Chakwera wants JB recall, Lipenga to resign: Malawi cash-gate scandal

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Dr Lazarous Chakwera has joined Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Professor Peter Mutharika in persuading President Joyce Banda  to return from her trip in the United States of America and deal with “looting” at Capital Hill.

Addressing a news conference in the capital city Lilongwe on Thursday, Chakwera said it was prudent for President Banda to return home and deal with pertinent domestic issues.

“If the reports from the media as well as the recent expressed sentiments by our developmental partners are anything to go by, the Malawi Congress Party holds the conviction that enough is enough. Malawians deserve a representative patriotic voice to call the powers that be to task to address the vices currently going unchecked,” Chakwera said.

“It would be sensible for President Banda to cut short her tour and return home  and summon an emergency parliament sitting to solve the mess,” said Chakwera.

He called for Parliamentary committees to “take on board all steps being taken by these investigative authorities so that there is a departure from the business-as-usual approach which has previously seen most investigative efforts yielding unsatisfactory results and most often case files dying premature deaths.”

“Malawi Congress Party would like to remind the State President that the Republican Constitution demands that the State President and her government should adopt and implement sound policies to achieve good economic management, public trust and good governance. Anything short of this Constitutional standard, the current administration is as good as relinquishing the mandate to govern,” said Chakwera.

“The Constitution further states that authority to exercise power of the State is conditional upon the sustained trust of the people of Malawi, and that trust can only be maintained through an open, accountable and transparent government.”

Chakwera concurred with Mutharika that there is “corruption crisis” in government and that the President need to come and provide leadership on the ground in dealing with the matter.

Chakwera: Calls for Lipenga to resign
Chakwera: Calls for Lipenga to resign

However, government through its spokesperson and Minister of Information and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu says this is “sheer portrayal of ignorance and disregard of the law of the land on the roles other constitutionally established offices such as the Office of the Vice-President play in such scenarios.”

Kunkuyu insisted that there is no leadership vacuum saying government has functional offices that take control of national matters in the absence of the President.

During the news conference, Chakwera also called for the resignation of controversial Finance Minister Ken Lipenga, Secretary to Treasury Radson Mwadiwa and Chief Secretary to Office of President and Cabinet, Hawa Ndilowe following the looting of public funds at the Capital Hill in Lilongwe by civil servants

Lipenga also served as Finance Minister during the oppressive Bingu wa Mutharika regime when the country experienced the greatest fraud through which Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) borrowed money from commercial banks with the sole aim of cheating that the zero-deficit budget was not a flop.

After change of government, Lipenga admitted that DPP government operated like a Mafia syndicate in 19th century Sicily and it ran on lies and fabrications. And that the greatest lie of them all is borrowing money from commercial banks to cover up and create an impression that MRA was collecting enough to match expenditure targets as projected in the 2011 budget.

Lipenga however claimed he did not know about the whole scheme but he was defending something he did not have full facts about.

Meanwhile, outspoken Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito has threatened that Cama will hold massive demonstrations including at the airport during the President’s arrival into the country.

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