President Peter Mutharika rejects calls for his resignation after a leaked dossier from the country’s anti-graft body accused him of beneffiting from proceeds of fraud.
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has been investigating a $3.9 million Malawi police food supply contract awarded to Pioneer Investments, a firm owned by businessman Zameer Karim, who deposited K145 million into an account belonging to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and of which Mutharika is sole signatory.
The main oppposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) added its voice to that of civil society groups calling on the president to resign, a demand that was quickly rebuffed in a dramatic political standoff.
Presidential spokesman Mgeme Kalilani said that the President had done nothing wrong .
“There is no justification for resignation. The record clearly shows that the accusations thrown against him are unfounded,” said Kalilani.
He said Mutharika “has nothing to hide and is calling upon the ACB to thoroughly and professionally investigate the said business transaction”.
Mutharika, who as an President enjoys immunity from prosecution, has called the allegations “fake news” designed to smear him ahead of an election next year.
Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who recently announced to have quit the DPP, called for callan amendment to Section 91(2) of the Constitution which provides a sitting President immunity from prosecution before the dossier came into public domain.
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) national coordinator Boniface Chibwana said it is time the country stripped the presidency of some powers to enhance accountability.
Gift Trapence of the Civil society organisations (CSOs) under the banner of Human Rights Defenders (HRD) said they expect Mutharika to “heed” an “call to resign”.
“If he does not resign after 14 days, we will take to the streets,” he said.
Malawians next go to the polls in May 2019 to elect the president, parliament and ward councillors.