PPM says Lipenga ‘inefficient’, blasts PP as copycats

Despite being cleared of any wrong doing in the K30 billion Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) illegal borrowing scandal, Finance Minister Ken Lipenga  has been labelled “inefficient” by the opposition People’s Progressive Moment (PPM).

The  cabinet committee inquiry  established that the  decision to borrow was illegal “as it did not follow procedures and was taken by few senior technical officials in the Ministry of Finance and the Malawi Revenue Authority without the prior knowledge, involvement of the Minister of Finance and provided for in the Public Finance Management Act,” according to a report presented to parliament by Vice President Khumbo Kachali .

But speaking on popular Capital FM Straight Talkinterview programme hosted by Rhodes Msonkho,  PPM president Mark Katsonga Phiri who condemned the illegal loans to paint a rosy picture of revenue collection for the hastily implemented zero-deficit budget , said Lipenga was inefficient as the country purse keeper for not being in control.

Katsonga: PP need fresh ideas not recycled politicians

“If indeed it is true that he didn’t know what was going on, then he is totally inefficient,” Katsonga said of Lipenga.

“Any borrowing of money cannot be sanctioned by a civil servant. It is political decision,” he said, lashing out “Who are they fooling?”

ZDB was former president Bingu wa Mutharika’s brainchild towards economic independence after he fell out with donors and development partners due to governance concerns last year.

The scam was first brought to light in February this year by Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde) president George Nnensa.

Political fossils

Katsonga also took a dig on President Joyce Banda’s administration, saying it is infiltrated with political nomads.

“Cabinet ministers, some of them may not be the people who will certainly make us move into the promised land where we will see a lot of things changing,” he said.

Katsonga said President Banda was recycling same politicians who have failed the country from one party dictatorship, to Bakili Muluzi reign and then Bingu wa Mutharika government.

“If we continue at this pace, poverty won’t finish,” he cautioned.

Katsonga pointed out that  President Banda “has started well” but that she is working with “ the same people who don’t have fresh ideas.”

He said: “They have run out of ideas. We won’t see meaningful change. We want people with fresh ideas to make meaningful change with the people of Malawi.”

Katsonga also advised President Banda to take extreme caution with public statements.

“Some podium statements can be disturbing and disappointing,” he noted.

“ Come up with statements to build Malawi not to destroy Malawi,” advised the former legislator who aspires to run for presidency in 2014.

Katsonga nonetheless acknowledged that President Banda “has taken a right path to build Malawi.”

Copy cat

Katsonga also accused Banda’s governing People’s Party (PP) of  not being original but copying slogans and symbols from other parties.

He claimed PP copied PPM slogans of “Mphamvu ku anthu (power to the people)” and that  they also used their clenched fist symbol.

Katsonga also accused PP of  copying Umunthu slogan of the People’s Transformation Party (Petra).

Petra president Kamuzu Chibambo recently dragged PP to court for  the continued use of the ideology as a party slogan .

Katsonga said: “They  [PP] were not able to think of a symbol, slogan. We have recycled our politicians too much that why they are busy copying.”

PP lawyer Paul Maulidi wondered whether the Umunthu ideology is protected by the law.

He said as far as PP is concerned, anybody can use the Umunthu ideology as a slogan because it is not protected under the laws of Malawi.

Prior to its registration last year, PP faced a challenge from the Maravi People’s Party (MPP) and People’s Progressive Movement (PPM), accusing the party of stealing their name and symbol.

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