The Catholic Church has distanced itself from assertions made by Lilongwe Archdiocese secretary for Justice and Peace Commission Peter Chinoko that President Joyce Banda is implicated in the infamous Capital Hill plunder christened as ‘cash gate’.
The Archdiocese of Lilongwe through its Vicar General Fr. Francis Sonkhano said Chinoko’s presentation to the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) did not come from the influential Roman Catholic Church.
The Archdiocese of Lilongwe said it noted “with concern” with Chinoko’s presentation.
“The Archdiocese of Lilongwe would like to inform the general public that Mr. Chinoko is not the spokesperson of the Archdiocese nor the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.
“The statement he made to the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament does not, therefore, represent the position of the Lilongwe Archdiocese nor the Episcopal Conference of Malawi,” reads the statement made after a heated debate soon after the published assertions made by Chinoko in the local press.
Fr. Sonkhano says the position of the Catholic Church on the looting of public funds (cash gate) is contained in the Bishop’s pastoral letter: Strengthening the vision of our destiny and the ‘Statement on Plundering of public funds dated 1st December 2013
And the Episcopal Conference of Malawi also disowned Chinoko’s allegations.
In an interview with Nyasa Times, Secretary General of the ECM, Father George Buleya said nationally, the only spokesperson of CCJP is only Chris Chisoni and that Chinoko spoke on the issue as an individual.
“We believe he went there as an individual not as the whole body of CCJP and not that of church. My understanding is that he is at that body as a technocrat not as a spokesperson, even if it was Chisoni going there he could have consulted me and some others within the system.
“The stand of the church on the Cash-gate issue was well articulated in the Pastrol Letter which was read in the charges and was posted on Nyasa Times as well so we don’t know if anyone could speak on our behalf than that,” he said adding that Chinoko only works under the Lilongwe Archdiocese not at national level.
Chinoko said he was actually called by the committee to give the information.
He said the Catholic Church has information to the effect that the genesis of cash-gate was lack of enough financial resources to bankroll political campaign for the ruling People’s Party (PP) as the country goes to tripartite elections next year.
Chinoko alleged that President Banda complained of “being milked” in referenced to the fact that she was spending a lot of money alone on the party.—(Additional reporting by Chancy Namadzunda, Nyasa Times)Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :