Kapito denies bribery claims, says Malawi demos on

Government critic and consumer rights activist John Kapito, the man behind the planned January 17 2013 demonstrations in Malawi, has sharply denied that he has pocked money from government to suspend or cancel their protests.

The allegations came about following a revealing mobile text (SMS) Minister of Information and Civic Education, Moses Kunkuyu purportedly sent to some members of the media on Monday morning, urging them to attend Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) news conference and witness a ‘surprise’ he had planned.

It was also reported that Kunkuyu had a hand in the pullout of the organising committee’s spokesperson, Kingsley Mabalani who held a news conference at Capital City Motel in Lilongwe on Friday, which raised eyebrows as well.

There was also drama at the news conference in Blantyre on Monday where chairperson for the Southern Region organising committee for the demonstrations, comedian MacXiting Mdoka, suggested dialogue should be given a chance and that he was pulling out of the demonstrations.

Kapito: I cannot be silenced

But Kapito, who is executive director of Cama, said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times on Tuesday that he cannot be corrupted.

“I wish to category state that I John Kapito has and will never get any bribe from anyone and that includes Government,” said Kapito.

“I am a human rights activist who will never stoop so low to get any Government appointment and resources with a hope to be silenced in my continued fight and defense of the poor and I know that the Government is aware that I am above that,” he said.

“I have worked for the public service for six years and been an activist for the past twenty years and during the period I have always been a strong critic of leadership on matters that I understood and believed that were infringing on people’s rights and got myself arrested and continue to be persecuted,” he added.

Kapito said his activism is not motivated by monetary gains nut I do “the passion that I have for the many vulnerable people in Malawi and will continue doing so.”

He said: “I have never feared to speak out  the truth and advise the state or any duty bearer about their obligations in ensuring that people’s rights are promoted and protected at all times  and I will remain and continue doing so as long as live   “

Kapito has stressed that consumers were ready to take to the streets come January 17.

He has since accused government for orchestrating the pull out of Mdoka, Mabalani and 10 others by palm-oiling them with cash.

The Cama boss said poverty has made Mabalani and Mdoka to walk out on him.

He then jokingly said he is happy that now Mabalani is out of poverty after pocketing something from government.

Kapito said despite the pullout of the members, the committees in all regions are still intact.

In Northern Region the organising committee is chaired by Nsenga Mlungu and in the Central Region its Hebrews Misomali and Ben Chiza Mkandawire who are heading the committee while in Eastern Region its Jessie Kabwila.

The consumer advocate said the demonstrations are their “last resort” because President Joyce Banda has said her administration cannot reverse floatation of the kwacha; she cannot declare her assets; and she cannot stop frequent local and external travels, the main issues of their call to protest.

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