Written by Patseni Mauka
With just a few weeks to the 2019 Malawi general elections, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters are ignorantly defending their marriage of convenience with People’s Party (PP) which is led by the mother of cashgate Joyce Banda. It seems not a single MCP supporter has thought about the implications of the coalition or what Chakwera and Joyce Banda agreed before becoming strange bedfellows.
Observing photos of joint rallies between the two parties or three if you count briefcase Freedom Party (FP), one painfully notes that power has already been shared between naive MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera, cashgate queen Joyce Banda, recycled Sidik Mia and lost man Khumbo Kachale. After these comes Joyce Banda’s son Roy Kachale and other smaller actors like MCP Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka. The rest of the MCP supporters trail way behind on the ladder of power without knowing that their party has been sold.
It’s sad to note that with just a single decision by Chakwera to be in coalition with PP, all long time loyal MCP supporters have been sidelined in the distribution of power way before winning elections. The current power arrangement effectively means cashgate masters would be back in power using the backdoor and will continue ransacking Malawi from where they left. Since falling in love with Joyce Banda and PP, Chakwera no longer talks about cashgate. Khoswe wakhala pamkhate.
Soon after the announcement of MCP and PP coalition, sources disclosed that Chakwera assured Joyce Banda and her PP members that he will not investigate and arrest them on the ‘cashgate’ fraud issues as he has been promising Malawians since 2014.
The sources said that Joyce Banda is so scared of being arrested that she will do anything to protect herself, family and friends. During her two year presidency, billions of tax payer’s money were siphoned from government accounts. Most of this money is alleged to have ended up in PP and Joyce Banda’s hands.
The main man for these deals was cashgate convict Oswald Lutepo. Lutepo was an influential figure in the then ruling People’s Party and a member of the Party’s National Executive Committee. He was the PP’s Deputy Director of Recruitment and Sensitisation. He became an overnight billionaire during the party’s two year reign.
Lutepo was the chief financier for PP masquerading as a ‘well wisher’. He donated billions in cash, materials and vehicles to PP. At one time he donated 22 vehicles to the now failed party. Joyce Banda publicly endorsed Oswald Lutepo as an important friend to the Peoples Party at several of her public rallies. He was a constant visitor to State House to meet Joyce Banda.
In September, 2015, Lutepo was slapped with 11 years imprisonment with hard labour for being found guilty on his own plea to charges of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the government. On numerous occasions, Lutepo has implicated former president Joyce Banda in the looting and plunder of public resources, claiming Banda used him as a conduit to siphon K4.2 billion kwacha from public coffers.
The Nation Newspaper quoted Lutepo as saying: “Joyce Banda already knows that she used me. I can’t start explaining things that she already knows. She knows how she used me.“My message to Joyce Banda is that she has to know that love is more important than anything else. Using someone is a sign of lack of love.”
With the agreement to protect fraud suspects in the unlikely event that MCP wins the elections, Chakwera has shown that he can’t be trusted with the country’s leadership. Vote wisely and don’t let cashgaters rule this country again.