Chakwera talks tough on Malawi ‘cash-gate scandal’

Leader of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP)  Dr Lazarus Chakwera has added his voice to the call from Malawians and donors partners urging government authorities to urgently “lift lid of silence and respond to the allegations flying in the media” over siphoning of taxpayers’ money at will from the Accountant General’s office  which has led to the arrests of some suspects.

In a statement issued on Wednesday night, the MCP president started by quoting the great Italian poet – Dante who once said, “the hottest places in hell must be reserved for those who, in times of great moral crises, maintain their neutrality”.

He therefore says at present, “our poor but potentially rich nation is under siege. Fiscal morality is disintegrating at a worrisome rate, going by what we are hearing from news on radios and reading in the papers today.”

The former president of Assemblies of God Church  in Malawi  says while it is understood that real guilt can only be legally established in court, people should remember that there can be no smoke without fire.

Chakwera:  MCP president says culture of impunity
Chakwera: MCP president says culture of impunity is surmountable

“According to reports, now validated by donor concerns, there is a syndicate driven by greed that is set on self-enrichment at any cost. They will stop at nothing and even our senior civil servants are not safe as they amass ill-gotten wealth at the cost of impoverishing everyone.

“Just in line with Dante’s statement above, we in the MCP cannot sit and do nothing while our country is bleeding.”

Chakwera added: “ We fought for this nation and will continue to do so at any place and time. We, therefore, join the many well-meaning Malawians and the development partners to urge the government, as a matter of urgency to lift the lid of silence and respond to the allegations flying in the media, give space to professionals – local or those provided by the development partners, to get the root of this malaise and bring all the culprits to book.”

He says as far as the MCP is concerned, the culture of impunity is surmountable.

“We have drawn up a multi-faceted approach to preventing, detecting and dealing with corruption. We have the requisite determination and will to eradicate impunity and when we get into government in May 2014; excellence towards good governance with the participation of all will be our mantra. Appointments will be based on merit and not on political inclinations.”

He says MCP will reinforce the governance watchdogs, empower that with the requisite enabling policy and legislation and ensure that they are not only independent, but are seen to be independent.

“The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) will be fully divorced from executive interference by among other things, ensuring that the ACB director’s position is not an appointed one. (We will explain this in detail later),” he says

Chakwera  added:“Sustainable development and change in Malawi is possible but with one condition: you can no longer be mere spectators; you must be actively engaged and involved. So get involved now and together let us change Malawi.”

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