Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have disclosed that they are ready to go into dialogue with government on the issues they raised in their petition but have hinted that they will need a high level Capital Hill delegation including President Peter Mutharika.
This was disclosed in Lilongwe on Saturday where Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) addressed the media on various governance issues in the country.
HRDC National Vice Chairperson Gift Trapence said they are open to dialogue but emphasized that it should be based on mutual trust.
“All along, they have been saying that he is busy, busy for what? As CSOs, we are very much ready for dialogue, but we want a high level team from the government side. If he is ready this time around, then we are also ready for the negotiations. If he is not, then we have no choice but to engage him in the street,” he said.
Trapence rubbished off claims that they are being political saying all they want is a leadership that will be able to listen to the views of the people.
Taking his turn, Timothy Mtambo blamed the current leadership of being deaf to the voice of reason labeling it as arrogant.
“This government has been very careless and arrogant from the reason of reason and executive impunity has been the order of the day. This is a group of people which has never been open to discussions regardless of what people are saying. Everything they do is just to enrich them,” he said.
Among other things, the CSOs wanted Mutharika to address issues of 4.2 million theft of diesel at Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi, the K145 million scam involving Malawi Police Service officers, the murders of Anti- Corruption Bureau director of administration Issa Njaunju, The Polytechnic engineering student Robert Chasowa and the abuse of parastatals.
Just recently, alarmed by two companies claiming K53 billion from government, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has demanded the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Fiscal Police and the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) to investigate the matter.
The two suppliers signed a K9 billion contract with the Immigration Department to supply uniforms but failed to honour the deal and are now demanding K53 billion, which is more than five times the agreed amount.
This has moved the coalition to ask responsible government agencies to investigate Batawarara and the award of the contracts under question for possible corruption and fraud.
“Where there is reason to believe that crimes occurred; security agencies should arrest and prosecute suspects,” reads part of the statement.
The group has also threatened that if its demands are not effected it will have no option but to take legal action because “Malawians have watched with dismay certain questionable suppliers shamelessly siphoning billions out of government through dubious claims and inflation of invoices.”
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