Minister, top PP official implicated in Mphwiyo’s shooting

Fresh allegations have gone viral on social media implicating a cabinet minister, ruling People’s Party top official and two others over the shooting of Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo who was poised to unveil a network of corruption

Mphwiyo, who was shot thrice by an unidentified gunman in Lilongwe’s low density suburb of Area 43 on Friday night, is battling for his life in a South African hospital. The shooting took place outside his house.

According to anonymous source said to be from Ministry of Finance in an email to Nyasa Times and also  posted on various groups on social media, the shooting is a result of a deal gone sour involving a top minister, PP official , private practice lawyer and a businessman (names withheld  on Nyasa Times as investigations are ongoing).

The source – who revealed the names in uncensored social media –  claims that  Mphwiyo had a fall-out with the bigwigs in a matter related to an Accounts Assistant for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Patrick Sithole arrested  for alleged illegal possession of K120 million which was in different currencies.

Paul Mphwito: His shooting  is a running story with an outbreak of revealatons
Paul Mphwito: His shooting is a running story with an outbreak of revealatons

Sithole was arrested on September 7, 2013 following a tip off that the police got from the suspect’s housemaid who in fact stole part of the money.

Mphwiyo is named as an accomplice of the financial syndicate  and the source mentions the cabinet minister with  to be mastermind in the deals.

Inspector General (IG) of Police Lot Dzonzi said the police arrested  three  people who were helping them  in pursuing  positive leads.

Dzonzi said Police has “collected several pieces” in the matter.

Police also indicated  a “syndicate” was behind the Mphwiyo’s attack.

And the Office of the President and Cabinet said the shooting was not what had appeared to be a robbery gone wrong, but an attempt on Mphwiyo’s life.

The shooting was “a planned and targeted attack aimed at silencing him and the government in the fight against high levels of corruption and fraud,” the presidency said in a statement.

President Joyce Banda, who appointed Mphwiyo, 37, in July as the budget chief, told state radio that he was on the verge of busting a corruption ring.

According to published reports, some of the tough measures Mphwiyo introduced during his two months as budget chief include:

• That internal auditors pre-clear all payments above K500 000 and that the controlling officer must ensure payments are bona-fide.

• Introduction of registers to link funding and cheques issued, which means that all cheques issued should be reconciled against the funding made. All cheques should be endorsed to signify that they have been entered in the register, which should carry such details as the beneficiary Ministry, names of signatories to the cheque, cheque amount and cheque number.

All cheques of over K500 000 must be deposited in the bearer’s account and commercial banks will be required to seek clearance from the Accountant General before money is released.

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