APM Appoints Nankhumwa as interim Leader of House as Financial Crimes Bill is passed

naState President of the Republic of Malawi Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has appointed Kondwani Nankhumwa as interim Leader of Government business in the Malawi National Assembly with immediate effect, it has been learnt
Speaker of the house Richard Msowoya made the announcement when the House resumed deliberations on Wednesday afternoon.
Nankhumwa’s appointment follows a High court ruling suspending Dr George Chaponda from discharging his duties as Minister of Agriculture over his alleged involvement in the importation of maize from Zambia by the country’s grain marketer ADMARC to pave way for investigations.
Besides his ministerial position Chaponda also doubled as Leader of the House.
Speaking to the local media, Nakhumwa, who is also Local Government Minister, expressed gratitude to President Mutharika for “the honour”, promising not to “let the appointing authority, down”.
“This clearly shows trust and confidence the president has in me and I know the only way I can, wholly, thank him is to work to his satisfactory,” he said.
Nankhumwa has been deputizing the embattled George Chaponda as Leader of the House.
Msowoya also informed legislators that his office now has a copy of the High Court ruling on the matter.
He explained that following the meeting of the Business Committee it was agreed that questions to the State President by the Leader of the People’s Party Uladi Mussa be forwarded to the President’s office adding that the House would be informed accordingly on any development.
According to the Speaker one of the resolutions of the Business Committee is the presentation of the Mid Year budget statement by the Minister of Finance Goodal Gondwe on 17th February.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Joint Committees of the Budget and Legal Affairs Maxwell Thyolera has presented a detailed report of the findings and recommendations of the Financial Crimes Bill.
Among others the Bill seeks to repeal the Money Laundering proceeds of serious crimes and terrorist financing Act and establish a Financial Intelligence Authority which will investigate, trace identify and freeze proceeds from crime in the country.
The Financial Intelligence Authority will replace the current Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
According to the two Committees in its current form the legislation is not in tandem with international standards hence Malawi risks being blacklisted from international financial systems.
The establishment of an independent Financial Intelligence Authority would have powers to investigate suspicious financial transactions in real estates and gambling among other areas.
The Financial Crimes Bill provides punitive and deterrent penalties going as far as K500million and 10 years imprisonment for offenders.
After lengthy debate on the legislation the house finally passed the Financial Crimes Bill.mbc