Former vice president Dr Cassin Chilumpha has come out of political hibernation to join opposition parties outside parliament calling for corruption investigations over the irregular K4 billion allocation to constituencies during the Mid-Term Budget Review Meeting that which they equate to ‘money laundering’.
Initially, the K4 billion was meant to benefit 86 constituencies only with each receiving K40 million, but after Malawi News exposed the matter in its paper followed with an uproar in Parliament, a deal was reached between government and the opposition for all the 193 constituencies to benefit.
Chilumpha, a lawyer by profession, has signed a statement by eight parties as president of his own political party called Assembly for Democracy and Development (ADD), threatening to obtain a court injunction if the transaction is not stopped.7
Other parties signatory to the statement include People’s Progressive Movement (PPM), Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde), National Unity Party (NUP), People’s Transformation Party (Petra) , Republican Party(RP) and United Transformation Party (UTP).
According to the statement, the money was meant to help the incumbent members of Parliament (MPs) campaign ahead of the 2019 elections disguised as constituency development.
“What Parliament did in regularising this illegal transaction is utterly questionable and blameworthy,” reads the statement in part.
The parties said they side with poor Malawians that the K4 billion must not be disbursed and that government should call for an emergency meeting of Parliament within 30 days to reverse the approval.
Parliament in Malawi can be summoned by the Speaker in consultation with the President, according to the law.
The National Assembly is due to sit for budget meeting in May.
The parties also said the opposition block in Parliament “cannot excuse itself” from the illegal transaction “but thanks for having withdrawn. We encourage them to maintain that stand.”
According to the statement, Minister of Local Government Kondwani Nankhumwa should be investigated on how he allegedly identified the initial 86 MPs to benefit from the unbudgeted funds.
They also want Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe to “clarify his several contradicting statement on this and tell the nation the truth.”
Should government not act on their demands, the parties said they will obtain a court order “to stop the whole illegal transaction.”
Finance minister Gondwe is on Friday scheduled to meet for talks with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) leaders Charles Kajoloweka of Youth and Society (YAS), Gift Trapence of Centre for Development of People (CEDEP) and Timothy Mtambo of Centre for Human Rights Rehabilitation (CHRR) to explain the matter with “accurate information.”
But the parties said Gondwe’s clarification should be me made “preferably in Parliament.”
Meanwhile, Chilumpha’s adding his weight to the pressure, signifies that he is back to frontline politics. Chilumpha still faces treason charges.
He was arrested in 2006 on allegations that he was planning to assassinate former president, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, using hired assassins from South Africa.
Chilumpha and the late Mutharika fell out in 2005 after the former president left United Democratic Front (UDF), a party that sponsored him into power in 2004, to form DPP. Chilumpha remained in UDF until he joined People’s Party (PP) in 2012 and later dumped it.
The case has dragged on for years although government then said it had overwhelming evidence against him.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :