Goodall ‘buying’ freedom from corruption prosecution

By Charles Kufa, Nyasa Times

Former finance minister Goodall Gondwe is supporting President Bingu wa Mutharika against his conscience to buy his freedom from alleged corruption prosecution, Nyasa Times understands.

Government insiders said Mutharika has pledged to stop prosecuting Gondwe on corruption indictment only if he remains loyal and support his political moves.

Gondwe on Tuesday in Mzuzu challenged those organising the August 17 demonstrations saying “we will see each other there. Boma ndi Boma.”

He has also been supporting the plans by DPP to have Mutharika dynasty, where Mutharika’s younger brother Peter, a retired U.S. law professor and the current education minister,   should be the party’s presidential candidate for the next general election.

Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau has been investigating Gondwe over the procurement of fertiliser for a government-subsidised programme five years ago.

“The Anti-Corruption Bureau is conducting an investigation on Honourable Gondwe in relation to the manner in which procurement of 2005-2006 subsidised fertiliser was conducted,” the bureau said in a statement last year. And ACB spokesperson Egritta Ndala has said the investigations have not yet been concluded on the matter.

Gondwe: Still under corruption probe

Gondwe, an accomplished economist who once worked as Africa director for the International Monetary Fund, joined President Mutharika’s cabinet as finance minister in 2004.

During his tenure he oversaw the procurement of 183 million dollars of subsidised fertiliser given to peasant farmers.

The programme has been credited with rescuing Malawi from the brink of a disastrous famine by enabling it to have consecutive bumper maize harvests.

Gondwe was demoted to local government minister and later dropped from cabinet. He has recently been appointed vice president of the ruling DPP.

Nyasa Times also understands that the anti-corruption agency has a docket of Gondwe for allegedly receiving bribe from Comair airlinecompany to help it buy stakes in Air Malawi.

He is suspected to have met officials from the company in RSA (Michael Angelo Hotel) in June 2007, and Gondwe opened an account with Standard Bank with the R70, 000 he got from a Mr. Meyer acting on behalf of Comair.

Gondwe is also alleged to have built a state of the art palace with aluminium window/door frames in Lilongwe with funds, resources and personnel from Plem Construction which was awarded construction of New Parliament Building and phase one of late Kamuzu Banda Mausoleum

He has vehemently denied wrong doing and said he will “fade away” in politics when Mutharika retires in 2014.

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