Malawi government said it has received K5 million from well-wishers for First Lady Gertrude Mutharika’s Beautify Malawi (Beam) Trust to refund the grant to National Aids Commission (NAC).
Government Chief Secretary George Mkondiwa confirmed the receipt of the money and that it will be fully paid to NAC.
Mkondiwa received the cash from Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), chairperson Robert Mkwezalamba who was keeping the money after Bannet Chinsinga presented the money on behalf of other unnamed contributors.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between government, HRCC and Chisinga is appearing in the MOU as a witness.
“This is to acknowledge receipt of K5,000,000)from HRCC chairman Mr Robert Mkwezalamba on behalf of BEAM Trust and Mr Chinsinga for onward payment to National Aids Commission,” read in part the MOU.
On Saturday, Mkwezalamba confirmed in an interview with Nyasa Times that indeed the money has been handed over to the Chief Secretary.
“Yes we decided to hand over the money to the Chief Secretary because the CS is a controlling officer to almost all government arms on top of that NAC is under OPC so CS was only the key important figure on this one,” Said Mkwezalamba.
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation(CHRR) Executive Director Timothy Mtambo, Centre for Development of People CEDEP Director Gift Trapence, Reverend Macdonald Sembereka of Executive Director of MANERELA, Martha Kwataine of Malawi Health Equity network and Safari Mbewe of MANET PLUS have faulted the whole process describing it as playing games with Malawians.
“There is no evidence to back our demands that either BEAM has refunded the money nor NAC has received the money , we are seeing quite different people playing various roles,”said Trapence in an earlier interview.
The CSOs are organising mass protests on January 13, 2015.