Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has been cleared by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) of any wrong doing in allegations of drawing a salary without attending Parliament.
The graft-busting body said it investigated Chakwera following a complaint from an unmade legislator that the MCP presidential hopeful was receiving “illegal” salary while on parliamentary boycott.
ACB director general Reyneck Matemba said the bureau received a complaint in March that MCP leader was getting a salary while he was not attending meetings of Parliament but Chakwera has been cleared of any wrong doing.
“We saw no merit in the complaint,” said Matemba.
He said MPs are paid a salary “by virtue of being lawmakers and not because they are attending parliament.”
ACB boss said Chakwera’s action “was not tantamount to abuse of office as he was still doing other functions of the office for which he was entitled to a pay.”
Chakwera said he was not aware that he was being investigated but nonetheless said he was delighted to be cleared.
“I was still doing the job of MP in my constituency but I refused to attend Parliament,” said Chakwera.
He said when he was credited with sitting allowances in Parliament, he paid back the money.
In February 2020, Chakwera was forced by Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara – who is also deputy secretary general if MCP – to refund the allowances he drew without attending any parliamentary session.
MCP and Chakwera have refused to accept the legitimacy of governing Democratic Progress Party (DPP) leader Peter Mutharika as the President.
But Chakwera was not disputing parliamentary elections therefore he had no valid reason not to attend parliamentary session.
He paid back the allowances on Tuesday 11th February 11, 2020.
During the opening of the first meeting in the 48th Session of Parliament, MCP members of Parliament (MPs) showed a vote of no confidence in President Peter Mutharika’s presidency when they openly called him wakuba (thief) and walked out during the presentation of the President’s first Sona since the contested May 21 2019 poll.
The protesting MPs left bottles of Tippex on their tables, symbolising that Mutharika had won his second term with the aid of Tippex which was used to alter election results sheets.
MCP’s Lobin Lowe was elected Interim Leader of Opposition as Chakwera continue parliamentary boycott.
Chakwera has since resigned as MP to pay way for his presidential candidacy in the Juy 2 fresh presidential elections.
He has paired with State Vice President Saulos Chilima as his running mate in the elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :