Joyce Banda’s credibility at stake over corruption –Kabwila

President Joyce Banda’s credibility was on line over corruption, opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokeswoman Dr Jessies Kabwila has said.

Kabwila said  Banda’s credibility was at stake following the financial scandal involving looting, theft and corruption at Capital Hill, the seat of government christened as cashgate.

“Ask any Malawian, he will tell you we are living in the shadow of cashgate. This has shaped the context of our politics today ,” said Kabwila.

Her comments appeared in Daily Times over a story the paper quoted activists demanding Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate a possible case of money laundering and fraud in an arms and public relations deal that President Banda has entered.

Kabwila: Joyce Banda’s credibility at stake

“We should investigate anything that, in the very remote, appears to be corruption, so we need an investigation into the deal,” said Kabwila.

Ichikowitz Family Foundation, belonging to the owner of an African defence company, Paramount Group, is bankrolling Joyce Banda’s PR deal with London-based Bell Pottinger.

Banda has engaged Paramount Group in a defence contract for the supply of seven interceptor boats to be deployed on Lake Malawi.

Ichikowitz, through a private equity firm called Trans Africa Capital, is also understood to have signed agriculture and fuel contracts with Malawi’s government.

Law expert Justin Dzonzi noted: “We could be dealing with a very serious case of money laundering here whereby the Malawi government awards Ichikowitz Family Foundation’s  companies as one way of siphoning money from the public coffers.”

In a related development,  former minister of Finance and Economic Planning Matthews Chikaonda has proposed the setting up of a cashgate commission of inquiry.

Chikaonda, who is the group chief executive officer of conglomerate Press Corporation Limited (PCL) and former governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), said a commission of inquiry is the best way the country may know what actually transpired in the cashgate.

The Catholic bishops in the pastoral letter released onSunday descroibed the cashgate as an “embarrassment” and Chikaonda said it is “a disgrace”.

According to Chikaonda, Malawians need to have some level of anger as “people are dying in hospitals and many others going without food” while a few individuals in PP government are on “get-me-quick” crusade.

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