Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa has hit back at President Lazarus Chakwera for accusing the former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of stealing more than MK1 trillion during its six years in power.
In his national address on Saturday, Chakwera claimed that the former ruling party swindled MK1 trillion, an accusation which hasn’t gone well with DPP’s Southern Region President and Leader of Opposition in Parliament.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Nankhumwa has accused Chakwera of deceiving the nation, saying if the said amount was indeed stolen by the previous regime, Chakwera wouldn’t have found any penny in the government coffers.
“Listening to the said address, I got the impression that he may not be well conversant with financial operations of government. The President clearly deceived the nation that the DPP government misappropriated and mismanaged a total sum in excess of MK1 trillion. President Chakwera must be informed that if an economy, as small as ours, was robbed of that sum of money, his administration would not have found any penny in the government coffers,” reads the statement released by Nankhumwa.
The Opposition Leader noted that Chakwera based his accusations on the Auditor General’s Report on the Government of Malawi for the Year Ending 30th June, 2019.
Nankhumwa said the report of the Auditor General did not say that the DPP government stole government money.
According to Nankhumwa, the Auditor General’s report exposed non-compliance by individual Ministries, Departments and Agencies’ delays to pay contractors billions of money, payment of vouchers without supporting documents, abandonment of construction works and under-collection of revenue plus many.
“From the foregoing, it is clear that there is no mention of DPP stealing money anywhere. What is clear from the President’s address is a desperate attempt to mislead the nation on matters of management of the economy, obviously taking advantage of people’s ignorance on the same,” he continued.
Nankhumwa then accused Chakwera of trying to make more arrests on DPP members based on the allegations.
“He wants to arrest more people, more especially those from the DPP on these baseless allegations.
“He also wants to divert people’s attention from the blunders on the appointment of the cabinet where we have seen nepotism of the highest order,” said Nankhumwa.
He then urged the Malawi leader to prioritise nation-building instead of focusing his energy on arresting DPP members.
“Indeed, President Chakwera must prioritize nation-building and that his thirst for settling political scores against DPP members and leaders must take a backseat,” said Nankhumwa.
He also advised President Chakwera and his government that Malawi is facing difficult challenges amid the Covid-19 health crisis.
“It is important that our collective efforts and energy are expended on saving our people from this pandemic instead of witch-hunting and persecution against perceived political enemies,” he said.