Malawians fury at Mutharika redeployment claims: K25bn compensation bill

Several Malawians have called on President Peter Mutharika to either own up his decisions or indeed exonerate himself from the rampant firing of senior managers in the public sector since he assumed power in June this year.

This comes shortly after the President’s claims at Masintha ground in Lilongwe on Sunday where he bashed the media that he has not fired any public servant but that what was happening were relocation and redeployment of officials.

“The media please I beg you, I have not fired a single official, no-one has lost a job but what is happening is just redeployment so that we carry out proper investigations on cash-gate,” said a visibly irritated Mutharika.

Casualty at MRA ,  John Bizwick
Casualty at MRA , John Bizwick

However, figures in the 2014/15 national show that over K20 billion has been allocated as compensation to officials whose contracts have been terminated in the public service. This is clearly documented in the Accountant General’s vote 271.

Some citizens say if Mutharika wants to be trusted he must always stick to the truth and not lie especially when taxpayers’ money is lost with uncalculated decisions.

“Peter should know that Malawians trusted him with power and the path he has taken to lie on the public podium is wrong one especial after just three months as president, the facts are clear senior officials have been fired and the tax we pay will be lost just like this? Imagine how many schools or indeed hospitals can be constructed with the K20 billion involved in this?,” said a Lilongwe resident Chimwemwe Makoka.

Kingsley Wilesi who plies his trade in Mwanza urged the government to come up a statement showing the relocations of the officials to clear the air.

“Democracy is about transparency and by saying no senior official has lost a job it means those running government have details, in this context they must publish the list of the relocated officers and not shout at rallies, otherwise K20 billion is huge and these are some of the issues that led to massive protests on July 20, 2011,”said Wilesi.

Since his assumption of power on June 1, 2014 Mutharika has presided over the firing of Malawi Defence Commander Henry Odillo, his deputy Lieutenant General John Msonthi Jnr, Deputy Inspector General of Police Nelson Bophani, Malawi Revenue Authority Commissioner General John Biziwick, MACRA Director General Charles Nsaliwa the latest of the victims are Admarc CEO Dr Jerry Jana and Treasury Secretary Newby Kumwembe.

Others fired or redeployed since Mutharika’s presidency include Hawa Ndilowe (chief secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Rezine Mzikamanda (Anti-Corruption Bureau director), Bruno Kalemba (Director of Public Prosecutions).

In diplomatic posts those recalled  include Benard Sande  (UK),   Stella Ndau High Commissioner to South Africa, Charles Msosa  ambassador to the United Nations (UN),  Ernest Mungosauka Makawa  ambassador to China.

Others in diplomatic missions recalled pending requests from the Treasury include Janet Karim (UN), Joseph Chikwemba (Japan), Timothy Sandram (United States) and Naomi Saukira  (South Africa).

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