I write to join the group or be the only one if that group doesnâ€™t exist yet who are against the firing of (Honourable) Ken Lipenga PhD. I do not believe that Minister Lipenga should be dismissed neither should he resign from his post for his alleged involvement in what is the accounting scam of the decade, i.e. the Malawi Revenue Authority borrowing from the commercial banks and declaring the borrowed money as bonafide tax revenue. This happened, as we all know now, under the DPP-led government which collapsed on 5th April 2012 due to the death of its founder and benefactor Bingu wa Mutharika. Allow me to repeat that I am against the vacation of Lipengaâ€™s ministerial seat.
When the matter of cooked revenue was raised by Member of Parliament George Nnensa, he was accused of malice and that his claims could not be substantiated. When the matter was brought to the House for decision for corrective measure, the DPP-led House voted against any pursuance of the matter. The matter was, therefore, closed for discussion and review, until of course, the inevitable happened on 5th April 2012, when President Mutharika died.
Since then Minister Lipenga has come out to disclose that yes, indeed the government of Bingu wa Mutharika cooked the accounts. He (Lipenga) has further said after the Nnensa issue in the National Assembly, President Mutharika was asked about the matter. It is only that Lipenga respects the dead and so cannot disclose what the President said. But as for himself, Lipenga only trusted his officers in the Ministry of Finance. At the material time, he acted, so he says, in good faith and had no reason to think that the accounts had been cooked. It is because of these statements that I believe Lipenga should not and must not be dismissed.
I am against his dismissal because if that were to happen, getting to the real truth about the MRA saga would be difficult. Leave Lipenga in post while we squeeze him for his side of the truth. There are questions that Lipenga must answer. First, is it possible for the MRA to borrow such huge amounts of money without the knowledge of the Minister of Finance? If that were the case, what else can the MRA or any parastatal borrow without his knowledge? Is it possible for the MRA to borrow such amounts without approval from its board? The Secretary to the Treasury sits on the MRA Board, right? Does the secretary act on his or her own behalf and he does not convey issues like the borrowings to Minister?
Lipenga reports having spoken to the President on the issue. When was that and where? How many days was the meeting after Nnensa had spilled the beans? Was this matter not discussed in cabinet? When did Lipenga know that the accounts had been cooked? How did he know? Were the cooked accounts prepared by ACCA professionals? Are they still preparing accounts? Wasnâ€™t the Reserve Bank supposed to be involved when moneys like these are being borrowed or lent? Does the DPP still believe the national flag change was warranted?n