Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Timothy Mtambo has warned President Peter Mutharika’s government against interfering with the National Aids Commission (NAC) business and instead concentrate on addressing the current economic mess.
The remarks comes against newspaper revelations that the First Lady Getrude Mutharika’s Beautify Malawi (Beam) Trust and tribal grouping Mulhako wa Alhomwe in September this year asked for money amounting to about K15 million from National Aids Commission (NAC) to fund activities that have nothing to do with the fight against the HIV/AIDs pandemic.
CHRR executive director Timothy Mtambo condemned the practice, and warned against any external interference in NAC’s efforts to fight HIV and AIDS in the country.
“The move itself confirms our long-held fears that Malawi is failing to progress on many fronts because of ill-advised and misdirected priorities by our leadership,” Mtabo told Weekend Nation which revealed the cash stripping of NAC by the organisations that are connected to the President.
“At a time when Malawi is going through economic turmoil due to, among others, pulling out of donors and other development partners, it is a mockery on our nationhood for government institution that operates on taxpayers resources to consider donating resources to organizations that do not deserve such finding,” said Mtambo.
Mtambo added: “In fact, this is an act of abuse of resources by a public office, but unfortunately, this circus is not peculiar to NAC alone as various statutory bodies have been used as income-generating institutions to finance activities that are only in the interest of the President or a political party in power.”
In an earlier separate interview with Nyasa Times, CHRR boss wondered why the current regime was so preoccupied in interfering with NAC resources to the extent that it seemed to ignore the current economic crisis in the country.
“It is an insult to all Malawians of goodwill, who continue to seek answers and solutions from the current regime on how to come out of the current economic crisis, to hear of such interference. President Mutharika must rise up and address the nation on what steps his government is doing to calm the current storm rather than crippling the already under-funded NAC. His continued silence is making a lot of noise,” argued Mtambo.
NAC is mandated to manage the HIV and Aids national response in the country, but documents seen by Weekend Nation reveal that the First Lady personally wrote the executive director of NAC asking for financial support to launch her initiative on September 13.
The letter was followed by a K5 million invoice to NAC dated September 9 “as being charges for advertising at Beam launch”.
Apart from Beam, documents also reveal that tribal grouping Mulhako wa Alhomwe, whose patron is President Peter Mutharika, also asked for K9.4 million from NAC to cover expenses for its 2014 annual gathering.
The state spy agency through its head Nicholous Dausi has also asked for money from NAC.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :