Former First Lady Callista Mutharika has condemned the DPP-led government for attaching nepotism and one’s political connections when allocating and distributing resources for implementing infrastructural development projects.
Mutharika made the remarks in the heat of a debate the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust organised for parliamentary candidates in Lilongwe West Constituency on Monday.
The former First Lady is representing the UTM Party in the May 21 tripartite elections.
Apparently, the former First Lady made the pronouncement when quizzed on why she never took advantage of being her status during the Bingu wa Mutharika era to facilitate development to the area, which she calls her home.
She admitted that some sections of the country are enjoying unfairly advantage in development projects at the expense of others who do not have personal/political connections or relationship with duty-bearers in government.
“When I was First Lady, I was not in Cabinet. Let me say that we have some here who are general managers and chief executives and the question I should ask is: do their spouses participate in decision-making in their husbands’ or wives’ respective institutions?’ I believe the answer is ‘NO’ and the same applies to the status of the First Lady,” she said while attracting applause from the audience.
Five out of seven candidates participated in the debate that attracted a huge crowd. However, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and People’s Party (PP) candidates abstained.
The community members sought assurance from the candidates on whether the projects that have been initiated during the campaign will be sustained beyond May 21 irrespective of the outcome of the polls.
The community members were drawing lessons from the past experience where ambulance services were withdrawn or free maize mills closed and removed from some constituencies following the loss of some candidates.
Among the sticky questions was that of illegal party structures for development programs by members of parliament instead of the conventional development structures set up through the decentralisation policy and local government act.
This was observed to be common among most MPs, especially where they and their councilors were of different party affiliations.
This question directly touched on the power struggle between some members of parliament and councilors.
The debate was, among other things, used to remind and orient the constituents on how to tick or mark correctly on the ballot paper and was funded by the German Embassy.
NICE regional civic education officer for the central region Christopher Naphiyo applauded the candidates for respecting the invitation to sell their manifestos to their prospective voters.
He urged them to engage in a civilized and healthy debate and show their supporters that peaceful co-existence was possible although they belonged to different political parties emphasizing that this had to continue to the end of the campaign period as well as beyond polling day.
Most importantly he pleaded with all registered voters to ensure that they cast their vote on 21May since the right to choose their representatives is very crucial for the growth of democracy in the country.
He applauded them for their good show in the 2014 tripartite elections when the constituency registered a null and void percentage of under one percent.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :