Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa has warned President Lazarus Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance government against employing selective justice in the fight against corruption.
He was speaking in his winding speech yesterday in Lilongwe when Parliament adjourned sine die after concluding its seven-week 2020-21 National Budget meeting.
While commending the government for efforts to fight graft, Nankhumwa emphasised that government must not only target opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members and shield those in the ruling alliance.
He said there must be no sacred cows in fighting corruption if Malawians are to take the on-going anti-corruption drive seriously.
Said Nankhumwa: “I wish to remind the President that corruption does not stop only at the doors of the DPP, the Department of Immigration, Road Traffic, Lands, Malawi Revenue Authority, or Capital Hill. There is corruption at all levels, including in religious organisations, schools, and right at the State House.
“For example, recent media reports indicate that under President Chakwera’s watch, the State House has been making questionable payments to Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe. These are very disturbing revelations”.
He then dared Chakwera to take remedial action against the officers involved in the corruption scandal rather than just paying lip service.
Nankhumwa then committed to fully support efforts by the President to clear the rubble of corruption, theft of public resources and abuse of office.
The Leader of Opposition also spoke against arrogance by some Cabinet ministers, saying ministerial positions are temporary and it was important to listen to opposing views than taking them as not important at all.
He encouraged Chakwera to take a decisive action to deal with the plight of women in the country, who are demanding equal opportunities in leadership positions.
On the national budget, Nankhumwa said Malawians are waiting to see proper implementation of the plans contained in this financial blueprint, which would translate into improved livelihoods.
He explained that the lack of political will has always been standing in the way of budget implementation in the past hence urged the Tonse Alliance government to avoid falling into the trap.
On his part, Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda, described the meeting as a success as it was handled with a great sense of maturity from both sides of the House.
However, he expressed worry over divisions in the main opposition DPP, saying it was unhealthy for the country’s democracy as government needs a strong and a united opposition to provide checks and balances.
In her wrap up remarks, Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara thanked members for conducting business with the seriousness it deserves.
She described the just ended sitting of Parliament to have been a great milestone in Malawi’s democracy because President Chakwera availed himself to answer questions from members of the House.
Chakwera opened the meeting on September 4 with a State of the Nation Address (Sona) before Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu presented the K2.2 trillion 2020-21 National Budget on September 11, which was debated and passed on 14 October.
Parliament also discussed and passed electoral reforms related Bills in line with the Supreme Court of Appeal consequential orders as well as 16 bills. n