Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera has demanded the resignation of Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe and Local Government minister Kondwani Nankhumwa over the K4 billion allocation to Members of Parliament (MPs).
Making his closing remarks at the end of the Mid-Year Budget Review on Friday morning,
Chakwera said government, through the Finance Minister, flouted procedure and violated the law in its acquisition and distribution of the 4 billion Kwacha.
He then called for the resignation of Gondwe who allocated the funds and Nankhumwa who was tasked with choosing the MPs to benefit.
“We demand that the two Ministers in question, out of respect for the Office of the President and this House, should tender their resignations,” he said.
The opposition leader also urged the Anti-Corruption Bureau and Parliament to investigate the actions of the Finance Minister and the Minister of Local Government “to determine, with evidence, the nature and extent of their wrongdoing and whether they took these actions on their own or on orders from the President.”
Gondwe allocated K3.4 billion for special projects to 86 MPs, most of whom were Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators while the other MPs helped the DPP government to block the Electoral Reforms Bills last year.
The expenditure was deemed illegal since it was not approved by Parliament but on Tuesday the MPs legalised it after government agreed to share the money among all 193 constituencies.
Commenting on this, Chakwera said the opposition felt duty-bound to stop what he thinks amounts to an act of theft.
He however noted that Gondwe cornered the opposition by forcing them to choose between minister’s act of criminalizing the government illegally and the opposition’s act of decriminalizing the government legally.
“We did not feel that in would be in the nation’s interest for the Government to be reduced to a common criminal, for if The State is criminalized, our very Republic would collapse.
“So in the interest of the nation, we have acted to make sure that there is no record in the history of this House that we allowed the illegal act of spending Malawians’ taxpayers money without Parliament’s approval,” he said.
He added that the normalisation of the allocation was aimed at ensuring that the money should be used as a resource for the development of all Malawians, “not as a trophy to reward political exploitation.”