BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—The country’s Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on Sunday demanded the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to probe Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera over his magnificent house in Lilongwe.
The CSOs under the banners of Civil Society Forum for Democracy and Development (CFDD) and Civil Society Platform for Constructive Dialogue (CS-PCD) have, however, raised people’s eye brows as to whether their demand is in good faith or they are funded by the state to divert people’s attention from the current corruption scandal involving former agriculture minister George Chaponda.
Their demand comes few days after the ACB raided the house of Chaponda and confiscated stashes of money in different currencies amounting to about K166 million.
The groups have also demanded ACB to investigate Chakwera on a fleet of vehicles as well K80 million he allegedly diverted from the party’s account into his personal account.
Speaking during a news conference on Sunday at Alendo Hotel in Blantyre the groupings argued that Chakwera who is Leader of Opposition in Parliament demonstrated double-standards as well as high level of hypocrisy for not disclosing the source of his money and wealth.
“While the Leader of Opposition is expected to lead his block in providing checks and balances as well as oversight on government operations, we have sadly noted that Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has himself not demonstrated integrity and accountability in a number of areas on which we hereby call for immediate probe and investigation,” said Oliver Nakoma who is chairperson for CS-PCD.
Nakoma, who was accompanied by Harry Mikuwa chairperson for CFDD, and other members said there was a need for Chakwera to be investigated by ACB on the sources of money he is using to construct a multi-million 15 bedroom house in Area 6 in Lilongwe, arguing the anti-graft body did the same on Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa who was recently summoned by the Bureau over the donation he made in his constituency in Mulanje district in January this year.
He argued that based on information in their hands, Chakwera was abusing his party’s finances and private donations for personal projects.
“As a civil society, we demand accountability on the part of Chakwera to explain the source of the funds for such a mansion which is still under construction and we expect the final value of the mansion to be over K800 million upon completion.
“The mansion has also been constructed in a space of one year and this raises eyebrows considering other allegations that Dr. Chakwera diverted close to K80 million meant for his party to his personal account.”
Quizzed if they have evidence on the allegations against Chakwera, the CSOs argued that they have information in their possession to be shared with investigating authorities.
Asked about the timing of their demands, Nakoma argued that their call for Chakwera probe was not a hit-back at his recent attack on government, saying they were just fulfilling their role as civil society in calling for public leaders to be accountable.
Meanwhile, Chakwera has vowed to lead a mass protest against rampant corruption in government.
Speaking on Mij FM, Chakwera said the president Peter Mutharika is giving corrupt big wigs amnesty from corruption crackdown, remarks which have been quashed by information minister Nicholas Dausi.