Leader of Opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has branded President Peter Mutharika’s administration as the most corrupt and challenged him with facts to prove he does not tolerate or benefit from plunder by his henchmen.
In his response to an address the President gave on Friday during the opening of the 47th Session of Parliament, Chakwera said on Monday in Parliament that the fact is that Mutharika’s “countenances corruption among his own ministers” and is surrounded by aides who not only interfere with government processes for awarding contracts, but also ought to be investigated for corruption “for all the inexplicable wealth they have amassed in less than 40 months.”
Chakwera said President Mutharika, Cabinet Ministers, and the Presidential Aides continue to operate above the nation’s anti-corruption laws that some controlling officers, junior level accountants, civil servants, and department directors feel emboldened to continue looting with impunity, as is the case with some parliamentarians who are systematically abusing their Constituency Development Funds (CFDS).
“If the President really wants to prove that he is not a thief or to show that he does not tolerate or benefit from thievery, he should not just have come here with allegations that some MPs are abusing their CDFs. He should name the constituencies, name the culprits, state the amounts stolen, and present evidence as I did earlier this month when I exposed the fraud that is taking place in the procurement of ESCOM generators, perpetrated by the President’s own aides, a scandal he has yet to respond to or resolve,” said Chakwera.
He said the Escom genset deal is not the only fraudulent deal happening under Mutharika’s watch that they are aware of.
Chakwera stated that the whole Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government “reeks with the stench of corruption” and they cannot investigate it because “criminals do not investigate themselves.”
The Leader of Opposition said if any Malawians think he is exaggerating, they should consider the following partial record:
1) The US$35 million maize acquisition from Zambia (MK25.6 Billion) raised serious issues of corruption according to the two reports from the two separate and independent enquiries.
2) The DPP championed the K577 billion Cashgate (reduced to K236 billion) which to date Mutharika is doing nothing about. To date nothing is being done about the 13 files that were reportedly handed over to the ACB and connecting 7 ministers to the MK577 billion Cashgate.
3) It is alleged that the DPP directly benefitted from the MK500 million that was lost from the Southern Region Water Board
4) It is alleged that the DPP and its functionaries benefitted from the MK5 billion ESCOM scandal involving dubious purchases hence blocking ACB from investigating the matter.
5) His ministers were also allegedly involved in the purported procurement of Malawi Army vehicles with Ashok Leyland involving US$54 million.
6) There are strong allegations about US$10 million embezzlement, money from Malawi Embassy in New York meant for our men in uniform
7) The MK3 billion released from MERA purportedly to buy maize through ADMARC allegedly ended up in DPP. I urge this House to follow up on this to see if indeed maize was bought using this money.
8) The MK2 billion that has vanished from TEVETA allegedly partly found its way to DPP, as the other part was allegedly shared among the operatives
9) The previous DPP Administration influenced senior officers to give loans to businessmen connected to their party. Then this DPP Government quickly sold the bank while promising the people of Malawi that it will collect the toxic loans for the bad debts, but up to this day nothing has been collected.
10) The health sector itself has not been spared from stories of abuse of resources, from the siphoning of funds from the National Aids Commission in the early days of this administration to the more recent scam about funds for allowances related to the Center for Disease Control.
Said Chakwera: “Mr. Speaker Sir these are just the examples we know of, and there is much more.”
President Mutharika delivered his address on Friday to mark the official opening of the 47th session of parliament whose deliberations officially started on Monday as members of the House started commenting on his address.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :