Malawi top journos receive death threats over cashgate probe

Malawi’s two top notch journalists who are closely investigating into the infamous cashgate scandal are claiming that they are receiving death threats from unknown people in the course of doing their work.

Mabvuto Banda who also files for Reuters News Agency and Inter Press Service, and Ephraim Munthali, Head of Investigative Unit at the flagship daily Nation newspaperssaid during Tiuzeni Zoona program on the privately owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station on Sunday that they will however not be moved in any way over the threats.

“But we are not moved with the threats because as investigative journalists we know that we have to face these threats and  those who are against us are few individuals as we are fighting for the welfare of the masses whose money are being swindled by few individuals,” said Banda.

He said that information they have come across so far on the scandal has revealed that the embezzlement of public funds from government coffers started in 2009 and continued up to this year and therefore no political party is worth clapping hands for  doing anything to curb the fraud.

Mabvuto Banda: Death threatened

“It started with DPP. In 2009 audit report was presented to the President but no action was done, and another audit was done in 2012, no action was taken. It has just been revealed now when people wanted to kill budget director so the difference is just what People’s party is doing now,” he said.

Banda said unless the PP government arrests and brought to book all those involved in the scandal there will be no difference with DPP.

“There is no time for lip service.  President Joyce Banda should know that this is a crucial issue that can cost her a vote in next year elections and people are watching her and she has one chance;  if she continues arresting those involved it will assist her in election otherwise ..”

Munthali who is also the editor for the weekly Nation On Sunday said the aim of their investigation into the scandal is to ensure that the huge chuck of stolen money is returned and those involved should be punished and government should review the Public Finance management system.

He said it is sad that the country’s development projects are suffering because some people have been stealing government money.

“For example our health system is now facing financial crisis just because few people have stolen money which would meant for buying drugs in the hospitals. We want this to be exposed and culprit brought to book,” said Munthali, adding that president Banda should live by her word of shielding no one involved in the scandal.

The journalists assured Malawians that they should doubt their stories because the information in there comes from highly placed sources in all sectors and the information is also being  verified before being released for public consumption.

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