Deputy speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje has thrown out a newspaper cutting as evidence incriminating seven cabinet ministers in the infamous K236 billion cash.
Lilongwe Msozi South MP, Vitus Dzoole Mwale provoked the government side on the issue when he was contributing on the mid year budget review presented in the House by Finance minister.
He said there was no political will by the Head of State Peter Mutharika to deal with high level corruption in the country.
“Malawi as a country is chocked with corruption. As such the government is losing a lot of resources through corruption. Corruption which is taking place at Capital Hill or even here,” said Dzoole Mwale.
He added: “Nowadays one cannot have access to government services such as driving licences, passports, et cetera free of charge, as was the case during Kamuzu regime.”
This is when he cited the examples of the seven cabinet ministers who allegedly looted public coffers and the issue of maizegate.
“It is evidently believed that the top officials involved in corrupt practices cannot be caught because they are heavily protected by the government machinery,” said Dzoole Mwale.
However, this did not go down well with government chief whip in the House Henry Mussa who demanded evidence.
Mcheka Chilenje told Dzoole Mwale to bring the evidence.
However, Dzoole Mwale said he had evidence with him and fished out a newspaper cutting from his bag.
The deputy speaker rejected this, saying practice in the House does not allow use of media including newspaper cutting as evidence and ruled Dzoole Mwale out of order.
“I thought the Honourable Member is quite aware that issues of newspapers or media quotations cannot be used as piece of evidence in this House. That you are quite aware. So, that is not piece of evidence that the Chair can take. So, in this case, the demand still stands, that tomorrow Wednesday, at 2:00 p.m. you bring the evidence. Bring the evidence of the issues you are raising for accuracy sake,” Mcheka Chilenje.
However, Lilongwe north east MP Maxwell Thyolera said there was no standing order or rules governing the House which rules out use of newspaper cutting as evidence.
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