Three civil society organisations (CSOs) on Friday met Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe on the controversial K4 billion payout to legislators, and have stuck to their guns they that the transaction was fraudulent therefore the fiscal chief must resign together with accomplice Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa.
The CSOs—Youth and Society (YAS), Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR)— have accused Gondwe of “executive incompetence.”
Speaking at a news conference on Friday activists Gift Trapence, Timothy Mtambo, Happy Mhango, Billy Mayaya and Charles Kajoloweka described the whole affair as an insult to Malawians.
According to the statement, read by Billy Mayaya, the CSOS described the phenomenon as a “state sponsored money laundering scheme.”
The K4 billion issue—that initially saw 86 legislators mostly affiliated to the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its working partners getting about K40 million each—came to the fore during the Mid-Year Budget Review Meeting of Parliament in February after the Malawi News first exposed it.
Capital Hill has argued that the money, described as Quick Grant Project, is meant for rural development, but the CSOs feel Gondwe’s conduct on the matter is not only beneath his resume, but a huge betrayal to citizens’ trust in him as the country’s purse keeper.
During the presser, Mtambo said they thought they would get a “proper clarification” from the minister on the whole affair.
But Mtambo said they were shocked that the two ministers—Gondwe and Nankhumwa—were equally clueless.
“We’ve entrusted the leadership of this country to people who do not know what they are doing,” said Mtambo.
According to Mtambo, the proposed K40 million funding should have been credibly given if proposals were submitted.
“But the minister acknowledged there was no proposal,” said Mtambo.
And, in his comment, Trapence said they were not impressed with the ministers.
Kajoloweka and Mhango unanimously said they were “disappointed” with the manner in which the whole thing was done.
The CSOs have said the onus is now on the two ministers to resign or President Peter Mutharika to fire them, threatening that they will compelled to take Nankhumwa and Gondwe to court and that if nothing is done they will take to the streets for mass protests.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :