Outspoken Rumphi East member of Parliament (MP) Kamlepo Kalua has expressed his views against plans by civil society organisations (CSOs) to hold nationwide protests on April 27 2018 to express displeasure with government’s handling of the K4 billion allocation to members of Parliament (MPs), saying the mass euphoria is driven by ‘distorted’ information “just to bring chaos among the peace loving Malawians.”
The CSOs led by Human Rights Defenders Forum (HRDF) chairperson Timothy Mtambo, his deputy Gift Trapence, Robert Phiri of PAC and Charles Kajoloweka of Youth and Society (YAS), said their decision to hold mass protests follows inconsistencies, illegality and a cloud of suspicion that characterised the K4 billion ‘miracle money’ pay-out that raises governance and accountability questions.
Through the demonstrations, which the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera are supporting, the CSOs want to force cancellation of disbursement of of the K4 billion fund, and push for the resignation or dismissal of Cabinet ministers Goodall Gondwe (Finance, Economic Planning and Development) and Kondwani Nankhumwa (Local Government and Rural Development) over their roles in the scam.
But in his comment, Kalua who is also People’s Party (PP) third vice-president, said when Gondwe presented to Parliament the K4 billion funding as stipulated in Public Financial Act, MPs both in opposition lead by Chakwera and governing party led by Nankhumwa deliberated , amended and passed the bill to have all 193 Constituencies benefit from the quick grant
“The spending now became a law after all the Parliamentary processes were followed and the bill passed by all Members of Parliament as stipulated in the Supreme Laws of the Land (Constitution),” argues Kalua in his comment.
“Hours later, we heard the Leader of Opposition (Chakwera) who played a bigger role to pass the bill than all the parties that are represented in Parliament considering that his party has many MPs than other parties, demanding the resignation of the Finance Minister and Local Government Minister respectively. A few days later our usual NGOs who plays the opposition role in the name of Mr Timothy Mtambo and Mr Gift Trapence calling for the same making many Malawians to beginning wondering and doubting their fairness on the two ministers in question that leaves a lot to be desired,” reads the comment piece by Kalua.
According to Kalua, there are more questions than answers to the K4 billion proposal which is yet to be disbursed.
“ Where was opposition when this bill was being passed?Who amended and passed the bill when the Finance Minister presented it in Parliament? What did Hon.Chakwera do after seeing that the bill was not good to the nation. When did they (opposition) saw that it was wrong?
“If the bill was wrong but passed by the same opposition, how could Malawians entrust the opposition with their vote to run the country if they can pass bills they don’t understand or if they are not conversant with the running of the government affairs? Where were the NGOs when this bill was being debated on and passed? Do our NGOs familiar with the parliamentary proceedings of not? Are our NGOs ( Mr Timothy Mtambo and Mr Gift Trapence )aware that Hon.Chakwera and his Members are the ones that amended and passed the bill after the presentation due to their numerical numbers in Parliament?”
Kalua further wondered: “Is Mr Mtambo and his friend telling the nation that the bill was presented and passed by the two ministers in question? Can Mr Mtambo and Mr Trapence convince the nation on the criteria followed to single out the 2 Ministers only to resign instead of the whole parliament that authorized the bill which was lead by the Opposition Leader in Parliament?
“Can Hon. Lazarus Chakwera and the NGOs he is using come in the open and lecture the malawians on the law that was broken or not followed in passing the 4 billion kwacha bill and why the leader of opposition supported the bill and only to change tune hours later?”
Kalua said the CSOs should convince the nation on why they are not demanding the resignation of the opposition leader while they are pretty aware that.Chakwera led his MPs to have the bill amended and passed in Parliament.
According to Kalua, the questions are being asked by the people who follow political and social activities and the Malawians who love their country who are beginning to read between lines on the conduct of the leaders of the CSOs planning the demonstrations.
He accused Mtambi and Trapence of “selective justice” on the matter, saying they have a vandeta against the Peter Mutharika led fovernment and their bias towards the opposition by paying a blind eye to the role opposition played in amending and passing the very same bill they claim to be bad.
“Those were the very old days when Malawians were following you blindly and not now. Malawians are able to differentiate between the constructive opposition and destructive opposition while monitoring the behavior of the NGOs that are promoting the interests of opposition,” reads the write up by Kalua.
Presidential adviser on Non-Governmental Organisations Mavuto Bamusi backed Kalua, saying he has asked plausible questions.
The demonstrations are set to be held under the theme For How Long Shall Malawians Continue To Be Taken for Granted? Loss of Public Trust in the Current Administration: Time to Reclaim Our Destiny.
The CSOs argue that the K4 billion allocation is illegal and not in the best interest of Malawians, hence the need to immediately cancel it.
Capital Hill has long argued that the money, described as Quick Grant Project, is meant for rural development but Treasury indicates that the money has not been disbursed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :