Malawians have demanded immediate resignation of the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Shadrec Namalomba, upon discovery that he was part of the syndicate that aided illegal exports when he was Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA).
Namalomba was sacked by the MRA board in 2015 for aiding controversial politician and DPP heavyweight Noel Masangwi smuggle banned round wood to China worth millions of kwachas.
However, the then powerful Mulhako wa Ahlomwe grouping lobbied for his comeback, this time as Deputy Commissioner General.
An insider confided in Nyasa Times then that government was looking for a ‘good parastatal’ to post Roza Mbilizi who is the incumbent Deputy Commissioner General to pave way for Namalomba.
Namalomba is a member of Mulhako wa Ahlomwe and his sacking at the tax collecting body then did not please members of the ethnic grouping who successfully lobbied for Raphael Kamoto’s removal.
“They succeeded in removing Kamoto from MRA and I do not see why they will fail to bring back Namalomba as Deputy Commissioner General. Some of them have been boasting that they are ruling and they will do whatever they want because it is them that put the DPP in power and that it’s now time to enjoy the fruits of their hard work,” said the source at the time.
It is estimated that over MK5 billion worth of the wood was illegally shipped out of the country between 2011 and 2012 under his watch. Reports indicate that this is one of the issues that the Attorney General’s office is working on reviving.
The PAC chairperson was MRA’s Commissioner for Exports and after the incident, charges were reportedly opened against him and it was the DPP administration of Peter Mutharika, which rescued him from prosecution and later the administration tried to bulldoze its way to bring him back to MRA as Deputy Commissioner General but the plans did not work.
These revelations have prompted social media activists to question the morality behind Namalomba’s call for the committee meeting to quiz Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe, Principal Secretary Sandram Maweru, and other government officials over the alleged K30 billion missing funds meant for Affordable Input Programme (AIP).
In his post on Facebook, Master Chilunjika wondered whether the embattled PAC chairperson is the right person to handle the probe.
Chilunjika argued that Namalomba’s hands are not “clean enough” to demand transparency and accountability from Lowe and others.
Another Facebook fan, Charles Mponda, challenged PAC members to find a suitable replacement for DPP leadership at the committee.
He argued that “he who seeks equity should come with clean hands.’
Mponda said: “If PAC is serious and would want to deal with some of these issues, the Committee should find someone whose hands are clean. In short, he who seeks equity should come with clean hands.”
Another social media commentator Elijah Kasawala advised Namalomba to concentrate on “eating” Mutharika’s ill-gotten money.
“When you are eating Peter’s money, the head stops working,” writes Kasawala.
On the other hand. Fredrick David said the meetings were just a ploy to earn sitting allowances. Namalomba said the meetings will start on 18th October at 2.00 in the afternoon.
But in an interview on Sunday evening, Namalomba vowed to maintain his chairmanship at the committee. He claimed innocence and that God is His witness about it.
“No retreat, no surrender! I am clean even before my God. So I have clean hands to seek equity in the plunder of public resources. No one can silence the good. Others before them tried and failed. The spirit if the Lord is upon me to do what is right, unearth the truth and expose the corrupt,” reacted Namalomba.
One of the issues that Namalomba has listed as of interest in the K570 million that the Small Holder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund paid to a UK firm for the supply of fertiliser only to have the contract rescinded after partial payment which was meant to lock the fertiliser price.
Ministry of Agriculture clarified that the money was not duped or swindled and that after the cancellation, the UK company has committed to return the payment.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :