Chilima no show at Plan International meet

Vice President Saulos Chilima on Tuesday was forced to stay away from presiding over a Plan International function in Lilongwe following pressure from various commentators that the organisation was damaging it’s image by associating with a man who is currently being accused of corruption.

“Crippled” Vice President Saulosi Chilima
Plan International released a program ahead of its function showing Chilima as the guest of honour. It was not yet clear whether Chilima decided on his own to stay away or Plan International decided to drop him after an outcry mainly from social media.
Some reports indicated that the Vice President was at the time of the Plan function was also having a meeting with graft busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) interrogators over allegations that he might have received huge sums of money and other gifts from corruption suspect Zuneth Sattar.
ACB failed to interrogate Chilima on Friday last week because his house was surrounded by UTM cadres who also blocked the entrance to the Vice President’s Area 43 residence to prevent the graft busting body officers from interrogating Chilima.
Chilima is facing unprecedented calls for resignation after his name appeared on two reports; that of the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency and ACB suggesting he might have benefitted immensely from illicit corrupt money from Sattar.
Chilima denies the allegations and says he will talk much about the issue on Friday.
When Plan announced its intention to have Chilima at the meeting a number of social media commentators questioned the international organisations whether this was a subtle message that it was behind the Vice President regardless of his current situation.
One social media commentator Edwin Mandala answering to Plan’s Facebook post wrote: “How about the Corruption allegations the Guest  is facing? Sad to see such a highly reputable organisation like you  associating yourselves with Corruption. A middle finger to Malawians.”
According to an announcement at the event by the organisers, the Veep was engaged with other more pressing issues.
The meeting could have been the Veep’s first public function a week after the corruption allegations against him came were confirmed and President Lazarus Chakwera withheld delegation of powers to his Vice.
The function is the launch of study of Education Investments in Middle East, Eastern and Southern Africa Region Report: Gaps and Opportunities Towards Sustainable Financing Beyond GPE Commitments.
The research on Financing Education in MEESA provides analysis on the extent to which the education sector budgets and policy frameworks are adequate, gender and disability-inclusive and responsive to climate change education.
It also provides policy recommendations that stakeholders in the education sector can pursue to attain the global commitments-GPE and SDGs.
The study was commissioned by Plan International and assessed education sector budgets of 10 countries in the MEESA region – Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Tanzania, Egypt, Somalia and Rwanda.

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