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DPP speaks on alleged plunder

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Joseph Mwanamvekha

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice- President for the Southern Region, who is also Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa, and the party’s spokesperson on finance, Joseph Mwanamvekha, have refuted claims that over K1 trillion was squandered during their party’s administration.

On Saturday, President Lazarus Chakwera told the nation that the DPP-led government plundered K1.3 trillion as reported in the Auditor General’s for the year ended June 30, 2019.

Chakwera also said his government will not tolerate corruption and that anyone who stole public funds will face the law.

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Addressing journalists in Lilongwe Tuesday on the President’s speech, Nankhumwa charged that if DPP squandered such amounts of money, the current government could not have found anything in government coffers as the said amount is above Malawi’s annual budget.

“The report of the Auditor General does not say that the DPP government stole government money. The said report on page 9 is talking about non-compliance by individual Ministries, Departments and Agencies,” Nankhumwa said.

But observers have accused Nankhumwa of deliberately twisting facts, saying the money that Chakwera alluded to as having been plundered spreads over the period that President Peter Mutharika was in power.

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According to the observers, previous reports that at least 30 percent of Malawi’s budget was being lost to fraud and corruption mean during the six years that Mutharika was leading the country, more money than what Chakwera had mentioned might have been siphoned from state coffers.

On his part, Minister of Information Gospel Kazako said the K1.3 trillion is the figure that the government has and that if it disputes it, DPP should produce the correct one.

“It will be helpful to us if we hear from them how much they looted. I am sure they have their own figure which we can compare with what we have if they make it available to us, otherwise I don’t think they would refute that the looting happened,” Kazako said.

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