Some opposition political parties have demanded the removal or resignation of Attorney General (AG) Charles Mhango for his role in the alleged fraudulent contract worth K2.3 billion offered to Pioneer Investments by the Malawi Police Service (MPS).
The parties have further faulted the AG for entering into and signing a consent judgement that would result in taxpayers paying over K1 billion to CDH Investment Bank in claims.
At the centre of a spate of several alleged fraudulent dealings is a supplier Pioneer Investments that was contracted by MPS to supply food ration packs at the original contract price of about K2.3 billion which was later questionably increased by 20 percent taking it to around K2.8 billion.
Seven months before the said contract was awarded to Pioneer, some top police officers facilitated and guaranteed a loan amounting to K3 billion from CDH Investment Bank for the supplier but after police paid the money, the cheque was deposited into a different bank forcing CDH to sue Pioneer and MPS through the Attorney General.
But in a statement issued yesterday, eight opposition political parties also want an amendment of Section 98(5) of the Constitution so that the office of AG, henceforth, is only occupied by a public officer to enhance professionalism.
The eight parties are part of a 13-member grouping of opposition political parties that are finalising the formulation of Tikonze Dziko Lathu coalition, whose membership include People’s Party (PP) and the troubled Alliance for Democracy (Aford), ahead of the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
“We demand the immediate removal or resignation of the Attorney General as these issues and others have deeply compromised him. This is why previously there have been strong calls but ignored that the AG’s office ought not to be occupied by party functionaries,” reads a statement issued yesterday.
Mhango is also legal adviser of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The parties also want a swift prosecution of Pioneer Investment owner Zameer Karim and that his agents, surrogates, sister companies or close relations no longer be directly or otherwise be contracted in public procurement.
They also want suspension of all police officers and other public servants involved in the dubious contract followed by swift prosecution to restore public confidence and bring sanity within the MPS and public service.
“We call upon President Mutharika to establish a commission of inquiry comprising persons of high repute in society to establish whether the 500 000 ration packs were indeed bought and supplied to MPS and the said packs were value for money,” reads the statement.
Efforts to talk to Mhango proved futile as his phone went unanswered on several attempts.
Some civil society organisations (CSOs) have also called for the resignation of Mutharika for allegedly benefitting from the money after Pioneer Investment donated K145 million into the DPP bank account for which he is the sole signatory.
But the 13 parties’ spokesperson Kamuzu Chibambo, who is also People’s Transformation Party (Petra) president, said calling for Mutharika’s resignation was a non-starter because he has already pleaded innocent.
He said their only hope was for members of Parliament (MPs) to move a motion of impeachment in the House.