The tribal grouping, Mulhakho wa Alhomwe (MWA), which is being pressurised to return undisclosed amount of money it received from the National Aids Commission (NAC), has said President Peter Mutharika is not their patron and that in its Constitution there is no position of a patron.
According to Bright Mangulama, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, MWA is completely separate from any government entity or political party.
Mangulama said the grouping was registered under the Trustees Incorporation Act to promote the Lhomwe culture and that it brings together all the Lhomwes across the nation and beyond.
“MWA is a cultural group headed by a Board of Trustees and coordinated by a secretariat on behalf of all Lhomwe people.
“MWA would like to make it clear that in its Constitution, there is no position of a patron and as such MWA does not have a Patron,” said Mangulama.
The grouping received financial support from NAC for the annual Lhomwe celebrations, a development that did not go down well with some civil society organisations, who have subsequently organised nationwide demonstrations asking the grouping and Beautify Malawi Trust of First Lady Gertrude Mutharika to return the money they received from the Commission because they don’t have HIV/AIDs intervention programmes. The Trust is said to have received K5 million grant.
But recently MWA denied to have received cash from the Commission despite requesting K9.4 million from NAC.
Mangulama told the media that they only received services from the Commission, as such they cannot pay back the money as the grouping was also in the dark as to how much was NAC spent during the celebrations.
He therefore said it was disheartening that some people are politicizing and demonising the “noble work” MWA is doing in the fight against HIV/AIDs in the country.
Mangulama said through the support provided by NAC, MWA managed mobilise large number of traditional leaders from the Lhomwe belt and beyond to their October 25 2014 annual gathering.
“The traditional and cultural institution like Mulhakho wa Alhomwe are very crucial in addressing HIV/AIDs prevention strategies.
“As such is disheartening that instead of encouraging cultural groups, such as MWA, to scale up their work in the fight against HIV/AIDs, some CSOs and political leaders would like pull the MWA efforts down,” said Mangulama during a news conference recently.
Members of MWA are distributed across the country, but their population is concentrated in the Shire Highlands districts of Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Phalombe, Thyolo and Zomba, according to Mangulama.
“Coincidentally, HIV/AIDs statistics have shown that these districts have the highest HIV/AIDs prevalence rate,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :