I listened to Dr. Ken Lipenga, calling the transaction of K15 billion unethical and in bad taste. But I heard him say he does not understand why he needs to resign. I respect Dr. Ken Lipenga, but he no longer has the trust of Malawians. The longer he stays at the Ministry of Finance, the whole country will stop trusting even President Joyce Banda's ability to make crucial decisions in certain matters.
K15 billion borrowed on behalf of already over taxed Malawians, then repaid with interest and be cheated all over and all over again, does not seem to be a joke for any serious minded administration. Some of us questioned some appointments at the beginning, we were asked to give her time.
This is a Minister of Finance who has been in office for nine months and wants to shift blame to Lloyd Muhara and Joseph Mwananvekha.
If he indeed did not know about it, even after Mnesa spoke about it, then we have a serious flow in our treasury. We have a Minister who is not in control and after discovering it, all the key staff at the Ministry and MRA remain in office.
If he discovered it before the CABs meeting, he should have suspended everyone involved and announced a formal investigation. He did 'a personal investigation."
Unfortunately, all his explanations do not make sense. He claims the mid term review budgets were given to him in September but the money was borrowed on 30th and 31st December 2011. Does this mean he went to Parliament without proof of Money in the Bank.
If he indeed went to Parliament without knowledge or proof of what he was telling Malawians, how does President Joyce Banda trust that man to run our coffers.
Then George Mnesa raised it on 16th February, 2012. I earlier on submitted that the whole budget is false. The President is spending money which is not there, there is no money to do anything as K20 billion does not really exist from that budget. It was a lie, a blue a lie that Dr. Lipenga kept as a secret.
Khwauli Msiska followed up 14 days later with a motion, I am still transcribing the Hansard where Lipenga in his own words said Mnesa's allegations were not true at all.
I wish he had allowed the investigation as called for Khwauli Msiska, he could have been claiming he did not know about it. Such serious allegations worth K15 billion should have raised alarm but he is an accomplice unless he produces contrary to what he told Capital Radio today.
By refusing to resign Dr. Lipenga has shifted the question to State House. What will President Joyce Banda do? Dr. Lipenga is openly displaying the same defiance the DPP was known for. The DPP never accepted responsibility and always found a scapegoat in media, civil society, donors or even religious leaders.
Dr. Lipenga is blaming everybody in his Ministry and MRA but him.
The problem now has become Joyce Banda's.
Her Minister of Finance has lost public trust. Any day he continues to be in Cabinet, means the President condones, accepts or trusts the Minister more than Malawians sentiments. Every second is a public relations disaster to her image and new Government.
Dr. Lipenga presenting her next budget will raise more difficult questions, as everyone will not believe what he will be telling us, even if it is the truth.
The problem with trust, is that Malawians already lost in Government, they gave lukewarm optimism to JB administration and this weeks devaluation is not yet out of their minds as fuel and other things are yet to get up soon.
The challenge will be to start asking the competence of President Joyce Banda.
Some are planning a demonstration at Parliament if Dr. Ken Lipenga does not resign, others want fresh elections to elect a Government without any DPP elements as is the case now.
The point now is to President Joyce Banda, if K15 billion cannot get Minister Lipenga a boot, what will? I might start thinking early elections will bring a vote of confidence in the system. I am sure nobody will vote the blue blood!
Dr. Lipenga is making it hard for JB!