Suleman told to bring evidence after accusing Malawi Finance Minister of abusing Global Fund grant

Sameer Suleman

Member of Parliament for Blantyre City South East, Sameer Suleman, has been ordered to present evidence to Parliament following his claims that Minister of Finance Simplex Chithyola Banda mismanaged funds received from Global Fund.

The first deputy speaker of Parliament, Madalitso Kazombo has issued the order this morning.

Chithyola presented a ministerial statement and responded to question from legislators this morning on the devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha.

Suleman stood on a point of order and asked the minister why people should believe that public funds under will be safe under the minister, saying Chithyola was alleged to have abused funds when he worked as director of a local non-government organization, Chinansi Foundation, which received money from Global Fund.

According to Suleman, the Minister of Finance would find it difficult to win donor confidence for the budgetary support after allegedly misappropriating funds.

“Whenever you are caught stealing and you give back, it means you took it. I want to know how safe is our money in the hands of such a minister? This is a serious issue honourable first deputy Speaker. Our money is not safe,” said Suleman.

Responding to the accusations, Chithyola Banda said there is no court of law which found him guilty in relation to the alleged abuse of funds.

“I have a clean record. there is no judgement that found me guilty. It is politically unsound that somebody will attack me like this,” said Chithyola.

Speaking on the issue, Leader Richard Chimwendo Banda said standing orders governing the operations of the house, among others, prevents members from character assassination.

He asked Kazombo to make a ruling that Suleman should bring evidence to support his allegations, saying Suleman has a habit of tarnishing the images of other members.

Kazombo therefore ordered Suleman to bring factual evidence of what he had said about the Minister of Finance. He gave Suleman a deadline of Wednesday 2pm.

According to a Global Fund report released in 2021, findings showed that Chinansi Foundation senior officials collaborated to misappropriate US$70,572 (about K126 million) from the program bank account, submitting fabricated documents to conceal their actions. Findings also showed that a further US$9,924 2 (about K18 million) of non-compliant expenditures in the grant program resulted from non-transparent procurements and unsupported expenditures.


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