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Malawi Law Society pens DPP on deputy speakers scam

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Malawi Law Society (MLS) has written Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mary Kachale, to analyse issues involving Deputy Speakers of Parliament, Esther Mcheka Chilenje and Clement Chiwaya, who are alleged to have been pocketing house allowances, and constitute criminal proceedings if the two are deemed to be in the wrong.

MLS President John Suzi Banda disclosed yesterday in an emailed response that the society earlier set up an ad hoc legal team which was instructed to look into the matter, provide a legal opinion thereon and recommend the manner of intervention.

This follows a stalemate which has seen Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) sending back a report by Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) recommending that Parliament should discipline some of its staff involved and recover the money from even the Speaker, Richard Msowoya, who the bureau also faulted in its report.

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“The Society is of the view that the report of the ACB with particular

regard to the issue of the two deputy speakers does reveal, on the face of it, a prima facie case of improper conduct which, if proven true, would amount to criminal conduct under some of the provisions of the Penal Code (Chapter 7:01 of the Laws of Malawi),” Banda said.

He said if the DPP shares the position of MLS, she has the mandate, under the law, to prosecute the two.

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Banda, however, said it is not up to MLS to declare the deputy speakers guilty of any offence, adding that role is exclusively for the courts of justice.

The graft-busting body stuck to its earlier recommendations when the report was sent back in June and refused to institute another probe.

According to PSC Spokesperson, Vitus Dzoole Mwale, ACB had erred in its recommendation to fault some of its staff, including the Speaker, when his committee had only asked the bureau to investigate Chiwaya and Mcheka-Chilenje.

Chiwaya and Chilenje declared their houses as belonging to estate agents, thereby forcing Parliament to give an extra K300,000 a month, since it was perceived that the houses they are staying in are rented.

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