Malawi government has asked those suspected to have been involved in cashgate scandal to show up at the police or Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to save on time and taxpayers’ money in hunting them.
‘Cashgate’ denotes the systematic skimming of millions of dollars of money from the government payment system.
Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture Kondwani Nankhumwa said the authorities were closing in on more arrests and warned those involved to not waste the State’s time but surrender themselves in order to face justice.
“Government calls on all Malawians who know that they were in one way or another involved in the plundering of the country’s coffers to surrender themselves to police than being on a fruitless run.
“This call is also extended to Malawians who were equally involved, but are for some reasons outside the country, to quickly come back home to face justice,” reads Nankhumwa’s statement in part.
Government’s call comes at a time when several notable faces including lawyers and politicians have been arrested in relation to the Cashgate.
Those arrested include former government budget director, Paul Mphwiyo and his wife, former Peoples Party (PP) spokesperson, Hophmally Makande, lawyer and UDF official Ishmael Chioko among others.
Nankhumwa said government would not interfere with the prosecution of the cashgate cases.
He added: “The arrests that are currently being effected by law enforcing agencies have nothing to do with political witch hunting but rather a pursuit of justice for the infamous cashgate and other related money laundering offences.”
Nankhumwa has since asked the courts to act with speed in handling the cashgate cases because Malawians are eager to know the truth about the theft of billions of tax-payers’ money.
The scandal, dubbed “Cashgate”, prompted foreign donors – who provide around 40% of Malawi’s budget – to pull the plug on aid.
A number of government officials implicated in the fraud are facing criminal charges and a first official Treza Namathanga Senzani a relation of DPP top official Anna Kachikho was jailed last month for three years over the scandal and last week former Accounts Assistant in government Victor Sithole was also convicted.
ACB says roughly K20 billion went missing under former President Joyce Banda’s two year rule. And it is reported that about K90 billion also went missing over the eight years of late Mutharika’s presidency , equal to roughly $500m at the exchange rate of the time.
In total about 30 per cent of the country’s budget could have been looted over a decade – almost as much as donors have provided Malawi over the same period.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :