One of the vocal civil society groupings, the Forum for National Development (FND) says the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led-government must not negate its responsibility towards the fight against corruption, reminding government to do as promised during campaign trail to May 20th Tripartite Elections.
In a statement made available to Nyasa Times, FND says it has learnt with sadness that government has instead opted to play hide and seek on the same and how the K92 billion Cash-gate has been trivialized.
The Forum said it is appaled with government stance that the K92billon was a mere audit query.
“We wonder if any government official in his right senses would trivialize such amount as a mere query and nothing to worry about. As FND we believe that the whole Baker Tilly Cash-gate report has the roots and the genesis from the same K92bn being trivialized,” said FND Chairperson Bright Kampaundi .
President PeterMutharika this week told a press briefing that the DPP led government of his late brother, Bingu wa Mutharika, was free of any ‘Cash-gate’ related case.
The minister of Justice, also said there was no case under Cash-gate or connected to the K92 bn
misappropriated under the eye of the DPP.
But Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance, Alekeni Menyani is quoted by FND argued in Parliament that: “…the Committee believes that had it been that the report was given the necessary attention it deserved, the enormity of the Cash-gate could have been greatly reduced. The laxity by the Secretary of the Treasury (ST) to promptly act on the report played a bigger role in paving way to the Cash-gate we are all complaining about. But a million dollar question is: why was the report not presented to the Public Accounts Committee after its production? What was there to hide?”
The statement, signed by chairperson Bright Kampaundi and his national director Fryson Chodzi, further wonders why government does not want to investigate and act upon the findings of the interim audit report dubbed ‘K92 billion Cash-gate’.
“We believe this is tax payer’s money too, and Malawians deserve to know what happened to their purse. We need not to remind the government that when you do an analysis of the companies in Baker Tilly report, one will note that most companies implicated are also featuring on the K92 billion, and as FND has been saying, in order to root out this practice, we need to deal with all these cases
conclusively,” demands FND.
The organisation quickly agrees with Mutharika’s sentiments whilst in the recent USA trip where he attended the UN Assembly, where he said ‘no person who has stolen from the government should walk Scott free’.
“Government should not hide behind the Baker Tilly report to hide past corruption and theft of public resources. Malawians ought to be reminded that the forensic audit was the first of its kind and summoned by the previous government while, all along our parliament has acted on similar reports like the Interim Audit Report on IFMIS,” charges FND.
The CSO, whose demands follow growing public demand into full investigation of Cash-gate and unbiased prosecution of culprits, believes that the level of seriousness to address the matter will be
meaningful if government treated the K92 bn Cash-gate as money that should worry Malawians as well and institute full investigations without fear or favor; government lives up to its campaign promise and releases the names in the Baker Tilly report.
And that government pursues all the people that were involved in the Malawi Housing Scam in 2010 and also the Lilongwe City Council houses which the National Audit Office said were either acquired corruptly or fraudulently and under the market value and recommended the houses be repossessed.
Apparently, President Mutharika, finance minister Goodal Gondwe, are some of the people that bought some of the houses in question during the late Bingu’s reign.
So far only 50-year-old Theresa Namathanga Senzani, a former principal secretary at the tourism ministry, has successfully been charged and sentenced to three years in prison on charges related to Cash-gate under the two-years-watch of ex-Malawi leader, Joyce Banda.
This comes one year after she was arrested and has had her case dragging, leading
to accusations that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) was toothless in its pursuit to address graft.
Presiding Judge Ivy Kamanga ordered the forfeiture of money in Senzani’s company, Visual Impact, which was used to receive the money. She was also ordered to surrender cash in her National Bank of Malawi account.
She pleaded guilty on 28th August this year.
Government is only pursuing Cash-gate related cases under the two years.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :