The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has written State Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima reminding the Second Citizen about the promise he made during the campaign period that he would support needy public university students, fight corruption, and reform the public sector.
CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, through a letter dated December 16, 2021, says Chilima’s second term of office came against promises contained in his UTM party manifesto, which made Malawians to believe that it was consolidated to form part of the Tonse Alliance manifesto.
Namiwa cites that the promise to support needy students in public universities was such a unique promise that touched millions of the youth and this this inspired them to vote for President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera as a presidential candidate, and Chilima himself as his running mate.
“CDEDI would like to bring to your attention that your decision to join mainstream politics brought high hopes among the youth and other sectors of the society, who had given up on the political leadership in the country. It is therefore, a foregone conclusion that many young people look up to you as the agent of change which they have been expecting.
“As you are reading this letter, many youths look up to you as a role model. Sadly, almost two years down the line, over a thousand needy students are at the verge of withdrawing from the public universities due to lack fees, hundreds have already withdrawn from college, while scores of others have had their examination results withheld, and in worst case scenarios, some have been denied to sit for their final examinations due to outstanding balances. This is contrary to what you promised them, sir,” reads the letter in part.
It adds, “Right Hon. Chilima, how do we begin to think of agenda 2063 when today only the elite and the rich have access to tertiary education? We at CDEDI would like to believe that whatever you promised prior to the court sanctioned June 23, 2020 Fresh Presidential Elections (FPE), was in a way a social contract with Malawians, therefore, it is only fair and proper to report back whether you have changed tune or not.”
Namiwa further claims that Malawians are shocked with the sudden silence on the fight against corruption, when previously you took the lead as a whistleblower, exposing all the malpractices during the immediate past Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime.
He says Malawians have been waiting with baited breath to hear and see you zeroing in on the serious allegations made by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) former Member of Parliament (MP) for Kasungu, Alex Major, to the effect that top government and State House officials, including some Cabinet ministers, have become instant billionaires.
“You may wish to know that you raised a lot of hopes in Malawians, as someone who was poised to eradicate corruption in the country. Your sudden silence however, has vindicated your critics, some of whom are claiming that you have joined the bandwagon of celebrating the plunder of public resources which the country is witnessing under the Tonse Alliance government, where you are the second in command.
“Thus far, CDEDI would like to seize this opportunity sir, to challenge you to make public the contents of the pact you signed publicly with Dr. Chakwera at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in April 2020,” continues the letter.
Namiwa says it is evident that Malawians feel betrayed that President Chakwera commissioned a high-powered team, with you sir, as it is team leader, to undertake a public sector review, whose results up to now only you and your boss know about.
“Needless to say that tax payers’ money was involved in the course of the review and that such a decision was made publicly, it is taking Malawians for granted to keep such findings under wraps. If you are the very same energetic and vibrant leader Malawians voted for as their Vice President in the previous two elections, sir, then CDEDI is very optimistic that Malawians will hear from you on the issues we have raised, in the shortest practical period,” he concludes.
In brief response, the spokesperson in the Office of the Vice President, Pilirani Phiri, said he would forward the letter to the VP at an appropriate time.
“I have seen the letter just now. I will take it to the attention of the VP and at an appropriate time there will be a reaction or comment,” said Phiri.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :