- Wants Chaponda,ministers’ wealth probed
- Threatens to boycott Parliament next time
Leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera has pronounced that time is ripe for Malawians to confront President Peter Mutharika’s regime for his soft approach in combating corruption in the country.
Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, accused Mutharika of treating with kid gloves those he purported as ‘big fish’ in his administration, declaring the issue was now beyond debate.
He alleged that Mutharika has defied the will and wishes of Malawians long enough, and it is time for Malawians to defy him.
Among others, Chakwera threatened to lead Parliament into a boycott for the next session should Mutharika fail to execute orders to have the fired Agriculture minister George Chaponda’s wealth properly accounted for in the aftermath of his implication in the Maizegate, and also the huge stacks of money found in his Area 10 residence some four days ago.
Chakwera, who said he was in no mood to negotiate over the matters, was reacting to the findings of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Irrigation and Public Accounts and the State-sanctioned Commission of Inquiry. Both inquiries implicated Chaponda.
“No, this is non-negotiable. The corruption levels among his top officials have reached a critical stage and should he decide his laissez faire approach to issues, I will have to lead Malawians myself into the streets to protest against his administration.”
During the briefing held at his Parliament office, Chakwera demanded that Mutharika should immediately direct the police and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to make the necessary consultations with the Speaker of Parliament on the lawful procedures for taking Chaponda into custody for questioning about the sources of the contraband confiscated from his house and the names of any agencies that facilitated the internal movement of such large sums of cash.
“Actually, there is no way a credible police would raid a home and confiscate things considered illegal to possess without taking the person found in possession of them into custody; unless he wants to tell us his officials are above the law.
“As such, we demand the President to immediately direct the Financial Intelligence Authority to examine the personal bank accounts of every member of APM’s Cabinet; and also the National Intelligence Bureau to place every member of his Cabinet under surveillance until the Malawian people are given assurances that no other minister of government is using their position to conduct undocumented transactions for personal enrichment,” he said.
Chakwera has since demanded that the President immediately come to Parliament to give a full report of the progress of all that he has demanded.
But when confronted that his statements might have come later than expected, Chakwera defended himself that this is not the first time he has been asking the President to act on issues affecting the country.