Presidential Press Secretary Brian Banda announced that President Lazarus Chakwera welcomed the decision by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate allegations that the State House paid Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe more money than was required for the accommodation of some foreign nationals who were in the country recently.
Crossroads Hotel’s management had confirmed (after denying) that it had received a K12.5 million cheque from the government. Allegations the State House has been paying Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe for accommodation of an Israeli national Miguel Elias and three others from July 5 this year. Initially Banda said the State House could not comment on the matter as the issue does not serve the interest of Malawians. He then dismissed the allegations as fake news.
The following day, Banda spoke out; “It has come to the attention of the President that the allegations of abuse of funds at State House will be the subject of an inquiry by the Anti-Corruption Bureau.” he said, “As such, the President welcomes and supports this investigation by an independent law-enforcement agency as the best way to separate facts from fiction on the basis of evidence, so that Malawian people can be assured of the truth from an objective perspective that is free of interference from interested parties,”.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition, Chairperson Gift Trapence, said that the state house must be honest about the matter. “..giving contradicting information is not only raising suspicions, but justifies the allegation as being true”.