Mutharika opens Parliament, cautions MPs on accountability

President Peter Mutharika has asked Members of Parliament (MPs) to be accountable to the people they represent.

President Mutharika said this on Friday in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) during the opening the 47th session of Parliament in Lilongwe.

Mutharika said he is aware of reports that some MPs are abusing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

He stressed that the fund is for the people as it is meant for development projects in the constituencies.

Mutharika questioned the integrity of MPs who are abusing the fund and end up accusing his Government of corruption.

He said Parliament needs to be accountable to other Government institutions.

“Something is tragic with a democracy in which those who think are watchdogs also think they must be accountable to no one.

“In any human society, in any democracy, no institution must be accountable to no one,” Mutharika suggested.

Mutharika said his Government will punish Controlling Officers who abuse Government funds.

“Follow the Public Finance Management Act, the Public Procurement Act, and other laws or face dire consequences,” Mutharika warned.

An audit conducted in 2016 showed that 20 Members of Parliament misused about K80 million from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in their respective areas.

The stolen money was out K3 billion given to 16 district councils under CDF.

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