A write-up believed to be authored by President Peter Mutharika’s close relation, Chimwemwe Kajawa which has gone viral on social media and messenger sharing apps has revealed the involvement of the rotten ministers in a K233 billion (about $330million) grand corruption scam.
The revelations come after President Mutharika recently challenged opposition lawmaker Kamlepo Kalua, who is vice chairperson of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee to name and shame the corrupt ministers.
“Ministers that seems to featuring this jigsaw puzzle are Henry Mussa through Eagle Insurance Company which created bogus premiums and George Chaponda whose wife Dr Chaponda dealt directly withdraw Mai Sadiq of Mzuzu who is a Director at HTD Ltd and went away with 108 billion [sic ],” reads the information.
Mussa is Minister of Labour while Chaponda is minister of agriculture and irrigation as well as ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice president.
Chaponda, who was also named by a lawmaker in parliament that he is a cashgate suspect, is also said to have facilitated ‘cashgate’ through Azza Chaudry trading as SANA Builders and Hardware and SANA Cash and Carry at the police ordinance (quarter master) where the expected uniforms and equipment “were only recorded on paper but nothing was supplied.”
The revelations also link Finance and Economic Planning Minister Goodall Gondwe, saying “he had a hand in RYCA General Trading and AUGIES General Dealers where 200 million was siphoned.”
It further reveals that “National Bus Company and SOFTLINKS System Suppliers plus Green Rose General Suppliers wads put of the cashgatewhen and there is irrefutable evidence.”
President Mutharika is under fire from the opposition lawmakers for shielding the rotten ministers but vehemently rejected the accusation, claiming he did not know names of the implicated ministers.
However, the write-up claims “ the role of ministers in this looting is known by Mutharika some of the traders like J Brown International Co hagred dealers, Kalana Hardware used these names to fast track the payments of goods which were not supplied. “
According to the write-up, President Mutharika “is very unlikely” to unleash a whip to his cronies.
It states: “Mutharika is now being blackmailed by all cabinet ministers involved and this has affected his health.”
However, Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa recently succumbed to political pressure to change tune to say no minister is implicated.
“Let me make it clear that there is no minister being implicated or involved in any case or indeed the so-called seven case files. According to the report, it says there is need for further investigations for all case files. These case files are for businesses not linked to any minister of government officer,” Kamphasa said.
“I therefore, would like to distance myself from the issue of cabinet ministers being implicated or involved as there is no evidence unless those who say so have other evidence that I do not have,” he said.
But government insiders say the business firms being mentioned are named in the report copied from the previous forensic audit and no fresh information is gathered as the accusations are those that mostly they were cleared of any wrong doing in cashgate related case.
However, the country’s graft bursting body Anti-Corruption Bureau’s spokesperson Egrita Ndala told local radio: “We can’t give an outright answer on whether seven serving cabinet ministers are implicated in the K233 billion cashgate scandals.”
She, however, said that the bureau is doing a thorough analysis of the 13 case files in its custody to determine pursuable cases.
Besides the current corruption scandal, Malawi is yet to recover from another scam called Cashgate, in which at least $32m of Malawian state funds was stolen by government officials in just six months between April and October 2013.
Outgoing British High Commissioner to Malawi, Michael Nevin, also bemoaned the higher levels of corruption in Malawi, exacerbated by a culture of impunity.
He told a local paper that the country’s rule of law could be permanently undermined by failure to bring to book those who break the law.
“The cancer of corruption is the most dangerous element that can undermine Malawi’s instability,” Nevin said, adding, “Corruption, fraud are not sufficiently challenged.”
And during a public political rally this week, President Mutharika conceded that corruption is worsening in the country.
“We cannot go on like this. This country will go down… we must change our moral profile,” said Mutharika.