27 December 2016

Malawi: PAC to Name and Shame 'Cashgate' Suspects - Malawi Leader Clears 7 Rotten Ministers

Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament chairperson, Alekeni Menyani, said his committee may use discretion to release the names of suspects in 13 case files regarding K577 billion audit report in what is known as Malawi's 'grand corruption' Cashgate scandal --the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill.

Menyani said corruption in Malawi government is rampant and there is no political will to fight the vice.

"This DPP government is not only being perceived to be corrupt but it is corrupt," said Menyani in an interview aired on Capital Radio.

He said there is regime attempts to defeat justice in the 'grand corruption'.

The K577 billion was suspected to have been siphoned from public coffers according to a data analysis by Price water house coopers (PwC) of May 2015 but the unreconciled funds have been revised downwards to about K236 billion.

"There is strong suspicion that we have seven corrupt ministers - involved in cashgate scandal - who are still serving in Cabinet," Menyani noted in the radio interview.

"There is totally no political will from the executive to deal with corruption. We must soldier on and we are going to the bottom of the matter," he said.

Menyani said since government could not release the names of people and companies allegedly involved in the scandal, the PAC will name and shame the suspects including the seven ministers.

"We are going to be simply realising names to the general public," warned Menyani.

He said the absence of suspects' names renders the audit report a useless document, and infringes upon the rights of taxpayers to know who embezzled the money, saying they want to bring into account all those involved.

But President Peter Mutharika said he was aware that his administration is accused of being the most corrupt in the country's history and that it is selective in its prosecution of suspects of Cashgate

In his address at Habitat ground in Mzuzu last week after touring upgraded feeder roads in the city Mutharika claimed none of his Cabinet ministers are mentioned in the K236 billion forensic audit report covering the period between 2009 and 2014.

"Let me say this in English so that Malawians and foreigners who live or work in this country and criticise my government understand on the alleged seven ministers. There are no seven ministers, I asked Accountant General, Anti-Corruption Bureau [ACB] director, and there are no seven names," said Mutharika.

Mutharika also challenged the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to proceed and investigate the wealth of his brother and former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika.

He said PAC needs to establish the truth, and stop torturing his family.

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