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Auditor General, Pac Chairperson distance themselves from Kamlepo Kalua

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Auditor General, Stephenson Kamphasa, and Public Accounts Committee (Pac) Chairperson, Alekeni Menyani, have distanced themselves from statements made by Vice Pac Chairperson, Kamlepo Kalua, that there are seven case files implicating cabinet ministers in the K577 billion Cashgate report.

Kamphasa told a news conference in Lilongwe yesterday that the report does not contain names of cabinet ministers or any senior government official but businessmen. He further said no cabinet minister is linked to the businesses in the report.

He challenged Kalua to bring any evidence he has on the matter to the Anti-Corruption Bureau which is doing further investigations into the report.

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“Let me make it clear that there is no minister being implicated or involved in any case or indeed the so-called seven case files. According to the report, it says there is need for further investigations for all case files. These case files are for businesses not linked to any minister of government officer,” Kamphasa said.

“I therefore, would like to distance myself from the issue of cabinet ministers being implicated or involved as there is no evidence unless those who say so have other evidence that I do not have,” he said.

Talking about Kalua, Kamphasa said: “He knows what he is speaking. If he is speaking out of the blues, that is his own problem. If he has evidence, let him take it to the ACB.”

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On the other hand, Menyani also distanced himself from Kalua’s statements, saying he [Kalua] is claiming the seven ministers in his personal capacity and not as Pac. Menyani was not at the news conference but he responded to our emailed questionnaire.

He said: “Let me put it on record that as a committee we are yet to discuss the report that contains the names from the 29th August 2016 and that’s when we should be in a position to know the names of those that have been implicated.

“According to standing orders, it’s only the Chairperson that can give official position of the committee. So Honourable Kalua made the remarks as a bona fide citizen of the Republic and MP for Rumphi East. The official communication of the committee will be made once we have started meetings.”

But in a telephone interview, Kalua tore Kamphasa and Menyani into pieces, saying their comments are questionable and a sign that they were under pressure to clear President Peter Mutharika whom he alleged was protecting the ministers.

“It is unfortunate that Pac Chair is saying that. People will judge him. He is putting Pac into disrepute. The press conference by the AG is questionable. Does the AG conduct press conferences? I am questioning all these things,” Kalua said.

Kalua minced no words. He said Kamphasa made it clear that out of the 13 files, seven were for cabinet ministers.

“It was said in black and white that there were 13 files and out of those seven were for ministers. Why did the AG seek Attorney General’s opinion on the release of the names? The President is shielding thieves,” Kalua said.

Mutharika and Kalua gave each other ultimatums to release the names and arrest the ministers respectively.

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