President Peter Mutharika’s verbal combat wth Kamlepo Kalua, the Rumphi East member of Parliament (People’s Party-PP) and PP third vice-president is utterly “beneath the dignity” of the office of President, leader of opposition Lazarous Chakwera has said.
Mutharika last week issued 24-hour ultimatum for the legislator to disclose names of serving Cabinet ministers implicated in the recent forensic audit report.
The audit report covering the period 2009 to December 2014 established that about K236 billion—initially K577 billion—in public funds could not be accounted for.
Kalua had been vocal in demanding the dismissal of the said seven Cabinet ministers named in the forensic audit report.
The MP, who is also Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) vice-chairperson, argued that President Mutharika could not claim that he did not have the names when the Attorney General had advised the Auditor General against releasing the names when the demand was first made after the forensic audit was released.
Commenting on the matter, Chakwera, who is also president of main opposition block Malawi Congress Party (MCP) said it disgraceful that President Mutharika should engage the legislator in political podium verbal war over matters of corruption audit report.
“You don’t have a whole head of state exchanging words with a Member of parliament, giving ultimatums and stuff like that. This is below his dignity, he [Mutharika] should do what is needful and he should come out clean ,” said Chakwera.
“If they are all involved and then they will all go together, its not right for a nation to be suffering they way it is like now because of such things,” he added.
Chakwera stressed that President Mutharika “needs to come out and just publish whatever the reports are saying. What is he afraid of?”
The data analysis carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) released in May 2015 estimated the unreconciliated funds at K577 billion. However, British firm RSM Risk Assurance LLP, in its forensic audit report, established that the unaccounted for funds stood at K236 billion.
Chakwera said there should be no selective investigations on the suspects implicated.
“What needs to happen in this particular case as well as in any other case is these files that are presented to the Anti Corruption Bureau, these people need to work independently and they need to pursue these things and they need to let the nation know what is happening,” said Chakwera.