President Joyce Banda has fired the cabinet soon after a high profile cabinet meeting in Blantyre over the Cash-gate scandal in which there are reports that top government officials and ministers were involved.
Banda had hinted soon after returning from USA that she might fire the cabinet.
In response to a question that there were rumours that some ministers were involved in the massive looting of government funds, Banda said she could not make announcements on what would be her next course of action at a Press Briefing.
Soon after the Thursday cabinet meeting, the Office of the President and Cabinet announced that she had dissolved the cabinet.
“Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda President of the Republic of Malawi, in exercise of her powers conferred upon her by section 94(1) and section 95 (2) of the constitution of the Republic of Malawi has today 10th October 2013 dissolved the cabinet,” a statement signed by Presidential Press Secretary Steve Nhlane said.
Meanwhile, the cabinet firing has brought in mixed feelings with some saying its just the first step in cleaning up the government while others have hailed the President.
Apart from the cabinet reshuffle President Banda has also taken some measures in order to step up the battle against graft.
“ I have directed the Attorney General to present to Cabinet an urgent review the Asset Declaration Bill and it should be tabled before Parliament in the November sitting. I have agreed with the Inspector General of the Malawi Police Service that a Crime Committee be instituted in the police service to be chaired by the Deputy Inspector General Mr. Bophani and that he will lead in these investigations,” the President said during a Press Briefing after arriving from USA.
“I have asked that Parliament should meet earlier than November. Tomorrow, Thursday 10th September, 2013, Cabinet will meet and I will receive briefing on these recent developments. I have asked the ACB, Police, NIB and other state organs for regular reports to me on their work and findings on these issues and the nation will be informed of the decisions that I will take after receiving these briefings.”
The President also warned that she would not shield anyone even if they were in her party.
“It is a known fact that the challenge of corruption has been before us for a long time. This fight therefore should be for every Malawian particularly those of us in leadership regardless of our political parties. I am committed to fight corruption and fraud wherever it exists and it will be exposed,” she said
“Those who are resisting change; those who are undermining my efforts and my economic recovery programme; those who are fighting the poor; those who are fighting the principles of a clean government will be exposed wherever they are.
“It is a well known fact that those involved are very few compared to the large number of dedicated civil servants that work hard and are honest. My commitment to all Malawians is that I will serve them and defend their interests, and I will work with the good citizens of this country to root out this evil in order that we may grow and develop into a more prosperous nation, with a better future for all.”
She however, took a swipe at opposition parties leaders for trying to gain mileage from the scandal.
“It is a known fact that the challenge of corruption has been before us for a long time. For Example, under the United Democratic Front (UDF) administration, the Director of Public Prosecutions then, announced that 30% of our national budget was being lost through fraud and corruption,” she said.
“The same was the case under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The recent K61 Billion saga and the K404 million found in the personal bank account of a junior officer in 2011 woke me up to the plunder going on in government.
“ There are reports that the investigations into the K404 million case were stopped by some government officials, and I wish to ask that these investigations resume. It is obvious that huge amounts of public funds have been lost through corruption and theft within the public service, and regrettably this still continuing.”