Opposition People’s Party (PP) administrative secretary, Joseph Chikwemba has challenged President Peter Mutharika for apparently denying that there has ever been Cashgate on Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s watch, including during the era of his brother Bingu wa Mutharika.
Mutharika at Habitat ground in Mzuzu on Thursday after touring feeder roads in the city declared that his administration will only prosecute Cashgate cases that happened during PP’s two-year rule under Joyce Banda.
But PP argues in a statement that this “holier-than-thou and blame-game attitude’ is very disappointing, more especially that it is coming from the Head of State who is supposed to show his sense of maturity and responsibility in commenting on these issues”.
Chikwemba, who is also national coordinator for Orange Partners, an arm of the PP, w argues that Cashgate begun long time go including during the time of late Bingu.
The former diplomat in Japan said Malawians are aware of public looting taking place currently under Mutharika’s watch.
“Mutharika should be reminded that almost 20 people died during July 20 2011 anti-government demonstrations and one of the issues presented in the petition was to do with corruption (Cashgate). Malawians are not fools, they are aware how Joyce Banda reacted to reports that some overzealous members of PP together with some business gurus were involved in corruption,” reads the statement made available to Nyasa Times.
PP has since challenged Mutharika to deal with corruption without fear or favour.
But Mutharika argued that “when Cashgate happened, there was a particular political party that was involved with some business people and civil servants in corruption. So I have to go after those people. I can’t go after United Democratic Front (UDF), DPP or Malawi Congress Party (MCP) just to make sure that I am not being selective.”
The shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on September 13 2013 led to revelations of the plunder of public resources later called Cashgate.
Then president Joyce Banda ordered a forensic audit which British firm Baker Tilly undertook, covering the six-month period between April and September 2013.
The audit established that about K24 billion was siphoned from public coffers through dubious payments, inflated invoices and goods or services never rendered.
In May 2015, a financial analysis report by audit and business advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also established that about K577 billion in public funds could not be reconciled between 2009 and December 31 2014.
However, the K577 billion estimated in the PwC report was revised downwards to K236 billion in a forensic audit conducted by RSM Risk Assurance Services LLP of the United Kingdom in April this year.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :