Details have started emerging on how former Secretary to the Treasury Joseph Mwanamvekha abused resources at the time he was in charge of the country’s financial purse.
A top government official confided in Nyasa Times that Mwanamvekha used to get a whooping K880,000 per month as housing allowance among other abuses.
“Tell me a house in Lilongwe where one can pay more than K800, 000 a month? Is it a palace? But this man was getting that as housing allowance,” said the official who said is ready to cooperate with government officials who may want this information.
Quizzed by Nyasa Times why he did not make this information available to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) when these ills were taking place, the official, who showed us some of the documentary evidence of the abuse said: “Everybody knew that time that these people were so powerful and this information would have been kept under the carpet, everyone knows.
“Just look at how government officials including cabinet ministers defended him when Zodiak Radio announced that he gets two salaries?”
Mwanamvekha, who was also Chairman of government’s fully owned bank, Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) is said to have been staying in an MSB Guest House in Lilongwe’s Area 14 suburbs soon after his appointment as Secretary to the Treasury.
“He stayed in that Guest house for close to a year after his appointment as ST, yet he was drawing this massive amount as housing allowances. MSB managers had no choice but to put up at hotels whenever they were in Lilongwe for business. The reason they have a Guest House in Lilongwe is to cut costs but because their chairman was there, they were using hotels,” he said.
Eventually, Mwanamvekha moved out after the Chief Secretary to the Government Bright Msaka questioned why he was still using the guest house.
The source also confirmed earlier reports that Mwanamvekha was drawing two salaries, one from MSB and another one from government.
“If people doubt this, they can check with accountants at Treasury and MSB, they will know the truth. He was getting more than K4 million per month,” said our source.
Ironically when Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) aired the news item, Mwanamvekha reacted angrily and got a court order stopping the station from continuing airing the news item. He even sued ZBS.
But many people were surprised when the then minister of information Symon Vuwa Kaunda and then Presidential Spokesperson Hetherwick Ntaba and other senior government officials held a press conference in Lilongwe where they defended Mwanamvekha’s two salaries.
Mwanamvekha is also said to have abused government resources when he bought five state of the art Toyota Land Cruisers VX 8 without the knowledge of his boss then Ken Kandodo until the matter was reversed when Kandondo complained to President Mutharika.
“He allocated the vehicles to Msaka, Director of Public Procurement Bright Mangulama, Kandodo and one was for him and the other for his wife,” said the source.
But Mangulama and Msaka did not use the cars as they were surprised with the whole deal until the President reversed the sale of the vehicles and ordered that only Kandodo use the VX 8 while the rest should be bought the new Toyota Prados.
Mwanamvekha declined to comment when we contacted him yesterday saying he is mourning the death of President Bingu Mutharika.
Kandodo also said he will comment on the issues when the ‘mourning period is over’.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :