National Civil Society Consultative Forum for Global Fund on Tuesday fired its chairman Lucky Mbewe accusing him of single handedly issuing a statement that withdrew a petition the grouping issued last week which accused Action Aid of being corrupt in the way how it is managing Global Fund resources.
In a joint statement released on Tuesday in Lilongwe, the Forum has replaced Mbewe with Nathan Chabuka of Collective Action for Sustainable Community Development (CASCOD), who has already started his work.
This decision to fire Mbewe was made at a meeting the Forum convened on Tuesday at which the members stressed to remain resolute and committed to the cause that has started and are happy with the progress and support received national wide.
In their statement, the Forum said they are cognizant of the fact that the former chairperson was forced to unilateral retract and withdraw the petition because he was being singled out with threats by Action Aid and other partners.
The CSOs recognise that Mbewe has done a lot of advocacy issues and is a strong leader but the mere fact that he has withdrawn after threats and intimidation from several quarters who would want to suppress the truth, speaks volumes to what they are fighting for.
The Forum has stated that the issues they raised not coming from Mbewe personally or as representative of his organization, the Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education (CYECE) but rather collectively as organizations party to the Forum.
“To this effect, Mr. Mbewe is no longer the chairperson of the Forum as his participation into the whole process as we have noted, has given other forces an alibi to wage a personal war and vendetta against him and his organization.
“We remain indebted to the insights from CYECE and information that has been a benchmark of the work,” the statement said.
Sammy Aaron of Action Hope Malawi has been appointed as his deputy chairperson.
“We remain resolute and committed to the cause and we are happy that the movement has received tremendous support national wide. We will use this support to continue voicing out our demands without fear.
“We have noted that some people who might have benefited or contributed to the mismanagement of the implementation of Global Funds in Malawi have resorted to threats, intimidation so that we stop the truth from coming out.
“We note that soon after the Civil Society Forum statement, activities that were not implemented in the 2016-17 cycle have now started being carried out. We have also noticed there are some small section of the youth being paraded at this point in time to misinform Malawians that our concerns are baseless,” reads the statement in part.
The Forum says one of major concern is when International NGOs, which are principle recipient of the funds decide to become implementers of the Global Fund instead of sub-contracting which is also very clear in the role of governing the work of NGOs in Malawi.
“Where they are sub-contracting, only International NGOs are being contracted and sidelining majority of local organizations in Malawi. We wonder why Action Aid or any other Development partner would ignore our demand for forensic audit for how the global funds have been implemented.
“We strongly believe that there is no justification on how either Action Aid or Plan Malawi would show impact of over MK8 billion spent within three months in 11 communities of Lilongwe alone and to date there is nothing to show for all that investment,” the statement says.
The Forum has since urged the County Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) or Development Partners to refrain from shielding people and international NGOs from scrutiny.
“This shows biasness as the demand for accountability on local NGOs and governments when it comes to issues of accountability has been different. We would like to remind those trying to target individuals and Forum members with threats, insults and intimidation that we will not stop because of their threats.
“We caution them that should anything happen to any member of the Forum we will hold them accountable.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :