Government hits back at Chakwera


By Serah Makondetsa:

MKAKA—He was talking about a cumulative
number of cases

The government has dismissed Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera’s remarks that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led administration has misappropriated K1 trillion in five years.

However, MCP secretary general, Eisenhower Mkaka, Monday backed Chakwera, saying media have been awash with stories of abuse of billions of kwacha in parastatals.


Chakwera made the remarks during a rally he held alongside People’s Party (PP) president Joyce Banda and Freedom Party leader Khumbo Kachali on Sunday at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre.

Responding to the claims yesterday, DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi, who is also Homeland Security Minister, described Chakwera’s claims as malicious and a gimmick to cover Banda who, he alleged, presided over a two-year tenure that was marred by corruption.

“Those are unsubstantiated claims. The reason is because they are now in a partnership with a PP Cashgate specialist. We all know that the people that stole the government’s money were for PP. Chakwera knows that he cannot clear the record of those he is in partnership with,” he said.


Dausi accused Chakwera of denting DPP’s image to gain political mileage ahead of the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

“If he has the evidence, he should go to the police and Anti-Corruption Bureau and report the matter. We all know the people at the helm of corruption are those in PP; unfortunately, he cannot clear the name of the people he is in a partnership with on a political podium. He cannot accuse us just because he wants to gain political momentum,” he said.

But Mkaka said it was common knowledge that billions of kwacha have, under the DPP regime, been misappropriated in several parastatals such as Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation.

“What people ought to understand is that he [Chakwera] was talking about a cumulative number of cases which the media have been reporting about. When you aggregate that, it comes to K1 trillion.

“We are talking about K35 billion that was uncovered during her time, but it was something that came from Bingu wa Mutharika’s era. Joyce Banda did arrest some people but we did not see any one arrested during the Peter Mutharika administration,” Mkaka said.

PP spokesperson, Ackson Kalaile Banda, said Cashgate was discovered in 2011 when DPP was in power during the late Bingu’s second term.

“The Joyce Banda administration simply brought to book those that were discovered to have been looting public resources. The then Reserve Bank of Malawi governor wrote Bingu wa Mutharika notifying him of the looting,” he said.

Since the March 19 official opening of the campaign period by Malawi Electoral Commission, parties have stepped up campaign rallies ahead of the elections.

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