Rumphi East member of Parliament (MP) Kamlepo Kalua (People’s Party-PP) on Thursday irked Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda when he branded him one of the corrupt ministers in President Peter Mutharika’s cabinet.
“He (Chaponda) is one of the most corrupt Ministers that we have ever had in this country,” said Kalua attracting applause from the opposition benches.
Kalua, who is also Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) vice-chairperson, was ruled out of order by Speaker of Palriament Richard Msowoya for his attack.
Said the Speaker: “It is not appropriate; you do not start attacking individuals when you do not even have evidence. If I ask you for evidence that the Minister is the most corrupt person in the country, are yo going to bring evidence? You must be fair when you make statements, please.”
He warned the MP that he would be kicked out if he continue to make allegations which cannot be substantied.
Chaponda sparked controversy when he told the House that Malawi economic turmoil is a result of Cashgate scandal.
“ We took over at a time Mr Speaker, Sir, when there was cashgate. After cash-gate, donors withdrew of course and on top of that, we had harsh weather situation and yet they forget all those things and what this government is doing,” said Chaponda.
Peoples Party leader in the House, Uladi Mussa said it was “totally out of order” for Chaponda to say that Malawi is facing myriad of problems because of cashgate which took place in 2012/2013.
“But what I would like to inform him is that that corruption started sometime back. It is being reflected on K236 billion (under DPP regime) and what PP did was to capture and arrest those who were involved in stealing government resources. My question is, what is DPP doing on K236 billion reflected in the report we got here? What is it doing? Could you give us the response? For PP we arrested them and some are in prison.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) MP for Lilongwe Msozi South, Vitus Dzoole Mwale asked Chaponda to bring evidence of the cashgate including about the grand corruption of K236billion under the watch of DPP which he said seven Cabinet Ministers are implicated.
Speaker said two forensic audit reports on corruption were tabled in this House and that it is up to the Committees of the House to “unravel any piece of information” that is contained in the reports and bring them back to the House.
“You cannot be asking Ministers to provide information on corruption. You should enquire into your own Committees,” said Msowoya.
Last year, the National Audit Office (NAO) commissioned a forensic audit after an analysis by PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC) on government bank statements involving K577 billion covering the years between 2009 and 2014 showed that 43 percent of the payments were not accounted for in the Integrated Financial Management System (Ifmis).
The forensic audit was conducted by RSM Risk Assurance Services LLP of the UK.
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