First Lady Gertrude Mutharika will not return the money her organisation Beautify Malawi (Beam) Trust took from National Aids Commission (NAC) as demanded by civil society organisations (CSOs) in the country, challenging they can go ahead to hold national demonstrations.
The President’s spouse personally wrote a letter to NAC alongside, National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) and Mulhako wa Alomwe asking for funds that had nothing to do with Aids activities.
Mutharika asked for K5 million for her Beam Trust, NIB asked for K43 million while Mulhako wa Alomwe was given K9 million.
The development angered CSOs who gave the First Lady a seven-day ultmultum to return the money or face mass protests.
But the First Lady has challenged the CSOs to go ahead with the demonstrations and she remains adamant that money will not be returned.
BEAM’s board member Mavuto Bamusi said the CSOs threats of demonstrations are empty and meaningless, claiming they are politically inspired.
“The demonstrations are just meaningless. Nethertheless, they can go on with the demonstration but as far as BEAM is concerned, no money will be returned to NAC,” said Bamusi.
Bamusi advised the CSOs to query NAC on how it paid the money to Mutharika’s Trust.
One of the CSO leaders, Martha Kwataine, said the First Lady knew exactly what she was doing when she asked for the funds.
Said Kwataine: “If she [Mutharika] thinks the lives of Malawians can be put on hold simply because she wants to promote her trust, then she should think again. We have given her seven days from today, inclusive of Sundays, and if she fails, she will have swallowed a bitter pill. If there is money that should never be tampered with, it is NAC money because Malawi does not contribute a single tambala to NAC.”
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Timothy Mtambo said the “First Lady should know that NAC has its window where it calls for proposals from institutions and organisations in the HIV and Aids response and not to solicit funds for unrelated activities in the manner that was applied in this case.”
Bamusi said the CSOs leaders are “jealousy” with Mutharika’s Trust.
Minister of Information, Kondwani Nankhumwa, has stressed that government cannot refund money which was taken by independent bodies such as Mulhakho Wa Alhomwe and Beautify Malawi Trust (Beam).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :