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DPP MPs Block MRA Investigations

Government MPs have blocked a motion to push for investigations into allegations that Malawi Revenue Authority borrowed money from commercial banks to appear to have collected enough revenue in the first half of the 2011/2012 fiscal year.

It has been alleged that the revenue collecting body borrowed 15 billion kwacha from some local banks, including NBS, National Bank and Standard Bank.

MP for Balaka South George Mnesa made the allegation in parliament last week and Thursday Karonga Nyungwe MP Khwauli Msiska moved a motion for the house to investigate the matter.

MP Khwauli Msiska says this is a serious allegation that the August House cannot let pass without ‘getting to the bottom of it.’

The matter brought heated debate when it was brought into the house on Thursday with both sides accusing each other of hidden agendas on the matter.

Government heavyweights such Finance Minister Dr. Ken Lipenga, his deputy Dr. Conelius Mwalwanda, Leader of the House Dr. George Chaponda, government chief whip Symon Vuwa Kaunda, Minister of Health Dr. Jean Kalirani and her deputy Ralph Jooma took turns protesting against the motion.

They said since the motion is emanating from an allegation, parliamentary standing orders stipulate that a member made such allegations should bring forth facts to substantiate their claims.

The ruling party MPs demanded that the motion be thrown out of the house and order MP Mnesa to bring evidence.

Lilongwe Mapuyu South parliamentarian Joseph Njobvuyalema wondered why government is too defensive and blocking the investigation.

After a protracted debate, the motion was defeated by a voice vote, subsequently throwing out the probe into the allegations.

The mover of the motion, Mr. Khwauli Msiska says he is very disappointed with the government side particularly the minister of finance for leading the protest.  - Zodiak Online

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