Former ruling People’s Party (PP) has backed the call by the leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera for government to prosecute individuals who looted public resources in the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration while continuing with investigations into the 2012/13 Cashgate under PP rule.
In PP’s contribution to the responses to the nation address, Ralph Jooma,concurred with Chakwera that the DPP-led government should pursue Cashgate investigations but also include the 2010 K400 million and K92 billion plunder of government resources whose report is with the Public Accounts Committee.
Jooma, who is also Member of Parliament (MP) for Monkey Bay constituency in Mangochi said: “We hope to see this (DPP) government continue to pursue the cashgate scandal and bring culprits to book.”
Earlier, the leader of the opposition said Cashgate under PP-led government “was a result of a porous financial management system that was put in place by the DPP-led government.”
The Cashgate theft is the biggest financial scandal in the history of Malawi, which depends heavily on foreign aid.
President Peter Mutharika promised to unveil the “truth” around Cashgate, saying:“There will be no sacred cows . . . indeed, there will be no untouchables.”
Commenting on Mutharika’s address, Jooma lamented the lack of acknowledgement of former president Joyce Banda’s achievements the past two years which have enabled the PP administration to handover an economy with three months import cover and industrial production capacity at 75 percent, compared to 35 percent in 2012.
“We expected the State of the Nation Address to come out clearly with assertions that job opportunities will be available to all regardless of tribe, government tenders will be won on merit as opposed to being given to a few business persons, MBC will continue to beam opposition parties as well, and fuel and forex will continue to be available,” Jooma said.
Responses to the State of the Nation address continue on Monday until when Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe is expected to deliver a provisional budget for July to October.