Malawi: Activists Want Minister Mkaka to Explain Sudden Wealth

22 October 2020

Governance activists have asked Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Eisenhower Mkaka to explain his sudden wealth.

Mkaka, who is also the Secretary General for Malawi Congress Party (MCP), is reported to have amassed more wealth since change of government and is amongst top richest ministers in the cabinet of President Lazarus Chakwera.

Following confirmation by Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) that Mkaka has purchased to motor vehicles since getting in power in June , some civil society organisations are seeking information from the tax authority and banks to justify claims the Minister said he was getting rich through private business.

Organisations such as Malawi Watch and Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) want information on tax returns from Mkaka's business to justify his claims.

They are also probing how he remitted cash to United Kingdom for the purchase of two vehicles which he cleared duty free as part of his parliamentary privileges. One of the vehicles is a Mercedenz Benz bought at nearly K45 million.

They also want discloser on "gifts" he has received both in cash and assets since June.

But Mkaka, said apart from the compensation he got from First Capital Bank after winning a court case against the bank, he has several sources of income which enabled him to afford this car.

He further disclosed that his sprawling on Plot number 47/1/320 was constructed in 2010 while working at the First Capital Bank, formerly First Merchant Bank and at the time, it was estimated the house would cost US$300, 000 to construct.

"I have not moved into official ministerial house by choice and government is paying me rental; of course, at a rate much lower than that government pays if they rent a house on their own.

"It is a clean house built much way before I started politics," said Mkaka.

He challenged people to use the Access to Information Act to establish facts about his wealth.

Recently, Member of Parliament for Mzimba North Yeremiya Chihana (Alliance for Democracy-Aford) made allegations that some officials in the President Chakwera administration were corrupt, receiving money from some Malawian businesspersons of Asian descent.

He was stampeded by MCP legislators to sweep the matter under the carpet.

CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa said there is indeed concerns of ministers involved in soliciting bribes.

He adds that what is particularly disturbing is the fact that all this is happening at a time when President Lazarus Chakwera is busy 'clearing the rubble' of corruption in the country.

Cdedi director said law enforcing authorities should also be investigating those in government otherwise Malawians will then construe that 'clearing the rubble' stance is just some political rhetoric, when in actual sense it is political persecution since his administration is only targeting those connected to the immediate past ruling party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

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