Malawi President has announced the appointment of a Special Cabinet Committee to probe Finance Minister Ken Lipengaâ€™s role in the K30 billion MRA scam within one week.
Briefing journalists in Malawiâ€™s capital, Lilongwe, President Joyce Banda said Vice-President Khumbo Kachali is chairing the committeeâ€”which, according to an OPC statement announced on MBC radio, comprises Minister of Defence Ken Kandodo, who was Lipengaâ€™s predecessor at Ministry of Finance; Water and Irrigation Minister Ritchie Muheya and Local Government and Rural Development Minister Grace Maseko.
“I want them to gather facts first. What I have done is to serve the interest of justice. There are a lot of people who say Dr. Lipenga did not know about it. I cannot conclude that he did not know or he knew something. Others claim to have letters concerning this matter. I want the truth to come out and make a decision,” said the President.
She said those calling for the immediate resignation of Lipenga should hold their patience as the Constitution protects everybody until there is evidence of wrongdoing.
“Some of us have been in the same situation before. I have asked the committee to work within a week so that we can deal with this. But at MRA, there is a lot of rot we need to deal with apart from lies and lack of audits [for 10 years],” said the President.
On her three-day Mozambique State visit, the President said her administration has committed itself to revamping the Sena Railway Line which will connect Malawi to Beira port to reduce transport costs.
“On the [power] interconnection deal with Mozambique, I want Malawians to be assured that we will not lose out anything. The deal which we have started negotiations on will actually benefit Malawians,” said Banda.
She said the Shire-Zambezi Waterway will continue to be part of governmentâ€™s plans on finding alternatives to the sea, but it will have to wait for an environmental feasibility study before being taken forward.
The President said a diplomatic and political agreement signed by the two governments is just to revive the Lilongwe-Maputo relations which have existed for long, but needed to adopt new things that have come up over time.