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Richard Msowoya warns of continued Cashgate

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Vice president of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Richard Msowoya has called on opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) to utilise the private members day opportunity to change some laws governing election management in the country.

Msowoya says unlike many countries, Malawi still has results of councillors and MPs released at the main tally centre “when in fact people are supposed to know the winner of these polls even before the documents leave the constituencies”.

Speaking yesterday in Mchinji where he and MCP president Lazarus Chakwera held a political rally, Msowoya, who stressed that he was speaking in his capacity as MCP vice president, said Malawi’s Constitution allows MPs to change laws where necessary.

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“When I went to Parliament, I noticed that there are problems with how we manage our elections especially at constituency level. We must know the results of the local council and parliamentary elections before the results leave the constituencies.

“Even for the results of the president, it is important that the results at constituency level are known before those papers leave for the main tally centre in Blantyre. It is up to you MPs to bring the laws that will address these problems,” said Msowoya.

He further faulted how governance institutions like the National Audit Office (Nao) and the Anti-Corruption Bureau work, arguing that their independence is often compromised because of how the appointments of their lead officers are done.

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“We hear of the plunder of public funds which is now being referred to as Cashgate. There is too much stealing and this is not going to end any time soon unless the way some appointments are made is reviewed.

“For instance, how can the ACB and the Auditor General take to task the one who appoints them even if he or she is deemed to have abused public funds? Can my employee tell me that I have stolen? Can my own employee arrest me?” queried Msowoya.

He said in normal circumstances, the AG is supposed to report to Parliament, but “now he reports to the Minister of Finance, which is not proper”.

During the last meeting of Parliament, Msowoya – in his capacity as Speaker of Parliament – questioned the conduct of AG Stephenson Kamphasa who announced through the media that Parliament had already been supplied with a report on the K92 billion financial scandal probe.

Msowoya argued that by then, the report had not yet reached his office.

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