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CASHGATE NAMES’ SAGA: Pac summons ACB’s Lucas Kondowe

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Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament has subpoenaed Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) boss, Lucas Kondowe, over delays by the bureau to make progress on 13 case files regarding K577 billion audit report .

According to Pac Chairperson, Alekeni Menyani, the committee may use discretion to name and shame suspects involved in the plunder of the funds, some of whom are rumoured to be seven cabinet ministers serving in the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration.

Menyani disclosed this in an interview, saying Kondowe has one month to explain himself on his questionable conduct on the matter.

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“Kondowe has to tell the nation why his conduct on the 13 files is questionable and raising unnecessary public anxiety. He is also expected to report on why there has been no progress till now on this matter,” Menyani said.

The committee met over the weekend in Lilongwe for a two-day extraordinary meeting where members discussed a number of pertinent reports that need to be disposed by Pac, including the contentious issue of how former president Bingu wa Mutharika accumulated his wealth.

He explained that Pac is only exercising its powers by pouncing on the ACB boss, adding that the committee would also want to see the matter to its very end.

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President Peter Mutharika and parliamentarian Kamlepo Kalua traded barbs on the matter some months ago after Kalua alleged that Mutharika is in possession of files with names of the seven ministers and that the President is shielding the ministers by failing to fire them.

But Mutharika challenged Kalua to furnish him with the files, which the MP, who is also Vice Chairperson of Pac, claimed was also made available to his committee.

At the time, Attorney General (AG), Kalekeni Kaphale, moved in and gagged Pac as well as the graft– busting body and National Audit Office after giving a legal opinion on the matter.

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.

Meanwhile, Menyani has also disclosed that his committee is also investigating Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) and Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (Escom ) through a petition by a citizen on their wastefulness and alleged corrupt tendencies.

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