Malawi Watch slates JB on cashgate, accuses her of being dishonest

Malawi Watch, a political and good governance watchdog, has said it would have been much prudent in the interest of ordinary Malawians if donors had released the executive summary of the forensic audit report regarding the cash gate scam to both Parliament and key stakeholders to debate it and make recommendations.

Government declined to make public the findings of the forensic audit and only sent the executive summary of the report to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other cooperating donors.

Billy Banda, director of rights group Malawi Watch, hit out at the government saying  it is high time Malawians stood together to demand fairness and justice in the prosecution cash gate cases.

Billy Banda: Hits out at JB
Billy Banda: Hits out at JB
President Joyce Banda: Accused of dishonest
President Joyce Banda: Accused of dishonest

According to him, its not ideal that both President Joyce Banda and senior government officials should be in defence of justice through direct attack to those asking for the President to be honest in dealing with the cash gate issue.

“The cash gate issue is highly downplayed which is why its not proper to dub it as a breakthrough by President Banda administration but rather a breakdown of financial management systems.

“This is happening in the watchful eye of the current government, and if no justice, honesty and fairness prevails, President Banda should admit to have either contributed to the mess or negligence which should not permit herself to seek elections. Her source of wealth, and her source of money gives us more speculations she is an architect of it,” said Banda.

While commending the government for commencing trial of cash gate cases, Banda claimed that the prosecution team is not committed to bring allegedly involved high profile people to court.

This, according to him, sends strong fear and speculation that “those directly behind this worst ever corruption case” should not be convicted but the “lesser players” or “actors” in the saga.

He further observed that the prosecution team will not secure conviction against “many highly profiled people” because of “executive influence and speculation of their direct link and involvement”.

“Enough is enough, let judges be given independence and support to try cases expeditiously. Government should start with key suspects who will also permit the President to appear in court and provide evidence.

“If that fails, we are left with not choice but conclude JB’s direct involvement and should not stand for May 20 elections as suggested by some other quarters of National Assembly,” asserted Banda.

He also admitted that players in the Civil Society Organisation (CSO) platform are not influential in securing people’s interests due to many contributory factors like lack of resources and little capacity to mobilise for a transparency and accountability of the President and to constitute an independent commission of enquiry, respectively.

“Let us set precedents that we can work collectively as nation than dividing because of short term gains at the expense of ordinary citizens,” he advised.

Joyce Banda has said she took a “political risk” to launch a fight against corruption five months before the elections. She said the fight against corruption “must come first, winning elections comes second to me”.

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