Petra demands Malawi purse keeper Lipenga’s ouster

The opposition Peoples Transformation Party (Petra) has joined calls asking Malawi’s purse keeper Ken Lipenga to step down following Capital Hill financial mess, saying that is the honorable thing he can do or the appointing authority should crack a whip on him.

The call for Lipenga’s ouster have been triggered by financial woes coming in the aftermath of the shooting of Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo on September 13.

Lipenga also served as Finance Minister during the oppressive Bingu wa Mutharika regime when the country experienced the greatest fraud through which Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) borrowed money from commercial banks with the sole aim of cheating that the zero-deficit budget was not a flop.

“It is clear that the whole nation at this point in time is seeking firm leadership in order to halt the situation as it unfolds so rapidly at Capitol Hill,” Petra president Kamuzu Chibambo told reporters at a news conference he held at Mimosa hotel in Mzuzu on Friday.

Petra  President Kamuzu Chibambo : Lipenga's head must roll
Petra President Kamuzu Chibambo : Lipenga’s head must roll

Petra has also demanded that President Joyce Banda must also take swift action on the matter to restore her government’s public confidence.

“I will be surprised if she does not take an action at all,” Chibambo said.

A few days ago Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera also called for the resignation of Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga, secretary to the Treasury Randson Mwadiwa and Chief Secretary to the Government Hawa Ndilowe to pave the way for investigations into what the media has dubbed “cash-gate scandal”.

“In civilized democracies Lipenga must have taken personal responsibility of what has happened whether he is wrong or not so that investigations proceed very well,” Chibambo said.

He also called for the appointment of a caretaker Budget director saying “we assume the position is so essential that the Ministry of Finance cannot operate without him or her”.

“This economic anarchy must stop immediately. Malawi cannot afford to enter the next jubilee with such rampant rot. Our economy is on by set by individual,” he said.

Chibambo said Malawians deserved information on what specific measures the government is taking to rectify the problems.

“Commission of Inquiries have proved to ineffective because they have been perceived to be mere white wash. It is imperative that investigations that we keep hearing about proceed without interference from anybody,” he said.

Petra Regional Chairperson for the north Green Bulawala Kumwenda said President Banda is constitutionally mandated to act on behalf of Malawians.

“Lipenga must take responsibility of his actions. He should not wait to be pushed,” Kumwenda said.

But Lipenga has insisted that he will not resign, arguing that all alleged financial maladministration is being investigated “without hindrance.”

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