Government has lambasted claims made by Opposition People’s Party (PP) that the State President His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and his administration induced the assertions by the former PP executive member, Mr. Oswald Lutepo, in a recent radio interview that the former State President, Dr. Joyce Banda was, while in power, the mastermind of the legendary pilferage of public resources, christened as Cashgate.
Minister of Information Tourism and Culture Kondwani Nankhumwa blasted the claims through a Press Statement issued on Monday, saying the best response to such claims would have been silence because that is what nonsense in the civilized world deserves.
“It is not true that the State President, by himself or by his agent, influenced directly or indirectly any pronouncement that Mr. Lutepo has made, is making and will be making, if at all, because there is no need, existent or imaginary, for doing so.
“Mr. Lutepo is a bonafide citizen of Malawi. On that basis he qualifies to enjoy all rights provided naturally by birth and guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic. These rights include his freedom to hold views and express them. He does not need the indulgence of a Head of State to hold or make them. If the allegations by the PP are a suggestion that under their administration a Head of State would interfere with peopleâ€™s views, let them be told without any equivocation that the current Head of State is different â€“ he does not interfere with peopleâ€™s process of thought”, reads in part the statement.
Adds the statement: “Mr. Lutepo is an adult and of sound mind. We have no reason to doubt that he is in control of himself or his views. Unless we are shown evidence to suggest otherwise, we take the view that Mr. Lutepo knows what he is doing and is fully responsible for his actions and utterances.
“In any case, the PP themselves displayed confidence in Mr. Lutepo being sound by entrusting him with a senior responsibility of their party as Director of Resource Mobilisation. They could not have given such an enormous task to someone with incoherent character. Further, the PP have confirmed on several occasions receipt of resources, including donation of vehicles, from Mr. Lutepo. They could not have received these donations without question if they found him wanting in terms of believability as they want to portray him now”.
PP spokesperson Ken Msonda told Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) on Sunday that Lutepo was being pressurised by the DPP regime to implicate Banda or else face arrest alongside his family.
â€œMr. Lutepo is an angry, frustrated person who is under pressure by the DPP government to implicate Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda”, Msonda was quoted.
The looting of public funds at Capitol Hill came to light in September last year when unknown thugs shot former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo.
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