Malawi presidency warns smear campaigners to face lawsuits

The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) has warned that persons or publications making scandalous allegations against innocent public officials could start being dragged to court to account their sentiments.

A statement issued after secretary of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) for the Lilongwe Diocese Peter Chinoko told the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) on Thursday that President Joyce Banda is part and parcel of the looting of public resources.

Chinoko claimed further that the looted public resources were used, among other things, to fund activities of the
People’s Party.

OPC advised members of the public that “the publication of baseless allegations or accusations could lead to the commencement of legal proceedings against them, and they may be liable to pay appropriate compensation or damages.”

Mpinganjira: Chinoko will be sued

And Chinoko will face a legal suit from government in his in his individual capacity, Minister of Information Brown Mpinganjira has said.

Chinoko who was asked to submit a written statement on his allegations by the Public Accounts Committee has not done so yet.

He is said to have called a number of journalists in advance “not to miss the bomb I am going to throw.”

PAC which has two members who forced itself on the committee Nicholas Dausi and Dr. George Chaponda , has been accused of having breached protocol by inviting Chinoko without procedures.

Chaponda and Dausi joined by an injunction after the Committee members who the majority interestingly are from the DPP rejected their joining.

The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) distanced itself from Chinoko claims, saying they do not represent CCJP or the Catholic Church.

ECM secretary general Father George Buleya – said the church made its position on the cashgate clear in the pastoral letter it released recently –  and that Chinoko is not the official spokesperson of CCJP and the church.

Chinoko is not new to controversial statements, in 2009 he alleged that the Catholic Church had done a survey in which President Bingu wa Mutharika would get 20 percent of the vote.

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