Malawi Cashgate: cloaks and daggers, innuendos and smokescreens, all in the mix

“His [Lutepo’s] declaration statement raises the issues of political party financing, this is a good governance issue. From the evidence provided we have also known that People’s Party gave K11 million to one of the Malawi Congress Party [MCP] presidential candidates to disturb MCP election and convention and influence the outcome.” – Mrs Kachale, Director of Public Prosecutions.

She fell short of naming the MCP presidential candidate that allegedly received K11 million to influence the outcome, saying that would disturb the investigations.

Murder and burglary:

In a country where crime investigations do produce results, the gruesome and yet to be avenged murder of late Issa Njauju and the break in into the German GTZ official’s residence would have long been resolved and the culprits locked up in prison, where they belong.

However, Malawi being a country where the arm of the law is compromised by whichever Kahuna is ruling, and where some crimes are reportedly carried out with the knowledge of senior officers in the Police (e.g. late Robert Chasowa RIP) and Intelligence Services (e.g. burning of MEC warehouse and lately GTZ official burglary according to Nyasa Times sources); no arrests have been made.

The murder of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director of corporate affairs Issa Njauju and the break in into the house of a high-ranking German official handling the K557 billion forensic audit of government coffers share one common denominator: they are actions of defiance against the fight against corruption in Malawi.

This defiance is what is often referred to as impunity.

Both are deliberate attempts to bog down the ongoing deeper investigations into the genesis of cashgate and intended to buy time for some big wigs who, once the review going back to 2005 is completed, will be disgraced.

While indeed late Njauju was not in the ‘frontline’ fighting graft at ACB, he was arguably managing the hub on which the bolts and nuts that do the actual investigations were revolving.

Burglary_Icon1While the high-ranking German official handling the K557 billion forensic audit of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) era of cash-gate is doing the analysis after the fact and the documents stolen from his home merely contained information already in public domain; the robbers – in their keenness to destroy material evidence at the behest of their masters – would not have known what he was analysing until they stole it, thinking that this would stop the effort.

In other words, whichever way one looks at it, the robbery was staged to derail the analysis and eventual fingering of the inventors of cashgate just as the coldblooded killing of ACB’s senior official was intended to pump the fear of God in ACB employees.

A phantom on the loose?

Going by the high profile nature of the targets: Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director of corporate affairs Issa Njauju and the house of a high-ranking German official, the perpetrators cannot be common criminals.

Their acts required a degree of sophistication, planning and ruthlessness to tail their targets for some time, wait for an opportune time, and then strike.

The hoodlums obviously, had the ample resources not readily available to equip district hospitals adequately.

The question is: who in Malawi has or controls such resources? Whoever it is, we are dead men walking.

Innuendos and smokescreens:

The motive of both crimes, as established above was to protect someone – who can only be highly influential and wielding power and resources – from being implicated from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) era cashgate.

As for the reason, one only has to look at the embarrassment that former President Joyce Banda is experiencing now after being implicated in cashgate.

Whether the allegations will hold or not, the resulting loss of face is not something anyone holding office – at whatever level – would cherish.

Knowing Malawi as we do, we can conclude without fear of contradiction that if she is indeed charged, the trial will be delayed for a myriad of reasons (back problems, medical check-ups etc.) and not see the end of day as is happening with the MK1.7 billion trial.

And check this: we now have no less than the Director of Public Prosecutions Mrs Kachale “jeopardising” investigations.

This week she told the court that she has information that an unnamed MCP presidential aspirant got MK11 million Kwacha of cashgate money from one of Oswald Lutepo’s companies.

Ironically, for fear of “jeopardising” investigations, she could not reveal the name.

This is what I call “Grade A” trash.

Point is, out of the truck load of MCP presidential aspirants, the character that got the dough knows it. Hence the premature and uncalled for insinuation before he has been interrogated, even without naming him, means that he is now on alert, either ready to bolt like that Kaka chap who has vanished into thin air while on bail awaiting a murder trial or to “interfere” with investigations.

What was the point of the premature revelation? What was Mrs Kachale trying to prove? And the media is blamed for being “sensational”? If you want sensationalism, try Mrs Kachale.

Playing cloaks and daggers game: suicidal

With the respect to the burglary carried out at the German Official, tailing, snooping or spying on diplomats is something normally expected of the Obamas and Putins of this world.

In fact, Putin is on record saying: “I envy him (Obama) because he can do something like this (spying) and get away with it!

Having said that, when Malawi is perceived, not only to have spied BUT to have actually carried out a “Mossad-type-robbery” on a GTZ official’s residence with Nicholaus Dausi’s knowledge according to a Nyasa Times report, shivers start running down the spines of our development partners.

“What will Malawi do next?” or rather “What will Dausi do next?” are the questions that follow.

One can argue about double standards: i.e. why is spying more or less tolerated when Russia and USA are involved and theft equally accepted when carried out by Mossad? And why all the fuss when some yet to be named Malawi operative – never mind his employer – breaks into a GTZ official’s home to steal cashgate documents?

The response is rooted in an adage: biting the hand that feeds you is haraam.

The cashgate triangle: Bingu-JB-APM

cg triangleNever mind propaganda to the contrary, it is a fact that cashgate was invented by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), via a presidential directive that banks should honour all government cheques without asking questions.

Why else was this idiotic directive issued if not to facilitate cashgate?

According to one convict, Leo Kalonga, Peoples Party (PP) – through Paul Mphwiyo – just enhanced the process by short-circuiting the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) (which was in DPP’s time issuing no objections to ridiculously over-priced contracts) so that the cream can go to you-know-who’s bank accounts.

The latest, as per Mrs Kachale premature ejaculation, is that other than the motive of funding its own campaign, Peoples Party (PP) went one up in an attempt to destabilize democracy by using Oswald Lutepo’s companies to cause chaos in rival parties.

What we have learnt this far however emanates from cashgate crimes committed after 2012. What is remaining is what the Germans are trying to get to: the period prior to 2012.

When they get to this part, and names get mentioned, the shit will practically hit the fan. With respect to the current regime, they have already crafted ways of continuing cashgate.

In my previous write up I referred to the ridiculously high contract amount of the 95km road from Lilongwe old airport. I can safely predict that the community or district colleges now on President Mutharika’s radar will also be as ridiculously over-priced.

Just watch this space.

Is Malawi sleepwalking or speeding towards a failed state?

sleep walkingWhat is making every patriotic Malawian to be ashamed of these developments is that Cashgate, be it the Peoples Party brand or its precursor, the Democratic Progressive Party invention, was and is still repulsive. But it was local.

However, ‘cashgating’ documents from a development partner, one who is investing resources trying to clean the mess, is beyond nauseating.

Therefore, when I heard someone remarking that Pres Peter Mutharika is “sleepwalking Malawi into a failed state”, I could not help but laugh at the understatement.

A more apt observation is that the man is fast-tracking Malawi into a failed state. No two ways about it.

My Malawi My Bandit Territory:

BanditterritorylogoLook at this: it is a fact that criminals – ranging from the unpretentious burglars to diplomatic burglars, random murderers to professional hit squads, are having a field day in Malawi.

It is a fact that we have a Police Service, a National Intelligence Service and a host of state apparatus headed by a Commander in Chief.

In light of the increasing levels of criminality, does anyone see “leadership”?

Shuffling Atupele Muluzi and replacing him with Dr Jean Kalirani in the Ministry of Home Affairs is the very height of presidential naivety.

Cluelessness-Venn-DiagramIf the good doctor could not watch over aspirin, how is she going to even begin presiding over national security?

Not that Atupele was doing any better, but entrusting Dr Jean Kalirani, who could not explain where drugs were going at the Health Ministry with national security, is one of the dumbest reshuffles made in our fifty one year old history.

Cluelessness does not even begin to describe this folly.

Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted?

morpariaTo wrap up, one can safely conclude that late Njauju’s murderers and the hoodlums who burglarized the GTZ official’s house will never be caught because the body charged with the investigations, i.e. the Malawi Police, is one that has never really solved any crime especially when there are big fish involved.

And both these cases reek of big fish involvement.

The hoodlums will go scot-free because we simply have no political leadership with the capability and will to make life bearable for the common man.

Sadly, what we should all learn to live with is the fact that under the current administration, the long arm of the law is at the mercy of the local mafia and as a result, Malawi is now bandit territory cruising towards failed statehood.

To put things in their proper perspective, everything we have been doing as a nation, with respect to cash-gate, is worse than locking the barn after the horse has already bolted.

In May 2014, through omission or commission, aided by one Maxon, we locked our horses in a barn with a pack of hungry hyenas. No wonder the old boy was crying!

If we find any bones therein after this administrative term, we should count ourselves “lucky”. And never forget, when a wise man is pointing at the moon, fools concentrate on the finger and lose out.

I rest my case.

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