MLILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-State House on Saturday explained the alleged MK145 million that a supplier deposited into a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) account in which President Peter Mutharika is a sole signatory, claiming the money was among donations deposited into the party’s headquarters construction project account.
In a statement made available The Maravi Post, presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalirani said Mutharika had no knowledge of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) investigations on transactions involving Malawi Police Service and Pioneer Investments—a firm suspected to have fraudulently supplied food rations.
He said Mutharika; “has nothing to hide and is calling upon the ACB to thoroughly and professionally investigate the said business transaction”.
“The DPP has several other accounts in its name for party operations. However, the account in question was opened in 2015 and it is a DPP headquarters construction project account. The banking transaction in question happened two years later, in 2017,” said Kalirani:
“President Mutharika is the sole signatory to that account to ensure that funds in that account are used effectively towards the said construction project. The account receives donations for that purpose.
“All withdrawals from that account are used for the project and the party. His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika has never personally benefitted from funds in that account. All transactions in that account are documented and the party has receipts for them,” reads the statement in part,” he added.
In a thinly-veiled dig at Vice-President Saulos Chilima, the statement claims there are plots to scandalise Mutharika by a politician who is using “his surrogates in some churches, the media and other state agencies”, adding that the politician has been making “innuendoes and speaking in parables” to scandalise Mutharika and DPP.
Chilima’s press officer Pilirani Phiri said he could only comment after seeing the State House statement.
As the ruling DPP starts its elective conference today, Mutharika’s leadership has come under pressure following a leaked dossier which implicates both the President and the party as beneficiaries of alleged fraudulent dealings between the MPS and Pioneer Investments.
The opposition and some commentators have since called on Mutharika to clear his name over the allegations, saying the ACB dossier casts doubt on his commitment to fighting corruption.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson, Reverend Maurice Munthali, whose president Lazarus Chakwera has been critical of alleged corrupt tendencies of the Mutharika regime, said they feel vindicated by the claims of the K145 million paid into DPP account.
“These revelations are not a surprise to us at all as they are proving what our president, [Lazarus Chakwera] has been saying all along. It’s unfortunate that the president of DPP, Peter Mutharika, has been directly linked to the mess when he has all along been posing as a key player in the fight against corruption,” said Munthali.
People’s Party (PP) secretary general Ibrahim Matola described DPP as “a club of professional[s]– who have been plundering public resources” since the time of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika.
According to the leaked dossier, Mutharika is alleged to have benefitted from K145 million suspected to be part of proceeds of payment which ACB has been investigating.