Leader of opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa, who is also Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice president in the southern region has distanced the party from reported plunder of public resources when it was in power, saying if the claims by President Lazarus Chakwera that DPP has looted K1. 3 trillion from the state purse, the government could have collapsed long ago.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday morning in Lilongwe, Nankhumwa said Chakwera is buying this excuse and narrative to effect his “politically motivated” arrests on opposition DPP officials.
“The President clearly deceived the nation that the DPP government misappropriated and mismanaged a total sum in excess of MK1 trillion.
“President Chakwera must be informed that if an economy, as small as ours, was robbed of that sum of money, his administration would not have found any penny in the government coffers,” he said, flanked by former minister of finance Joseph Mwanamvekha, DPP legal advisor Charles Mhango and the party’s deputy publicity secretary, Zeria Chakale.
Nankhumwa, dubbed the voice of reason in DPP, said President Chakwera based his allegations on the ‘Report of the Auditor General on the Government of the Republic of Malawi for the Year Ended 30th June, 2019’, saying the report of the Auditor General does not say that the DPP government stole government money.
He said the said report on page 9 is talking about non-compliance by ‘individual ministries, departments and agencies.’
The leader of the opposition said the report talks of delays in paying contractors: K13, 220,855,182.3, payment vouchers without supporting documents (Poor record keeping): K8, 660,464,313.21, abandonment of construction works: K1, 263,478,836.39, under Collection of Revenue: K1, 207,032,445.74, stores not accounted for: K762, 260,739.61, failure to maintain proper revenue records: K610, 879,500, suspicious long standing pensioners: K590, 766,657.28 misallocations of Public Funds: K 454,333,543.56, revenue Spent at Source: K425, 727,406.87.
He said from the above information, it is clear that there is no mention of DPP stealing money anywhere.
“What is clear from the President’s address is a desperate attempt to mislead the nation on matters of management of the economy, obviously taking advantage of people’s ignorance on the same,” he said, adding that the audit report will be presented before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee for scrutiny and the truth will be made bare.
Nankhumwa said one wonders how a delay in paying a contractor and under collection of revenue could become theft.
The leader of opposition said the move by Chakwera is just a political propaganda to dent the DPP image and sway the public misgivings against the unpopular cabinet that Chakwera has put in place.
“We have seen nepotism of the highest order, he wants people to lose focus on the unrealistic promises his party made during the campaign period, such universal Secondary education; the cost of obtaining a Passport to be at MK14,000.00; creation of one Million jobs; cheap fertilizers to all Malawians (MK4,900 per 50kg bag) removal of fees to all institutions of higher learning; duty free week every year; free water connections; free electricity connections; and construction of 400 roads in the first 8 months,” he said.
Nankhumwa said he has got the impression that Chakwera may not be well conversant with the financial operations of government.
The opposition leader said Chakwera is now the President and can do what he wants as long it is within the confines of the rule of law and good governance.
“President Chakwera should start working towards fulfilling the promises he made, otherwise, Malawians will not forgive him if he fails to deliver on his promises because he was busy blaming and arresting members of the previous governments,” he said.
Nankhumwa said Chakwera must prioritize nation-building and that his thirst for settling political scores against DPP will be counterproductive.
He reminded President Chakwera and his government that Malawi is facing the most difficult challenges amid the Covid-19 19 health crisis and that it was important that collective efforts and energy are expended on saving our people from this pandemic “instead of witch-hunting and persecution against perceived political enemies”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :