The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has called for full investigation into the scandal surrounding the smuggling into the National Assembly of the Loan Authorisation Bill number 22 of 2021 on the last day of the previous sitting of Parliament.
The Bill sought to authorize the government to borrow €98 million (approximately K93 billion) to finance the construction of decent houses for security agencies.
However, members of Parliament (MPs) did not debate it because it was brought without following procedures.
On arrival from his official trip to the United Kingdom, President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera assured Malawians that he would investigate the matter.
Chakwera lived up to his word as evidenced by the arrest of his Executive Assistant and Special Advisor on Church and Religious Affairs, Pastor Martin Thom, and the Ministry of Finance’s Acting Director of Debt and Aid, Nations Msowoya.
Thom and Msowoya were picked mid yesterday before they were released on police bail in the evening.
But while commending President Chakwera for acting swiftly to investigate the smuggling of a multi-billion kwacha loan authorization bill into Parliament and for firing one of his aides in connection with the investigation, CHRR has urged the Malawi Police Service to dig deeper and cast the net wider to ensure that everyone involved is properly held to account.
In a statement issued today, the organization’s executive director,
, expressed fear that without a proper investigation, the arrest of the two suspects could be a mere smokescreen created to mask the reality of what really happened and to shield the real culprits.
Kaiyatsa believes Thom and Msowoya might not have acted on their own, but were under pressure to push through the bill to Parliament.
“But now that this has happened, what the office of the president is trying to do is to save their face. Therefore, while we commend the arrest of the two suspects, we urge the Malawi Police Service to dig deeper and cast the net wider to ensure that everyone involved is properly held to account. Our fear is that without a proper investigation the arrest of the two suspects could be a mere smokescreen created to mask the reality of what really happened and to shield the real culprits,” he argues.
He further observes that President Chakwera ordered his investigation only after the media reported the matter, which showed that a presidential aide was behind the malfeasance. “Therefore, what Chakwera has done is simply to identify the mystery aide and act on him in the hope that this will pacify Malawians. Unfortunately, it will not!
“Knowing where we are coming from as a country, the two that have been arrested could be mere scapegoats, which is why we will not accept anything less than a full and independent investigation into this matter. We urge the Malawi Police Service to ensure that there are no sacred cows in their investigation,” challenges Kaiyatsa.
He emphasizes that the smuggling of the Bill into Parliament is a serious crime, as it has the potential to erode the independence of democratic institutions of the country.
He has reminded President Chakwera that he came to power on a platform of democratic reform, protection of human rights and commitment to the rule of law.
“Malawians are tired of leaders who win elections primarily because of their seemingly uncompromising support of good governance, but upon attaining power steadily start practising bad governance. It is against this background that we urge a full investigation into this scandal to protect our hard won democracy,” emphasizes Kaiyatsa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :