BLANTYRE (Malawi NewsNow) -Opposition Peoples Party (PP) has claimed that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has weakened the effectiveness of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) by rendering the investigative body nothing more than a “puppet” after it had introduced cashgate –plunder of public purse.
PP Publicity Secretary Ken Msonda said DPP government uses ACB to harass the opposition leaders and protect its party gurus from corruption cases. According to Msonda, further funding of the ACB is a waste of taxpayer and donor funds.
“The corruption busting body is pro – DPP. Cashgate was a brainchild the late Bingu Wa Mutharika and is now being perfected by the same DPP administration under the late President’s brother, Peter Mutharika. As opposition, we are not surprised with revelations that seven senior DPP Cabinet Ministers are implicated in the Mk577billion Cashgate according to the official report submitted to ACB by the National Audit Office (NAO).
“The People’s Party arrested over 70 people suspected as having involvement in Cashgate-related activities and have all along been telling nation that Cashgate was a DPP administration brainchild, as a way to plunder public resources for personal political gains,” alleged Msonda in an interview.
Msonda further stated that corruption, fraud and money laundering were at their highest levels during the late Bingu Wa Mutharika’s administration, who himself died with billions of kwachas in foreign accounts.
Some DPP senior Cabinet Ministers were implicated in corruption and fraudulent practices during the late Bingu Wa Mutharika’s administration. He added that it is worrisome that cases involving Goodall Gondwe and the fertilizer subsidy deal, Patricia Kaliati and the Vyaza Nyika Plateau deal, Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Housing Corporation have all been abandoned by the ACB under the current DPP administration.
He added, “At the moment DPP senior officials are implicated in the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) and Toyota Malawi Cashgate related deal. Osward Lutepo now servicing a prison sentence on Cashgate charges and those answering Cashgate related charges currently in courts became instant millionaires and billionaires during the late Bingu Wa Mutharika’s administration; they had connections with senior Cabinet Ministers of the ruling party. The nation is eagerly waiting with keen interest to see how the president will react to the NAO report now that his close friends in Cabinet are implicated.
For years, the ACB has remained toothless when it comes to prosecuting or arresting any members of the ruling DPP party. At the same time that Malawi as a nation is facing severe famine, increasing inflation, devaluation of the kwacha and general economic failure, the ruling DPP appears content to continue lining its leaders pockets with billions of kwacha in corrupt business dealings with no consequences.
Malawi Law Society president John Suzi Banda said there should be no selective prosecution in cashgate matters.