Minister of Justice Fahad Assani yesterday warned the private sector, members of Parliament (MPs) and other politicians that investigations into the plunder of public resources will extend to them and all property acquired dubiously would be seized.
Malawi Government, through Minister of Lands and Housing Henry Phoya, went further to accuse Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader in Parliament George Chaponda of buying a government building along Dalton Road in Limbe using dubious means.
“Some individuals stole assets belonging to government, some with great historical importance. Leader of DPP [in Parliament] owns one of those houses,” alleged Phoya, adding that Bineth Trust, whose chairperson was former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika, also illegally bought houses from the Lilongwe City Council.
But the remarks irked Chaponda and DPP president Peter Mutharika who challenged to meet Phoya in court over the allegations, saying “all procedures for acquiring property were followed”.
In his contribution to the debate on Vice-President Khumbo Kachali’s statement delivered in Parliament on Monday, Assani said investigations into the Capital Hill cash-gate would extend to the Department of Lands to ascertain how properties belonging to civil servants and politicians were acquired.
He said about 90 percent of houses in the affluent Area 43 and Area 49 in Lilongwe were owned by civil servants who had no mortgages with banks or private companies registered with the Registrar of Companies as sources of income.
Commercial banks, specifically two which he did not mention, would also be under scrutiny for perpetrating theft by acting as conduits through which government funds were stolen.
In 2001, when he served as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Assani is on record as having disclosed that 30 percent of resources in the country’s national budget went into people’s pockets instead of projects allocated such funding by Parliament.