Forum for National Development demands arrest of Nankhumwa for abuse of CoVID-19 funds

Forum for National Development has threatened to sue government unless it desists from selective justice by effecting the arrest of Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa, “following his criminal implication on the abuse of CoVID-19 funds”.

A legal notice dated 15th July, 2022 from lawyers, Adrian & Company to the Attorney General, Forum for National Development contends that Nankhumwa — as Leader of Opposition in Parliament— was a member of Presidential Task Force on CoVID-19 and he received allowances amounting to K3.6 million.

But a forensic audit of K6.2 billion CoVID-19 funds, Nankhumwa was listed being among those that were deemed to have abused the funds amounting to K600,000 as a member of Presidential Task Force on CoVID-19 meant for fuel, vehicle maintenance and accommodation while his duty station is in Lilongwe where most of the meetings took place and government already provided the same in his capacity as Leader of Opposition.

Nankhumwa: caught in Covid 19 allowances abuse

“The Leader of Opposition is entitled to a house in Lilongwe, fuel and motor vehicle is serviced by government,” says the letter, adding that “it is on record that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) ordered the Leader of Opposition to refund the allowances to which he obliged”.

The letter further says the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) demanded that Nankhumwa and “everyone who unduly received allowances for the CoVID-19 funds to pay back the money” as well as calls from National Forum for National Development, who “wrote the Leader of Opposition demanding him to pay back CoVID-19 allowances he pocketed”.

Through the lawyers, Forum for National Development takes cognizance that Nankhumwa paid back K3.6 million to the Presidential Taskforce on CoVID-19 he pocketed as allowances.

The Forum highlights that “31 Malawi civil servants were arrested by the police for the offence of abusing CoVID-19 funds as a result of the forensic report” and in view of this, Forum for National Development claims that the Attorney General’s office “is practicing selective justice by not acting on the Leader of Opposition in Parliament”.

“Our client has therefore, further instructed us to demand your office of the following;

a) Desist from selective justice; and

b) Act on the leader of opposition by way of effecting an arrest following his criminal implication following the abuse of CoVID-19 funds.

“Kindly advise us on how your esteemed office intends to settle this matter,” the lawyers said, adding that unless they “receive plausible response within 90 days from the date hereof, we shall be left with no option but commence legal action against yourselves without further notice”.

The legal notice is copied to Nankhumwa; Director of Public Prosecution and Speaker of the National Assembly.

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