CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa has said the leadership that includes the clerk and speaker of parliament should exonerate itself on the issue, saying it is impossible for the bill to get into the chamber without their knowledge.
The Loan Authorization Bill which should have allowed government to borrow 93 billion kwacha for the construction of security officers’ houses has become a controversy, with a presidential aide and ministry of finance official arrested for being involved in smuggling it into the August House.
Namiwa says that following the arrests of President Chakwera’s aid Pastor Martin Thom and Finance Ministry’s official Nations Msowoya, Malawians now expect to know the motive, adding that the speaker and clerk of parliament should exonerate themselves on the issue.
“It is impossible for the bill to get into the chamber without the knowledge of the clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba, without the knowledge of speaker of parliament Catherine Gotani Hara, leader of the house Richard Chimwendo Banda, and without the knowledge of leader of opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa”, said Namiwa.
He has added that all the critical questions surrounding the mysterious bill can ably be handled by Madam kalimba. Her silence and that of her boss Hon. Gotani Hara is creating an impression that the two suspects that have been arrested in connection with the matter, did the job single-handedly without any help of any official from Parliament.
While parliament spokesperson Ian Mwenye denied granting us an interview, leader of government business Richard Chimwendo Banda feels it is unfair to think that the leadership did nothing, as they withdrew the bill before it was tabled.
“CDEDI has every right to say that, but it is very unfair to say that we did not do anything. It is this leadership they are blaming that noticed that the bill did not follow procedures. It is this same leadership that withdrew the bill before it was tabled. Maybe such people need to be told that the bill was not presented in the August House, because we withdrew it”, said Chimwendo.
CDEDI has further demanded Gotani Hara and Kalemba to exonerate themselves from what it called “mafia-kind-of-syndicate” within 48 hours, by speaking out on the matter.
It further warned President Lazarus Chakwera to tread carefully on the matter, to avoid putting his job on the line, saying that previously, the president handled such matters of national concern carelessly.
However, President Chakwera has already fired his aide Pastor Martin Thom, and the police are yet to take Thom and Msowoya to court.