JB already gave Lipenga ultimatum to clean Malawi treasury or get the sack

Malawi President Joyce Banda said Sunday she already knew about the massive looting of government funds and had given the former Minister of Finance, Ken Lipenga, an ultimatum before the Capital Hill scam came to light.

President Banda, speaking during the 80th Anniversary of St Columba CCAP Church in Blantyre, said Lipenga was given four weeks to put in place proper financial management system in his ministry after realising that millions of public funds were ending up into people’s pockets.

“I had given my minister of finance four weeks to come up with a transparent and accountable system that everybody could see through and that at the end of it I will take control and ensure that what belongs to Malawians is protected,” Banda said in her speech at the event she was the guest of honour.

The President was responding to Blantyre Synod of the CCAP Church General Secretary, Rev Alex Maulana, who, in his speech, condemned the looting.

President Joyce Banda speaking during the 80th annivesary celebrations of St. Columba Church of CCAP in Blantyre on Sunday.
President Joyce Banda speaking during the 80th annivesary celebrations of St. Columba Church of CCAP in Blantyre on Sunday.

“I thank God that as a church you are also concerned because you are the voice of the voiceless but I can tell you at a time like this there is always great resistance with issues of this nature.

“But what I want you, reverends, to know is that when we are talking about the K61 billion [Bingu wa Mutharika’s estates] it’s part of this [Capital Hill plundering]… therefore it’s not a current issue it’s an issue that has gone on for the past 15 years,” claimed Banda.

Because of this, the President said, there was need for the church, politicians and all parties across the board to rise and disapprove the malpractice which does not benefit the nation.

“And I know hat with God’s guidance we will overcome this…we need prayers and God’s intervention to overcome this problem,” she said.

In her statement a few days ago, Banda said the arrests of the suspects in the financial plundering was as a result of some of her government’s efforts put in place to stamp out corruption, fraud and embezzlement of public funds.

Banda said she has had a meeting with the then Minister of Finance and the Secretary to Treasury to discuss the flaws in the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), which has now been suspended, where she gave the minister four weeks to come up with a review plan for improving financial management of government resources as well as close up loop holes for siphoning huge sums of money.

The Malawi leader also said she had further assigned the deputy minister of finance to focus on auditing government ministries and departments on the use of resources and how government could effectively draw down the US$500 million standing to the country’s credit from the World Bank.

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