Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya has said the Malawi media should avoid “hearsay” reporting on the K577 billion Cashgate preliminary audit report.
“The media has responsibility to inform the public, all what we are saying is we should inform the public responsibly,” the Speaker said in Parliament after speculations have been rife that contents in the long-awaited report had reportedly implicated some Cabinet ministers.
“As much as we know that these are issues to do with accountability and that Malawians are looking towards us to ensure that there is accountability. The media should be careful with how they report those issues as opposed to reporting hearsays,” said Msowoya.
The Speaker also said the law was followed when Auditor General submitted the report to his office through the Minister of Finance, dismissing Lilongwe Msozi South member of Parliament (MP) Vitus Dzoole Mwale (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) claims that there was “ back door reporting”.
He said: “There is no back door reporting or mechanisation taking place that I am aware of. “
The Speaker also denied that he was shielding individuals involved in the K577 billion plunder.
He said the newspaper headline that read ‘Speaker Blocks K577bn Debate’ in The Nation’s July 6 edition misrepresented facts, mainly because there was no debate on the matter as no debate is allowed on a point of order in the House.
The opposition insists there are seven ministers implicated in the “grand corruption”.
Rumphi East MP Kamlepo Kalua (Peoples’ Party–PP) and Mzimba West MP Harry Mkandawire (PP) have since demanded that concerned Cabinet ministers be thrown out of the House and should resign until they are cleared by investigations on the matter.
However, Leader of the House, George Chaponda, has said there is no one mentiond.
“There is nobody according to that report who is involved in any mishandling of any money,” said Chaponda, allegedly one of the reported seven ministers implicated.
The reports says there are $14.2 million in overpayments for goods and services; one duplicate payment of $5.45 million which the report says should be subject to immediate recovery; and $29 166 overpayment on shipping to wrong locations.