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Yeremiah Chihana withdraws bribery allegations

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Richard Chimwendo Banda

Mzimba North Member of Parliament, Yeremiah Chihana, has withdrawn accusations he made in Parliament last week that some Tonse Alliance government Cabinet members were soliciting bribes from Malawian businesspersons of Asian descent.

Parliament spokesperson, Ian Mwenye, confirmed the development, saying Chihana withdrew the statement on Monday.

Chihana had told Parliament that he had evidence to the effect that some ministers were getting bribes and that he knew where the money was being kept.

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Last week, Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara gave Chihana up to last Thursday to furnish her office with evidence on the allegations.

Even President Lazarus Chakwera challenged Chihana, during the former’s appearance in Parliament on Thursday, to ride with him on the convoy to show him the evidence.

Gotani Hara on Friday gave Chihana up to 2 pm to furnish her office with the evidence.

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But when asked whether Chihana had submitted his evidence on the allegations, Mwenye said the lawmaker opted to withdraw the statement.

“Please note that the Honourable Member has since withdrawn the corruption allegations,” Mwenye said.

He could not shed more light on whether Chihana stands to face any punitive actions for the statement.

Chihana said he was in a meeting when called Tuesday morning to explain the reasons behind the withdrawal of the allegations.

Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda Tuesday said he could not comment on the matter as he had not seen the withdrawal.

Chakwera committed in his inaugural address that his government would fervently fight corruption in the country.

“Before we can begin to rebuild, we must clear the rubble of corruption, for it has left our taxes in ruins; we must clear the rubble of laziness, for it has left our infrastructure in ruins; we must clear the rubble of passivism, for it has left our rights in ruins; we must clear the rubble of donor dependency, for it has left our dignity in ruins; we must clear the rubble of regionalism, for it has left our nationhood in ruins.

“We must clear the rubble of negativity, for it has left our resolve in ruins; we must clear the rubble of impunity, for it has left our governance institutions in ruins; and we must clear the rubble of unprofessionalism and incompetence, for it has left our services in ruins,” Chakwera said.

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