At the expiry of a seven-day ultimatum given by some civil society organisation over the distribution of the contentious K4 billion to members of Parliament (MPs), President Peter Mutharika and leader of opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera have rebuffed the activists.
The CSOs leaders, who include Youth and Society (YAS), Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (Cedep), demanded President Mutharika to fire Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe and Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa.
Mutharika has not sacked the two ministers and according to Presidential spokesman, Mgeme Kalilani, the CSOs are misrepresenting facts on the matter, to the extent of dragging the President into the issue.
According to Kalilani, the two ministers did not do anything warranting to be fired as all procedures on the matter were duly followed.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president (Central Region) Dr Hetherwick Ntaba DENIED that the funding was given to lawmakers for voting against electoral reform bill.
“We in the DPP refute that the money was for political corruption. The claim is unfounded and malicious,” said Ntaba.
He wondered why the leader of opposition himself had accepted to receive the money for his constituency if he indeed knew it was
Chakwera was asked by CSOs to apologise for being “hypocritical” on the issue but there was inaction from the opposition leader.
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.
But legislators agreed to share the money to all 193 constituencies.
Later opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP0 led by Chakwera made a change of heart, saying they did not want to be party to the funds embroiled un “dishonesty and thievery.”
MCP deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka, said Chakwera will not apologise because in Parliament, “he spoke denouncing it to arouse public anger.”
CSO leader Gift Trapence, Timothy Mtambo, Charles Kajoloweka said they were disappointed with the inaction on their ultimatum.
Mtambo said they want the funds withdrawn.
On the lack of action from President Mutharika and opposition leader Chakwera, the CSOs said they will meet to strategise on the next course of Acton.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :