Malawi civil society organisations (CSOs) in the country are still pushing government to act on issues raised in their petition presented to President Peter Mutharika in January .
The petition was presented to Mutharika after street protests in the capital Lilongwe, urging the Head of State to address numerous challenges which the country is facing.
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive Director Timothy Mtambo, when delivering the petition, urged Mutharika to address the challenges outlined in the petition within 100 days or else the CSOs will regroup and go in the streets again.
The CSOs have again writtend Mutharika reminding him that the 100 days ultumultum is on tick-tock with less than a month to expie.
The activist regret that here has not been any response from the President’s office let alone an acknowledgement of receipt of the petition.
“We find this silence not in line with spirits of tolerance, transparency, accountability, and responsiveness expected of any democratic leader and state,” Mtambo said.
In the fresh letter sent to Mutharika, the CSOs pointed out that the conduct of Mutharika led government as well as political party is “hostile” in so far as a progressive democracy is concerned.
They condemned President Mutharika for leading his ruling DPP henchmen in “graffiti” action at Police cell in Lumbadzi.
“Getting arrested on treason charges is nowhere near worth splurging tax-payers money through commemorations, as you did on Wednesday, 11 March, 2015. It is a political nonentity! Whatever happened on 11th March 2015 not to mention painting the police cell with a party related colour and scribbling on the walls of the state owned institution is not only regrettable but also unimaginable of the head of state doing that.
“For sure your Excellency there are a lot of better things to do such as responding to the 22 point petition CSOs and citizens presented to your high office which we believe will go a long way in complementing the implementation and operationalisation of the public reforms your government is championing,” reads the letter to Mutharika.
It says while Minister of Information,.Kondwani Nankhumwa attempted to make Malawians believe the so-called commemoration was a harbinger that no Malawian will ever be arrested on politically-motivated charges, the CSOs believe the arrangement cemented observations that Mutharikagovernment” wants to inform its purported enemies that it has absolute powers to do whatever it desires.”
In the petition, the groups called on President Mutharika to dissolve the board of National AIDS Commission (NAC) and dismiss NAC executive director and institute a forensic audit of NAC disbursement of AIDS funds since the time NAC was granted the principle recipient of HIV/AIDS related funds by Global fund.
The CSOs have demanded First Lady’s Beautify Malawi (BEAM) and Mulhakho Wa Alhomwe to refund K5million and K9.4 million respectively to NAC to be used for its intended HIV/AIDS response functions.
The activist also accused President Mutharika of practising naked nepotism.
“The President should desist from appointing people based on tribalism, ethnicity, regionalism and partisan politics, and endeavour to put Malawi first. To this end, the President should explain steps being taken by government to ensure that civil and public servants in all government and public institutions are appointed on merit,” said the CSOs.
Mutharika was also asked to provide executive leadership by amongst other things delivering monthly public address on the steps being taken to address the prevailing economic hardships and unprecedented suffering of Malawians until things stabilizes.
The CSOs also want government should update the nation on the status quo on the implementation of the economic recovery plan (ERP)
The groups urged government to address the concerns raised or “demonstrate significant steps to addressing within 100 days from the date of delivery of this petition today on 13th January, 2015. “
According to the petition, government should also facilitate the institution of a dialogue platform with civil society organisations and other key stakeholders over the issues raised within a period of two weeks.
“We demand that the concerns and demands which are linked to NAC should be addressed within three weeks from the date of delivery of this petition –today on 13th January 2015. Failure to comply with this demand, we will regroup and decide the next course of action in order to ensure that justice and sanity prevails on the matter,” the CSOs said.
While commending Malawi government for living up to its promise of increasing salaries of civil servants, the CSOs pointed out that Malawians are concerned that the recent increment defeated the principle of equity where the low ranked civil servants given the raw deal where the higher increment percentages were given to the high ranking civil servants at the expense of low ranking civil servants.
They raised the issue of controversial education quota system, accusing Mutharika of playing “hide and seek game “in addressing the issue as a way of selecting students into the public universities.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :