Malawi CSOs ring demo warning bell, issue 7-day ultimatum for First Lady to refund NAC money

Civil Society Organizations  (CSOs) have issued a seven-day ultimatum to First Lady Gertrude Mutharika’s Beautify Malawi (Beam) Trust  to refund money  amounting to K5 million she collected from the country National Aids Commission (Nac) to to fund activities that have nothing to do with the fight against the HIV/Aids pandemic or else they will hold mass protests .

CSOs leaders addressing a news conference in Lilongwe, demanding BEAM, Mulakho and NIB to refudn NAC funds

CSOs leaders addressing a news conference in Lilongwe, demanding BEAM, Mulakho and NIB to refudn NAC funds

The ultimatum is also extended to Mulhakho wa Alhomwe, a tribal grouping that President Arthur Peter Mutharika belongs and is its patron as well as the country’s National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) drew a total of K57.4 million from Nac.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday,  the organisations included Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, Malawi Health Equity Network, Malawi Network of People Living with HIV and Aids, Manelera, Centre for the Development of People said  if the money is not refunded in the time given, they will mobilise Malawians and hold countrywide  demonstrations.

“We have for instance noted the first lady Gertrude Mutharika lame excuse to attempt to exonerate herself from NAC-gate by saying she did not use any political influence to get the K5 million. But abusing NAC funds is unacceptable. They should refund the money or else we will demonstrate,” said  CEDEP boss Gift Trapence.

Trapence said that CSOs will write all donors and Global Fund to inform them on the abuse of the Aids money.

Executive Director of Malawi Health Equity Network Martha Kwataine  said “Malawi has suffered too much to tolerate another dimension of cash-gate with the name tag called NAC-gate.”

“If she [Mutharika] thinks the lives of Malawians can be put on hold simply because she wants to promote her trust, then she should think again. We have given her seven days from today, inclusive of Sundays, and if she fails, she will have swallowed a bitter pill. If there is money that should never be tampered with, it is NAC money because Malawi does not contribute a single tambala to NAC.”

CHRR executive director Timothy  Mtambo said Malawians  have right to demonstrate peacefully on matters of concern.

“Madam First Lady should know that NAC has its window where it calls for proposals from institutions and organisations in the HIV and Aids response and not to solicit funds for unrelated activities in the manner that was applied in this case,” he said.

Mtambo said health and specifically AIDS funding in Malawi is mainly donor supported by more than 90%.

“The money is entrusted to government on behalf of all Malawians to reverse the AIDS epidemic. It is given on trust to Malawians for appropriate use as often stipulated in funding conditions. We therefore find it irresponsible for an elected government to abuse its power which would lead to Malawians themselves failing to cope with their already staggering health conditions,” he said.

But in an interview with Nyasa Times, deputy chairperson of the Mutharika Trust, expressed surprise over the manner in which CSOs are handling the issues,  saying it is being blown out of proportion.

Magalasi said his organisation has never been given money in form of grant.

“NAC invited us to come up with the proposal [to get funding],” said Magalasi.

Ironic enough, it is the same NAC which, a few months ago, was asked by Global Fund to refund the unaccounted-for money worth millions of kwacha.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Health chief medical services director Charles Mwansambo told the Parliamentary Committee on Health that NAC is undergoing an audit following reports that it disbursed money to organisations which did not have core HIV programmes, but had links to the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

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Munthu wa Mulungu
Guest

Magwiragwira anuwo mwagwira nawo posagwira. Miyezi 6 yokha mwaba kale so much, nanga kungathere 5 yrs. Ai, apa ndiye mwamwa posamba agalu. Musanza basi. Ufiti, chani kwenikweni?

Vavlov
Guest

Don’t relent on this matter; make sure all funds dubiously obtained from NAC (first lady president,& others) pay back immediately. It is disgusting to see money meant to assist needy people is being misused by first lady, husband, national intelligence bureau and a tribal grouping. Sue these people. NAC should be audited immediately, am sure more funds have been misused. Who is heading, NAC? he should be jailed.

jojo
Guest

The bastards asatisowetse mtendere of special r these guys? Mbava zachabechabe, we are badly disgusted with your powers.

BISM
Guest

Bravo CSO, that is what we expect from you! As for Dr. Collins Magalasi, remeber, you have a career! We have worked together on the UN Perception Survey, please opt out of this!!!! I am advising you as a friend!

True man
Guest

I second the idea abweze apo bii timatcha we are more than ready kumatcha.

LU LU NGINDE
Guest

makape awa abweze dolazo,

NYAKWAWA
Guest

Abweze basi amenewa akuchepera kaba.
Last wk munalamula a Police kuti aphe MDF Soldier mpaka anamuomberadi with your Shoot To Kill Order- “STKO”

NYATWA MJ
Guest

MBAVA IZO ZAGWIDWA ABWEZE

Kamchitete
Guest

Getrude, we dont want to someone dying of gunfire. Dont you also look at yourself as sick person. Makwatilakwatila awa will not take as a mile. Just refund the money or else you will, seven days is not five years. Why did start a trust while pocketless. Too stupid in the middest number one house

big boy
Guest

Bwezani

wpDiscuz

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