capital Hill to be in the range of MK1.2 billion.

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