Parliament East Bridge fiasco

Disgraceful PAC has been bribed- Kalindo

…Botomani should resign

 …produce minutes-CDEDI 

Activist Bon Kalindo has made serious allegations against the Public Accounts Committee, saying it abandoned the East Bridge Fertiliser inquiry because they recieved bribes. 

Kalindo: They have received bribes

PAC Chairman Mark Botomani shocked Malawians on Tuesday when he announced the much awaited inquiry was being abandoned. He said no money had been lost despite the deal breaking all Procurement and Public Finance Management laws.

Botomani’s stance also contradicts 2016 precedence where then Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda’s decision to award a contract to a company was subject to a PAC inquiry despite that public money was never lost in the transactions.

Malawians see the current Parliament as the weakest governance structure as it has been approving bills including the controversial Salima Lilongwe Water Project, failed to conclude inquiry on serous allegations made against Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba and has confirmed strange appointments made by the executive.

Kalindo who produces audios on topical issues says he doubted from the beginning the sincerity of the announcement and his view is widely shared by Malawians on social media.

Meanwhile Centre for Democracy and Development Initiatives- CDEDI has asked Parliament to produce the record of the meeting where the decision to abandon the inquiry was made.

CDEDE Director Slyvester Namiwa says in line with Access To Information (ATI) Act as well as the wording of section 12 subsection 1 (b) of the Republican constitution, which states that all legal and political authority derives from the people of Malawi and shall be exercised to serve and protect their interests.

“We would like to believe that whatever was discussed during the said meeting was in the best interest of the voters and taxpayers, hence we are not asking for too much. 

CDEDI has since given the Speaker Catherine Gotani-Hara seven days to do the needful.

Namiwa has also demanded for the release of an audio and minutes as a way of extinguishing the current public suspicion that has been aggraveted by eleventh hour withdraw of the inquiry. 

Malawians have a right to know what was discussed – Namiwa

“CDEDI strongly believes that Malawians have a right to know what really transpired during the two hours meeting prior to the abrupt announcement. By making public the requested information, your office will not only demonstrate high 

levels of transparency and accountability, but such a gesture will put to rest the debate that has dominated the public discourse,” he said. 

Meanwhile a grouping of some Civil Society Organizations are calling for the resignation of the PAC Chairperson Mark Botoman for sleeping on duty.

But Botoman argues that his committee consulted all the legal instruments before arriving at such a decision.

Still on his part, National Anti-Corruption Alliance Chairperson, Moses Mkandawire told the press in Mzuzu Wednesday on behalf of other non-state actors that by abandoning an inquiry of the Eastbridge Fertilizer deal PAC has failed in its oversight role. 

The CSO’s have since called for an independent enquiry into PAC’s decision-making processes and also an immediate resignation of Botoman to ensure its effectiveness.

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