Malawi civil-society groups who are organising anti-government streets protests over governance concerns scheduled for January 13, 2015 have demanded to see justice on accused persons’ role to plunder of public money both in the DPP and the PP era.
The groups want action K92 billion DPP-era cashgate and about K20 billion grew wings from public coffers within six months of Joyce Banda’s reign, April to September 2013, as was revealed by a forensic audit report by a British company, Baker Tilly.
“Malawians are concerned with slow pace to concluding cashgate cases more so that the cases that are already in court are largely for junior offices whom might have been carrying orders from their superiors,” the CSOs said.
Furthermore, the groups pointed out that there are competing cashgate investigations – K92 billion and K20 billion -with divided interests contrary to the general expectation of Malawians to see to it that justice is not only seen to be done but is manifestly seen to be done on both issues.
The CSOs demand that the two matters should be earnestly investigated and brought to their finality without favour.
“In pursuit of justice, government is urged to desist from shielding some alleged senior officers on the matter as doing so would negate government’s obligations to protect its citizens,” they appealed.
Spokesman of the protests, Timothy Mtambo, said the institutions entrusted to investigate and prosecute Cashgate cases should be allowed to do their job as guided by the law, and if anyone is proven beyond reasonable doubt that he took part in Cashgate, the law should not spare him or her just for fear of being labelled as ‘political witch-hunting’.
The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) Senior Public Relations Officer, Egrita Ndala, said the seven-week long strike by the judiciary had affected the progress of the cashgate cases.
Currently at least 25 cashgate cases are known to have commenced at both Lilongwe and Zomba Magistrates and High Courts while a lot more cases are yet to come before trial as investigations are still underway.
Ndala assured that the bureau will to work to ensure that the on-going cashgate cases “reach their logical conclusions be it in investigations or prosecutions” and t hat in 2015 the bureau also plans to intensify corruption prevention programmes in public institutions perceived to be more vulnerable to corruption with an aim of safeguarding the public purse.
Following the Cashgate revelations, donors withdrew aid and Malawi has been operating on a zero-aid budget, a situation that has caused misery to Malawians economically.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :