Ntaba says ‘Cashgate’ not part of Peter’s olive branch

The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s vice-president (Central Region) Hetherwick Ntaba, has said the Peter Mutharika administration will pursue the corruption Cashgate and Jetgate scandals to their logical conclusion and should be construed as political vendetta.

Speaking to national broadcaster MBC, Ntaba said President Mutharika offered a political olive branch to his opponents, including his predecessor Joyce Banda ensuring that there will be no arbitrary arrest or political witch-hunt.

However, Ntaba said the olive branch does not include Cashgate and Jetgate scandal as the President want a due process of the law take place.

Ntaba: No vengeance but  law taking its course
Ntaba: No vengeance but law taking its course

“Pursuing issues around Cashgate and Jetgate do not contradict the offer of reconciliation by the President,” Ntaba said on MBC.

He said cases will be pursued without political vendetta.

“Vengeance does not include pursuing cases that are genuine and have facts which point to the law being violated. Vengeance means manufacturing cases against opponents because you think at their time in power they caused you pain. Cashgate is not a matter that has been manufactured by the DPP against its opponents,” argued Ntaba.

Malawi Economic Justice Network national coordinator Dalitso Kubalasa has since welcomed the need to have the Cashgate and Jetgate scandals fully discussed in the National Assembly, saying the process will help answer lingering questions and win back the confidence of the people and international community.

“We welcome any effort that will answer the many questions that linger around these matters. Whether the pilferage of resources started 10 years ago, 2 years ago, 3 months ago, what we need is to have redress. These things are impacting negatively on the economy, and we need to agree as a country that we have to take a different direction,” said Kubalasa as quoted by Weekend Nation.

Writing on his My Diary column in the newspaper, Weekend Nation editor George Kasakula argued that in pursuing Cashgate there should not be “selective justice”.

“Cashgate started during DPP’s time before Bingu’s death. Inclusive justice must make sure that all thieves are brought to book,” he pointed out.

He said it is only inclusive justice that will call cause for celebration that “rule of law is working in Malawi.”

And donors have told the paper that the new DPP government must clean up the mess as a result of the Cashgate scandal in which billions were stolen from Treasury or it should forget about direct aid.

The Common Approach to Budgetary Support (Cabs) chairperson Alexander Baum, said as reported by Weekend Nation that: “For the future, the use of government systems for channelling aid to Malawi will depend a lot on how determined and effectively the reforms that started will be continued.”

Baum, who is also head of delegation of the European Union (EU) to Malawi, said donors look forward to engage with the new government of President Mutharika on issues which are “so important for Malawi to move forward.”

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