Former People’s Party (PP) vice-president Harry Mkandawire has dismissed suggestions that he is setting sights on a return to the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) following his resignation on Friday.
Mkandawire resigned from PP on Friday claiming he could not continue serving a party under whose watch the plunder of billions of kwacha in public funds at Capital Hill were exposed.
The move, which political analyst Blessings Chinsinga termed too late if the Mzimba West legislator was really concerned about PP silence on Cashgate accusations, has sparked speculation that he could be destined for President Peter Mutharika’s DPP.
The race to the party in power is gaining sway ahead of the commencement of the budget meeting of Parliament today with Mzuzu City member of Parliament (MP) Leonard Njikho (independent) and a faction of opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) legislators joining government benches.
Yesterday, Mkandawire described as baseless emerging stories that his resignation from PP founded by Mutharika’s predecessor, former president Joyce Banda, was in preparation for a return to the party he dumped after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012. Previously, Mkandawire also served as United Democratic Front (UDF) regional governor (North) before joining DPP.
Said Mkandawire: “Me joining DPP? I resigned from PP leadership because the party leadership hasn’t been forthcoming on Cashgate allegations levelled against some top leaders. We were supposed to meet and issue a statement on whether the party was involved in the looting of public coffers. I did not quit PP to join DPP.”
He pledged to continue sitting on the PP side in the National Assembly, saying: “We’ll see what next if my colleagues do not welcome me.”
The shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo at the gate of his Area 43 house in Lilongwe on September 13 2013 opened a can of worms that exposed free-for-all plunder of resources at Capital Hill.
British forensic auditors, Baker Tilly, reported that about K24 billion was not accounted for between April and September 2013 through payment for goods or services not rendered and inflated payments, among others.
Currently, some Cashgate cases are in court. Some cases have been concluded and convictions secured.
However, law enforcement agencies have come under fire for not acting aggressively on the K92 billion stolen between 2009 and 2012 as established by the National Audit Office (NAO).