The country’s estranged Vice President Saulos Chilima, who is also running mate to Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera in the Tonse alliance has demanded Treasury to release funds amounting to K10 billion for the June 23 court-sanctioned fresh presidential elections as soon as possible insisting that the funds belong to Malawians.
Speaking at Mpamba Trading Centre where he had his second whistle stop on his Nkhatabay campaign trail, Chilima said the funds are tax payers’ money and must be released for the elections to take place on June 23 without postponing it.
His reaction comes almost at the same time that the new Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairman Dr. Chifundo Kachale was lamenting in Lilongwe that Treasury is yet to release about K10 billion short fall.
“We are engaging Treasury but wE are yet to get the funds,” said Kachale who faces a daunting task to execute the court ordered polls on Tuesday with logistic challenges.
President Peter Mutharika, who leads the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has just started full fledged campaign on Wedn but campaign closes this Sunday at 6 am.
But Chilima, who has camped in the northern region campaigning since Sunday, has demanded that funds be released and people vote on Tuesday.
“We know that Parliament approved budgets for this year’s elections and the budget was approved. We hear now that the minister of finance and Secretary to the treasury are saying there’s no money.
“Please listen to me gentlemen, those funds belong to the people of Malawi. Release the funds so people of Malawi can elect a leader of their choice,” said Chilima.
MEC chairperson o Kachale said the commission is committed to being impartial, neutral and independent in its operations and decision-making as provided by the Constitution and subsidiary electoral laws.
Keeping his pledge in engaging stakeholders and approach the process with an open mind to embrace any ideas from stakeholders that will contribute and enhance credibility of the election, Kachale and the Commission will Thursday afternoon appraise Parliament on the challenges they are facing and seek direction on how best to proceed with the election.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :