Chakwera vows to fight Malawi ‘criminal enterprise’:  No sacred cows

President Lazarus Chakwera  warned that government will move to recover all the stolen public funds, interdict all public officers  implicated in the thcontroversial K6.2 billion Covid-19 fund, whose audit has shown gross abuse, discipline them and then ban any business impilicated from any future government contracts.

Chakwera: I am taking action

Chakwera issued the sterrn warning during a televised national address from Mtunthama state residence in Lilongwe.

“I have decided to use independent and investigative audits  to ensure that our pursuit of thieves is backed by evidence  that will stand up in court. And now that the evidence related to the K6.2 billion is before us, I am taking action,” he said.

President Chakwera said police have started effecting arrests of individuals suspected of committing  the crimes exposed by the audit report.

“This includes an  arrest at the Office of the President and Cabinet. There are  no sacred cows. In fact, as other individuals that the evidence points to are identified and tracked down, there will  be more arrests,” said Chakwera.

He added: “So, I want all the thieves hiding in the civil  service to mark my words: If the finger of evidence points to you as one of the thieves who stole Covid money for saving  lives while hundreds of our people were dying of Covid, you  are going to prison.

“On top of that, we will use the relevant  laws to ensure that you pay back what you stole. Mubweza! [Pay back.}

These actions notwithstanding,  Chakwera said, there are other actions that  must be taken by other independent branches of  government and independent governance institutions, and  he assure dthem of his full support to carry  out their mandates.

He pointed out that the  Constitution places the mandate of arresting  suspected criminals on law-enforcement agencies like the  Malawi Police Service, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, and  the Financial Intelligence Authority.

“For the first time in  Malawi, these are working independently and are being  funded adequately. As such, those of you running these  institutions must stop letting the country down and do  your jobs in bringing those implicated by this report to  book, or else I will have you replaced.

“The Constitution places the mandate of trying and  sentencing criminals on the Judiciary, but I think I speak  for all Malawians when I say that we do not want these crimes to take years to adjudicate. I have therefore  directed the Minister of Justice to engage the Chief Justice  on the support the Judiciary needs to expedite the cases  related to this K6.2 billion, as well as all open and past  cases related to the theft of public resources,” said Chakwera.

He also said the Law empowers the Public Procurement and Disposal  of Assets Authority (PPDA) to enforce the government’s  compliance with procurement laws and procedures.

“I  therefore call on this institution to do its job with a sense  of urgency, including ensuring that all companies named  in this audit report for defrauding Malawians, as well as  the individuals who direct those companies, are debarred  from supplying goods, works, and services to government forthwith.”

The President said he  tasked the Vice President  Saulos chilima to form a  Taskforce that will recommend radical changes to the  structure of the entire civil service, as well as the entire  system of allowances, employment contracts, and  procurement in the public sector to root out corruption.

“Those recommendations are due for submission to my  office in the next four weeks, after which we will take the next steps towards my goal of overhauling this broken and  rotten system from top to bottom.”

Malawian professor of law at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Danwood Chirwa argued that Covid-19 funds were disbursed for no purpose than feeding patronage networks and as soft bribes to some connected government employees and elected and appointed officials.

He said the funds provided the first opportunity for plunder by this government, arguing, “only a small fraction of the funds was directed to hospitals and clinics for medical care”.

In quotes reports din the press, Chirwa decried: “It is most disturbing that such a thing has happened. It shows, first of all, that there is no system for controlling the use of government funds, and that senior government officials participate in the misuse. For all that has been spent and wasted, there’s absolutely nothing to show.

“This is why sending a clear message from the top that abuse of State funds will not be tolerated helps. If people get fired or held accountable by political leaders first and the government adequately supports the crime fighting agencies, then there’s a chance. ”

The audit report, among others, has recommended that those officers who took part in the malpractices, which resulted in the loss of funds, should pay back the money and that the government must ensure that all malpractices that are criminal in nature should be handed over to law enforcement agencies for further attention and action.

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VYOTO
VYOTO
21 days ago

The Bakili Muluzi and MPHWIYO corruption cases of 2006 and 2013 respectively are long overdue, some of us will only take this Govt seriously if these two cases are concluded.

We are tired of mere stories.

nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
22 days ago

It just blow my brains to see our officials dancing in SOUTH AFRICA
kwhile everyone here back home all in sombre moods on daily base losing friends family relatives from covid! kukhala ngati analibe nazo ncito ngati amafinika .nde ndalama zokuba like mocking the malawians . Am failing to take this in. honestly

Zorro
Zorro
22 days ago

Yessssss!! lock them up at Maula! well done Sir

50 plus 1
50 plus 1
23 days ago

NO SACRED COWS. INDEED, LET THERE BE NO SACRED COWS.

Anzelu ndi Anzelu
Anzelu ndi Anzelu
23 days ago

Class action lawsuit is needed for all the families whose relatives died due to government negligence in this Covid-Gate issue. People must be properly compensated with millions of kwacha per family. That is justice. Arresting the looters is one half of the battle.

mimu
24 days ago

when hospitals were run dry of oxygen for covid patients,pipo dying like locuts,you were busy diverting the required money for personal use?muli ndi mzimu inu? 7 billion…MISSING?koma a Malawi tangoti pheeeeeeeeeeee,anazizilisa mitima yathu ndani?kukanakhala ku maiko anzathu,lero everyone would have been in the street protesting,chifukwa cha abale athu anamwalira aja akusowa oxygen mzipatala.Lucky this is malawi-pipo with warm hearts.

Ernest Nyirenda
Ernest Nyirenda
24 days ago

With this right move……I owe you another vote in 2025 if you finish up the race in the interest of Malawians.

For those who misused covid-19 funds, let them pay back indeed and face the long arm of Law. Lamulo limagwira ntchito munthu akalilakwira. So its not politics but the law itself.

Appeasement Court
24 days ago

Chakwera must account for the 17 billion kwacha covid money first before we take him seriously. Kodi why are people silent about 17 bn kwacha covid money which Chakwera used for bye election campaign?? And why are people silent about Bendulo employment? And why are people silent about independence celebration money which grew wings? And why are people silent about crossroads cashgate?

Zoona zenizeni
Zoona zenizeni
24 days ago

Dictator in the making

OBAMA
OBAMA
23 days ago
Reply to  Zoona zenizeni

that will be great

Hate it or take it but it's a fact
Reply to  Zoona zenizeni

U stole u pay, end of the story.

OBAMA
OBAMA
22 days ago
Reply to  Zoona zenizeni

That is good and he has to be for this country to move..

Kango
Kango
21 days ago
Reply to  Zoona zenizeni

Zoona Zenizeni bwelani muzamutenge anaba nawo

Nzeru
Nzeru
24 days ago

Sorry President Chakwera the ‘sacred cows’ are your huge family, relatives and incompetent Chewa Ministers, so get rid of them first. Kandodo was at least an experienced Minister, wait his sacking with haunt you.

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