CHRR, CEDEP say Malawi financial system need redemption: Demand resignation of Lipenga

The financial mess that has rocked Capital Hill in Lilongwe has just brought to the fore the country’s sick system that is in dire need of redemption, claim the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Centre for Development of the People (CEDEP).

“We, at CHRR and CEDEP, are of the firm view that the fight against corruption has not been accorded enough political will by the leaders particularly those in the ruling elite. It doesn’t require one to be a scholar in political science or history to note that since the inception of our multiparty democracy our political leaders have talked highly of fighting corruption yet their actions have and do not inspire any culture of transparency and accountability,” observe the two human rights non-governmental organisations in a joint statement.

The two alongside other reputable civil society organizations like Public Affairs Committee and Malawi law society have time and again called for President Joyce Banda to declare her assets.

President Banda has opted to describe her critics as hell-bent at diverting the public attention from her predecessor’s alleged illegal accumulation of wealth (estimated at around K61 billion) to her declaration of assets, forgetting the repercussions such a stance may have on her reputation in relation to her “self-professed” fight against corruption.

Gift Trapence :  Malawi should investigate the alleged abuses
Gift Trapence : Malawi should investigate the alleged abuses

CHRR and CEDEP insist by declaring her assets Banda would not only restore or consolidate the popular and development partners’ confidence in her government but also her renewed commitment and political will towards curbing corruption in a country where it is widely reported that at least a third of the tax payers money goes into the pockets of a few “more privileged” individuals who parade under the civil servant umbrella.

“We can’t help but fear that the president’s action on asset declaration could be tantamount to endorsing a casual approach to the fight against corruption,” declare the two CSOs.

“Only when our political leaders shall demonstrate their inward resolve to deal with corruption by amongst several other things taking lead in actions that help in curbing corruption like the declaration of their personal wealth then Malawi shall be on the right course towards peace, prosperity or sustainable development, and the looting of public resources as is the case today shall be history.”

Further, CHRR and CEDEP have also called upon relevant authorities to swiftly and thoroughly investigate into Paul Mphwiyo’s shooting in order to ensure that all the culprits are successfully and professionally prosecuted as well as establish the truth over the abuse and corruption at Capital Hill that has ensued following his shooting.

“In light of this, we urge government to institute full and independent investigations into the issue, including the alleged tampering with of the government’ accounting system, Integrated Information Management System (IFMIS). Full and independent investigations into the Mphwiyos’s saga will also act as a litmus test on the president’s commitment to fight fraud in the government, given that some of the figures implicated in the saga are top government officials. And the sooner this is done the better,” they say in a statement.

Since the issue emerged several civil servants have been nabbed with millions of kwachas in their vehicles, homes and accounts whose origins they have failed to explain.

Meanwhile, CHRR and CEDEP have also joined the daily chorus to the Finance Minister, Ken Lipenga, resign or get fired including the secretary to the treasury, accountant general and the auditor general.

“They should not only resign but also be probed within the existing legal framework. These officials owe the public an explanation,” CHRR and CEDEP claim.

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