A Public Affairs Committee (PAC) where government ministers are booed

The government in Malawi may have sunk to a new low. There was a Public Affairs Committee (PAC) last week where two ministers representing the government of Malawi, Fahad Assani and Maxwell Mkwezalamba were booed by attendees, which included members of CSO organisations.

The conference was organised following the government’s failure to provide Malawians with convincing answers regarding the Cashgate scandal, and the forensic report.

Among the highlights / questions posed in the conference were:

  • Demands as to why the police have not arrested former budget director Paul Mphwiyo, when he is heavily implicated, and whether he was being protected?
  • Why government had not impounded the property of businessman, Oswald Lutepo – who is implicated in the cashgate scandal?
  • Why law enforcers have not impounded 22 vehicles which Lutepo donated to the ruling People’s Party, when there is evidence that the money he used to acquire those vehicles was looted at Capital Hill ?
  • When cashgate cases will be concluded, and those guilty prosecuted?
  • Why the government could not account for, or was failing to clearly explain where the proceeds from the presidential jet sale had gone. President Joyce Banda had promised to sell the jet which Bingu wa Mutharika had bought, and the government of Malawi had disclosed that the jet had been sold to Bohnox enterprises, an arms dealer. Yet there was no evidence of transfer of funds, and on more than one occasion the president was seen using the same jet, to the surprise of many Malawians.

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Curse of the Malawi presidency

The statement from State House last week was quick to point out that President Joyce Banda would fly South African Airways out of Lilongwe, but was silent on what she would fly from South Africa to Nigeria, on her State-funded pilgrimage to the temple of TB Joshua, her favourite soothsayer.

From South Africa, she likely flew in the splendour of a private jet, as she has taken to doing lately.

The statement did not mention that, obviously. Perhaps even State House knows the President’s frequent flying around in this private jet ostensibly given to her by some mysterious “well-wishers” appears to be an unfortunate penchant for rapacious and rather shameful self-aggrandisement totally out of keeping with the leader who sold off the country’s presidential jet because it was a wasteful luxury. 

More at Curse of the Malawi presidency via Malawi Today