The cash handouts and donation of an ambulance to Mulanje district hospital, two motor cycles to Police station in Mulanje and 300 bicycles by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa has sparked outrage with critics asking the cash-rich minister to explain the source of his “sudden wealth”.
Nankhumwa said the donation to his Mulanje Central constituency was worth K23 million but observer say the figure could be around K40 million and the minister has since come under intense fire to explain the source of his multimillion donations.
Critics have described it as an “obscene display of wealth”.
Mustapha Hussein, a University of Malawi’s (Unima) Chancellor College (Chanco) political and administrative issues analyst has said Nankhumwa should be accountable on his mind boggling wealth.
“Because of the huge amount of money, one needs to explain,” Hussein said in quotes reported by The Daily Times.
“There must be evidence that the money is coming from his pocket, otherwise the amount that has been spent raises suspicion because comparing to earnings there should be an initiatives to compare how much he gets,” the academician said.
The paper also quoted Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) executive director Dalitso Kubalasa saying Nankhumwa should explain the source of his money.
“It is always fair and proper to come out clean to say where the money is coming from to dispel any rumour. Such money could be part of some money laundering activities so it’s fair to be transparent otherwise a spirit of sharing is a welcome development,” Kubalasa said.
A watchdog called Independent Commission on Accountability and Transparency (iCAT) is said to gather more information on Nankhumwa wealth.
The watchdog is wondering how Nankhumwa has amassed a spectacular fortune while earning a salary of K1,608.
Icat was launched by law barrister Allan Z. Ntata who had previously worked at Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) and also served as late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s legal advisor.
The watchdog is there to ensure to promote transparency, accountability, integrity and access to information at all levels of society in the fight against graft in Malawi.
Malawians are taking to social media to ridicule the cash-rich minister.
“Tales of abrupt opulence,” wrote one Favour Munyapa on Facebook.
Malawi is reeling from a mass corruption scandal christened as Cashgate which London based auditors RSM (formerly Baker Tilly) revealed about K13 billion was lost from 2012.
About K236 billion was lost from 2005.
And Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, George Chaponda, is facing investigations on the purchase of maize from Zambia which is suspected to have corruption election.
Chaponda said his involvement was minimal and denied wrongdoing in the matter.
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