Vice-President Saulos Chilima has said he will “name and shame” those who are involved in corruption, ‘tenderprenuers’ and maintained that he will push for the amendment of a constitutional provision that shields a sitting President from criminal prosecution, saying removing the immunity will deter the presidency to commit corrupt crimes.
Chilima, who on Saturday launched United Transformation Movement (UTM), the ticket he will use to contest in next year’s presidential race, said the naming and shaming of those who are thieving tax-payers money will be done as he rolls out his program of engaging the electorate. Next stop is Blantyre rally on Saturday.
He said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which he recently dumped, is riddled with corruption, nepotism and cronyism.
Chilima, who remains State vice president until May 21 elections, says if nothing is done to control corruption in Malawi, the country may be left penniless come next year.
“K145 million payout to DPP and the President is just a tip of the iceberg; there is more rot in government. In days to come I will expose more corrupt activities happening including in the procurement of gensets for Escom,” said Chilima, 45, who was handpicked by President Peter Mutharika to run alongside him in 2014 presidential race on DPP ticket.
“It is because of the rot that we are seeing all over that we are launching UTM,” Chilima said.
“We should not allow people to continue treating us like fools. Everyone should have a bright future regardless of where they come from or the political party they support.”
The ruling DPP has been plagued by calls from civil society organisations (CSOs) for President Mutharika to resign after a leaked report by the Anti-Corruption Bureau accused Mutharika of benefiting K145 million ( $195,000 ) from Zameer Karim of Pioneer Investment , whose firm is being investigated on a contract to supply food to the police.
“May I call on those who have stolen government money to start paying that back. Next year, we will only give an amnesty of 30 days for all those to pay back our money,” he said.
In his speech, Chilima appealed to Malawians to vote for UTM in next year’s watershed polls to do away with corruption, nepotism and unnecessary killings. He promises merit-based promotions in the civil service.
He warned that he would make sure that bigger thieves looting public coffers will see jail time instead of petty thieves who are languishing in the country’s prisons.
“We have people who are in prison at the moment for minor offences, some of them for stealing chickens. We will release them all and replace them with these real thieves…,” Chilima said.
Chilima claimed that government has bought a spy machine to spy on the citizens.
“We know you also want to use this machine to tamper with next year’s election; try all you can to do that, we will face each other come May 2019,” he challenged.
Chilima said UTM has been established to accomplish two goals; redeem the country from destruction and widespread corruption and rebuild a new Malawi where everyone will have opportunity to thrive without looking at the tribe one comes from.
“We are not afraid. People should not fear. This country is for everyone. Those of you hiding come out and join us. We only fear God and just respect people. We need to act fast to redeem the country because if nothing is done this country will have nothing by next year,” he emphasized.
Chilima said UTM will reform the governance system in the country and seal all loopholes where money is stolen.
“Enough is enough. Malawians have been robbed and abused for too long,” he declared.
Many influential politicians and individuals also graced the launch, signifying that UTM has totally shaken the political landscape in Malawi.
Notable people who have joined movement and attended the launch included Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya, former First Lady Shanil Dzimbiri, popular musician Lucius Banda, former deputy speaker Loveness Gondwe and many Members of Parliament (MP) from Malawi Congress Party (MCP), DPP and other parties.
Msowoya, Shanil and Lucius endorsed Chilima to lead UTM, saying he is the “only hope for Malawi”.
In his speech, Msowoya said many people and MPs have been approaching him to join the movement.
Msowoya said he and Chilima have been in talks for the past four years on how to rescue Malawi from underdevelopment and high levels of corruption and theft of state resources.
He said it is therefore not a surprise that they have decided to work together to transform the nation through UTM.
Msowoya cited the many foundation stones being laid for development projects, saying they are cash cows to siphon money from government.
“We are robbing the country of development because of greed… I will help you (Vice President) to win next year’s elections and there are a lot of MPs that are behind the movement and nobody will tamper with the elections results ;we know how to put that in check,” said Msowoya.
He added: “We must put an end to the tendency of initiating development projects just to siphon money from government. This will not take us anywhere.”
Balaka North member of Parliament Lucius Banda, who has withdrawn from United Democratic Front (UDF) leadership race, also spoke to endorse Chilima.
“There comes a time that one needs to forget about his tribe and all affiliations to fight for true and meaningful change… We fought for multiparty democracy and here we are,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :