Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has asked for neutrality in the appointment of Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) officials including Director General for it to perform competently.
Currently there is a bill which if approved will see it being upgraded to Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA).
MCP spokesperson on Finance Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi made the call on Tuesday while commenting on a bill on financial crimes presented by the Minister of Finance, Goodal Gondwe.
The bill is aimed at upgrading the FIU to Financial Intelligence Authority with powers to prosecute financial crimes suspects.
The bill also prescribes stiffer punishments for terrorist financing and money laundering crimes with the former attracting a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a K500 million fine and the latter a ten year sentence and K500 million in fines.
The bill also gives powers to the relevant minister to shortlist and conduct interviews for the Director General with the President giving final consent.
“I believe that if the Minister of Finance let alone the President is involved in the recruitment process FIA will be compromised.
“There are case files at the Anti-Corruption Bureau which are not making progress because of Executive influence. Neutrality of the organization can only be ensured if the appointment is done by the Public Appointments Committee of parliament,” Dzonzi said.
People’s Party (PP) spokesperson on Finance, Ralph Jooma commended the Bill which he said needed to be passed as soon as possible to avoid financial catastrophe.
The Bill has since been referred back to the Legal and Budget committees of parliament for further scrutiny because of what members of parliament described as, “highly technical nature”.
Meanwhile, the 46th session of parliament continues in the capital city, Lilongwe.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :