UTM Party presidential candidate Saulos Klaus Chilima has dared government to bring out whatever dirt it has on him, saying he would not be cowed into silence after he spokes against abuse of public resources to fund the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) election campaign.
Addressing a record crowd at Chikonde Primary School Ground in Neno on Wednesday, Chilima said his warning to Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) on Sunday was based on solid evidence.
Chilima, who is also the country’s Vice-President but quit DPP last June to launch his presidential bid, was reacting to a government statement signed by Information and Communication Technology Minister Henry Mussa which threatened to expose the UTM leader for alleging that the two public bodies were sponsoring DPP activities in the build-up to the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
“Go ahead with bringing out my skeletons from the cupboard if there are any. If anyone thinks I will be scared by that threat they are dreaming. I will continue to speak out against theft because this is the people’s money.
“ We all pay taxes and it is not fair that one group should be monopolising public resources,” he told the ululating crowd that attended the televised rally.
Chilima insisted that he had overwhelming evidence that DPP regional governors for the South and Centre were fuelling their vehicles using fuel cards from the two bodies, saying he had the numbers for the cards involved.
The Vice President bemoaned Neno’s state of underdevelopment, saying the area had enormous potential to develop if government invested in various areas, including a good road network.
“This area is very beautiful and I have seen that the people here are not lazy. They want to work hard to develop themselves. All they need is a government that is committed to giving them the support they need,” he said.
He promised to transform the district if people of Neno give him and the UTM the nod in next month’s elections and construct a durable road to Neno to ease mobility and seamlessly connect the district to the rest of the country.
Before the main rally, Chilima held Imbizo meetings at Chifunga, Magaleta, Ligowe and Kundembo.
Meanwhile, as a result of Chilima’s revelations on the fuel cards abuse, Treasury has instructed MRA and Macra to stop buying fuel from Puma Energy Malawi.
Inside sources said after the embarrassing revelations of the abuse of fuel cards, government suspects that it was Puma Energy officials who ‘leaked’ the information to the Vice President.
“It’s true we have been directed to stop buying fuel from Puma Energy Malawi with immediate effect,” said the source.
During the rally, Chilima, who is the first presidential hopeful to address a rally in the district after Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) launched the 60-day official campaign period, lobbied people in the district to vote for him as President and UTM Party councillors and members of Parliament.
Speaking earlier, group village head Donda said Neno is still lagging behind in development. The chief cited a lack of district council offices, district secondary school and community colleges as examples that the district is not developed.
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