BY TIMES EDITORIAL:
President Peter Mutharika must be a very unsettled man wherever he is. He may have come of his party’s convention with a clean endorsement to represent it in next year’s presidential elections, but a recent leaked Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) report has smeared egg all over his face.
The report implicated the country’s First Citizen in the fraudulent Malawi Police Service ration pack contract with Pioneer Investments, suggesting that he may have benefited from it as the supplier deposited K145 million into a Democratic Progressive Party bank account to which he is the sole signatory.
When the document came out, Mutharika’s spokesperson, Mgeme Kalilani, trashed it as the work of ‘a young politician’ bent on denting his boss’ image.
But when ACB gave authenticity to the report by regretting its release when investigations were still underway, Kalilani changed tune and said it was a donation to the ruling DPP.
The matter has seen several Malawian leaders in various establishments voicing out their concerns about an incident that has given yet another proof of the deeply entrenched corruption that is in the Mutharika government.
The President may have asked ACB to thoroughly and professionally conclude the matter, saying he has nothing to hide, but we all know how the same organisation’s investigators were recalled from a probe at Escom by the powers that be.
Which is why we totally agree with civil society organisations (CSOs) and Leader of Opposition, Lazarus Chakwera, that Mutharika can no longer continue leading us and should step down.
Can we trust a man who accepts a gift in millions of kwacha from a supplier while there are no drugs in our hospitals and our children are learning under trees and sitting for examinations while on the floor?
By the way, what was the gift meant to achieve? What were its motives? Why was it given to the DPP? And why was Kalilani denying knowledge of the transaction at first?
We also wonder how many other companies and organisations on contracts with government ministries, departments and agencies have remitted such ‘gifts’ to the DPP.
The fact that Mutharika accepted the ‘gift’ means that he has failed to sustain the trust of Malawians and we concur with Chakwera and CSOs in calling for the President’s resignation and early elections.
Malawians deserve better and need answers.