Senior Cabinet Ministers on Tuesday held a news conference to explain the current hardships Malawians are going through and responded to civil society organisations petition to President Peter Mutharika to commit as a matter of urgency the challenges facing the country.
The CSOs urged Mutharika to reduce local and international travels; expedite pursuit of justice on the murder of Anti Corruption Bureay (ACB) Director late Issa Njauja as well as other cases including the Robert Chasowa and the July 20 killings.
They further urged Mutharika to swiftly respect and protect media freedom in the country by, among others, resisting temptations aimed at gagging the media, and persuaded him to must sign the much-awaited Table Mountain Declaration, and fully support the enactment of the Access to Information Bill.
Cabinet ministers at the briefing held at the Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe responded to most of the issues raised by CSOs.
Some of the ministers who attended the briefing included Foreign Affairs Minister George Chaponda , Health Minister Peter Kumpalume, Minister of Education Emmanuel Fabiano, Minister of Information Jappie Mhango, Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe, and Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu.
Chaponda said President Mutharika will continue to selectively attend crucial international meetings and dismissed the assertions by CSO’s that the President took a bloated delegation to UN general assembly i n New York.
“The issue about United Nations General Assembly [UNGA] delegation was already clarified by the President, and he has not really been travelling with many people compared to his predecessors,” said Chaponda.
On water and electricity problems, Chaponda said government is working on the challenges regarding that, saying the DPP government inherited huge mess from the former People’s Party (PP) administration.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu tacked the issue of cashgate cases, and said government is not giving amnesty to anybody involved in massive corruption scandal.
Tembenu challenged CSO’s substantiate their claims that the DPP administration is shielding some suspsect in cashgate crackdown.
He said cashgate cases will get to logicall conclusion soon with a hint of further arrests that may involve much talked about ‘bish fish’.
Tembenu said government will table the Access to Information Bill in November this year. He said the bill will allow citizens in the country to access correct information from the state.
Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe said the looting of public money cannot happen now because all loopholes have been sealed at Capital Hill with agovernment currently able to reconcile accounts between the Accountant General’s office and the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).
On the status of the local currency, the Kwacha, Gondwr said Malawi is doing fine to stabilise its currencyas compared to other countries.
Education Minister Emmanuel Fabiano said government needs another source of funds to improve quality of education.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :