Political parties accuse government of money laundering
Political parties that are not represented in Parliament have added their voice to calls for the Executive arm of the government to act on those behind the suspicious K4 billion payout to 86 Members of Parliament (MPs).
Malawi News of February 24 to March 2 2018 reported that the government pledged K40 million each to 86 MPs, most of whom voted against the Electoral Reforms (Amendment) Bills.
But Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister, Goodall Gondwe, has been backing the decision to give out the money, especially after Parliament agreed that each of the country’s 193 constituencies should have a share of the cake.
In a statement released on March 14, and signed by nine presidents, the political party leaders have since demanded that the government should call for an emergency meeting of Parliament “to reverse this improper act” which they equate to “money laundering”.
Presidents who have signed the letter include People’s Progressive Movement’s Mark Katsonga Phiri, Malawi Forum for Unity and Development’s George Nnensa, National Unity Party’s Hawkins Munyenyembe, New Labour Party’s Joseph Kubwalo, People’s Transformation Party’s Kamuzu Chibambo, United Transformation Party’s Newton Kambala, Assembly for Democracy and Development’s Cassim Chilumpha and United Independent Party’s Edwin Banda. Republican Party secretary general, Langton Chasowa, has also signed the statement.
“As parties outside Parliament, we side with the poor Malawians and concerned NGOs [non-governmental organisations] and demand that the following be done: That the government should call [for] an emergency meeting of Parliament to reverse this improper act. This should be announced within 14 days from the date of this press release and Parliament should meet within 30 days thereafter.
“The ACB [Anti- Corruption Bureau] should urgently investigate the Minister of Finance as to the source of the money, the Minister of Local Government [Kondwani Nankhumwa] on how he identified the 86 MPs. Hon. Gondwe should also clarify his several contradicting statements on this and tell the nation the truth preferably in Parliament,” reads the statement.
They add that, should the government not act on their demands, they will obtain an injunction from the courts “to stop the whole illegal transaction”.
They, then, accuse the Executive of abusing “office and/or power”, something that, according to them, “should never happen again”.
The political parties also accuse the Executive of skirting around the truth.
During the last meeting of Parliament, Gondwe initially indicated that the Malawi Revenue Authority had under-collected by K38 billion, further indicating that donors had not disbursed K60 billion they had initially pledged to disburse.
Due to these circumstances, the national budget was trimmed by about K10 billion.
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