University of Malawi political science professor, Blessings Chinsinga, has queried parliamentarian and wealthy businessman Harry Mkandawire for his reasons for resigning from his position as vice president (northern region) of former governing People’s Party (PP), saying Mkandawire is continuing with the trend of political realignment for self-aggrandisement.
Mkandawire has said he has resigned from his position but remains PP member, claiming that he can no longer serve a party that is linked to the plunder of public resources known as Cashgate.
He told reporters that there was no serious effort from the party’s leadership to clear its name from the Cashgate scandal which occurred when it was in power between 2012 and 2014. The plunder, according to national audits, indicate that they started in 2005 under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rule.
Chinsinga commenting on the resignation said Mkandawire could have resigned sometime back when the issue of Cashgate was new if he was sincere with his claims.
“I am very surprised because the party leader [Joyce Banda] tried to explain her side on the matter. It is not strange because he is being optimistic by buying political favours,” said Chinsinga.
He said it is obvious that most politicians want to have connections in government for their businesses to survive because they are assured of getting contracts.
There are reports that Mkandawire met President Peter Mutharika and he was promised a cabinet post but was sidelined in the recent cabinet reshuffle.
The parliamentarian is also reported to be under pressure to seek amnesty over reports of possible prosecution on timber smuggling in Chikangawa forest and tax dodging crimes.
He is reportedly also seeking business favours from government and the move is set to open up his “political bidding.”
PP’s spokesperson Ken Msonda said the party learnt about Mkandawire’s resignation through the media.
“I cannot comment on the matter,” said Msonda.
Before being appointed PP vice president (northern region), Mkandawire was the party’s treasure general and his position was taken by Ephraim Mganda Chiume, the former Foreign Affairs Minister.
Mkandawire, who once served as UDF north regional governor, dumped DPP when he was arrested on political motivated charges after criticising late President Bingu wa Mutharika for promoting tribalism by championing a controversial university quota system.
He was DPP director of political affairs and governor of Northern province but at the height of DPP’s autocracy, he wrote a critical open letter questioning Mutharika’s endorsement of the quota system in which students were selected for university on the basis of district or region rather than merit.
Mkandawire also raised concerns about undermining the rule of law as a result of Wa Mutharika’s backing of the system, despite a Malawi High Court order outlawing it.
He was arrested for alleged sedition.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :