President Peter Mutharika has challenged his second in command, Vice-President Saulos Chilima, to substantiate his claims that he opted to leave governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)due to corruption among other governance concerns.
“Despite all the sacrifices that our forefathers made, our nation remains one of the poorest. Nepotism, cronyism and corruption are rampant and only those connected continue to benefit,” Chilima said at a news conference in Lilongwe.
“We must give this country a new lease of life. We must clean this country. We must drain the swamp.”
But according to presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani, Chilima should back his corrupt accusations by naming and shaming those responsible.
Kalilani said Mutharika learnt with shock and disbelief the accusations Chilima raised, saying, especially for a fact that as a man who is second in command should have reported the suspected corrupt officials to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
“The President is equally concerned that the number two powerful person in Malawi, still serving in the same administration, would simply stop at making such wild corruption claims. The President’s expectation was that he would report such people to ACB and provide them with information.
“The President also expected that he would tell Malawians who these corrupt officials are,” Kalilani said in quotes reported in the press.
Chilima, who declined to rule out a presidential run in 2019’s polls, told reporters that President Mutharika himself admitted, not only once, that there is corruption. He also said that the media has widely reported about corruption in Malawi.
Governance activists have said the war on corruption should not be selective, saying those suspected of wring-doing should face the law beginning from the top to the bottom, the mighty or the least, those who have and those who have not.
All those mentioned as kingpins of corruption must be investigated and prosecuted when facts are proven, they said, urging public officials linked with corruption to resign immediately.
Mutharika promised there would be no sacred cows in the war against graft.