The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has made a decision that apart of getting rid of its vice-president for the South, George Chaponda, it will also not act on other top officials accused of corruption such as its organising secretary Richard Makondi and Minister of Local Government Kondwani Nankhumwa who is party’s director of elections.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has been investigating Makondi, businessperson Mohamed Abdul Gaffar Kassam and Globe Electronics Limited in a corruption case for r their respective roles in supplying vehicles and accessories to the Malawi Defence Force.
In January 2017, the ACB summoned Makondi for questioning and he denied all charges levelled against him but Kassam obtained a stay order from the High Court restraining the bureau from questioning him before obtaining a permanent stay.
The graft-busting body filed an appeal against the permanent order not to arrest or prosecute the duo in the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal on May 8 2017.
Nankhumwa, who is also Mulanje Central member of Parliament, was summoned to appear before ACB after donating in his constituency K23 million worth of items including an ambulance to Mulanje District Hospital, 300 bicycles and two motorbikes to Mulanje Police Station.
Some critics questioned the source of the money when just three years ago, he struggled to find money for fuel during campaign in the run up to the election when his party was in opposition.
A Malawian government minister earns around K1.2 million a month.
But Nankhumwa says he is now a wealthy and Malawi’s top cash rich politician.
Said Nankhumwa: “Apart from being an MP or a Cabinet minister, I have a right to run businesses just like any other Malawian. I have a radio station, Mzati FM, which is doing well businesswise. I also have maize mills, among other businesses.
“It is, therefore, too illogical to conclude that Nankhumwa cannot afford this and that, only so and so can. It is high time Malawians rejected this disease of looking down upon others.
“There are people who knew me as Nankhumwa, an employee of MBC [Malawi Broadcasting Corporation], with nothing much to show for. But people must accept life has stages; we cannot all go through the same stages and we must humbly accept realities this life offers.”
He remains under investigations by law enforcing agencies as whistle-blowers continue to make further allegations.
DPP publicity secretary Francis Kasaila said the party believes that in any process, people have the right to be heard until proven guilty by a competent court of law.
Kasaila said facing allegations does not warrant a removal from the position as one is only an accused person.
Like Makondi and Nankhumwa, DPP will not take action on Chaponda who is facing corruption-related charges relating to procurement of government maize from Zambia.
Chaponda, the party’s stalwart, was fired from Cabinet on February 22 2017 following public pressure after the ACB instituted investigations on allegations of his involvement in the K26 billion maize import deal from Zambia, popularly known as maizegate.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :