Malawi CSOs plan mass demonstrations over unbudgeted K4bn

Civil society organisations (CSOs) have threatened that it will mobilise citizens to take to the steets in a series of demonstrations against  Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe and Local Government Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa over the controversial K4 billion scam.

The CSOs have given President Mutharika seven days to act.

At first, the money was reportedly earmarked for only 86 constituencies belonging to legislators on the government side and those supporting the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), with each constituency being allocated about K40 million.

CSOs leaders, who include Youth and Society (YAS), Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (Cedep), told a news conference in Mzuzu that the two ministers should voluntary resign or President Peter Mutharika should sack them.

Under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Forum (HRDF), the CSOs gave Gondwe and Nankhumwa a seven days ultimatum to resign said they will hold a national wide demonstration especially if the two fails to bow down to their demand.
Gift Trapence of Centre for Development of People (CEDEP), Charles Kajoloweka of Youth and Society (YAS), Steven Simsokwe of Karonga Youth for Justice and Development and Jennipher Mkandawire of Foundation for Children’s Rights (FCR), Timothy Mtambo of Centre for Human Rights (CHRR) among others, the CSOs said they will not entertain any excuse from government and that they have came up with strategy that will make sure that their demands are answered.
Among the strategy include formulating networks in all regions that will handle the issue.

The northern region chapter, vice chairperson Steven Simsokwe while attacking the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Dr Lazarus Chakwera for betraying Malawians said they are ready to sacrifice their lives over the development.

“Let me also warn Chakwera not to take Malawians for granted. He was part of an illegal activity in Parliament and he cannot distance himself now,” he said.

He also attacked traditional leaders for not coming out and condemn government as they do in other issues if they really claims to represent Malawians.

“We have closed all the loopholes that government use especially when it comes to events like this. I know some bootlickers traditional leaders will now go to the media condemning our decision but they will gain nothing,” said Simsokwe.

In his part, Kajoloweka said they expect President Mutharika to fire Gondwe and Nankhumwa for the role they played in the payout before addressing the nation on the matter within seven days.

Adding his voice, Trapence threatened to seek legal action apart from mobilizing Malawians to hold nationwide demonstrations.

However, State House spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani said Mutharika cannot fire Gondwe and Nankhumwa ,saying it is a serious misrepresentation to present the matter as if the funds are being given to MPs as individuals. He also defended Gondwe on the matter.

“The role of the Minister of Finance in the public funds appropriation process is to present, and where need be, explain appropriation proposals before Parliament. MPs deliberate on the proposals and decide whether to grant approval for government to spend or not.

“If the MPs are satisfied with the proposals, they grant approval to the government to spend accordingly. In other words, the granting or denial of approval to spend is not within the powers of the Minister of Finance,” he explained.

According to Kalilani, the two ministers did not do anything warranting to be fired as all procedures on the matter were duly followed.

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4 years ago

Useless CSOs. There is no need for demonstrations. The money is going to be shared by all constituencies and poor people will access it. Mwasowa zochita eti?

4 years ago

Why should you Kalirani waste your precious time responding to these dunderheads? Ask them to make a follow-up on Chaponda’s maize scam in the courts and let them give us feed-back.

4 years ago

The demonstrations will be a show of force from Malawians who are opposed to the status quo. A country led by corrupt leaders who don’t have any morals and ethics but loading their pockets. Leaders who are not holding corrupt parliamentarians to account for their wrong doing. In as much as we may vote in DPP in May 2019; what the civil society (and the general public) is that, the party should operate with clean, ethical and moral leaders, who truly care for the people at large. If DPP can not live by those values then it shouldn’t even contest… Read more »

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