Member of Parliament for Nsanje South West, JoshepChidanti Malunga has quit the ruling Democrtaic Progressive Party (DPP) and will revert to his status of an independenty legislator , saying he could no longer live with being labelled a DPP member.
Malunga confirmed his resignation in interviews monitored on Dziko FM radio and Zodiak. He also granted an interview with Nyasa Times on Tuesday evening on the same matter.
“I have decided to be no longer member of the DPP. I am no longer a member of DPP,” Malunga said in an interview with Dziko Radio.
“I was elected as an independent MP and then joined DPP. Now am back to being independent,” he said.
During his interview on Zodiak, Malunga said he has been persuaded by his constituents to quit DPP, saying the governing party is sidelining his area in development terms.
And when asked by Nyasa Times if his decision is to do with widespread corruption bedevilling the DPP –led government, Malunga said: “Not really. Sometimes you have to be bold and make a decision regardless of the consequences.”
Chidanti-Malunga is chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security, which earlier pushed the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to launch an inquiry into the the ‘maizegate’ – procurement scandal by Admarc from Zambia.
The MP said he was unhappy with commission of inquiry set upby President Peter Mutharika to probe matters surrounding the ‘maizegate’.
He said the worry lies on the independence of the commission.
“I think there should have been some wide consultations with members of public and the civil society organisations to see how best to come up with the commission,” said Malunga.
He had also become disillusioned with the government’s attitude towards crackdown on corruption involving members of DPP or government.
Chidanti-Malunga stressed he was unable properly to represent the people who elected him under the banner of DPP which is now tainted with corruption, bad governance and economic failure.
DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila who also comes from Malunga’s Nsanje district said the party was “disappointed” at the MPs resignation.
Kasaila said Malunga “a valuable member of Parliament” and that the party is saddened that he has chosen to dump it.
Malunga resignation from DPP will add pressure to President Peter Mutharika to suspend gricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe and Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda to create space for an impartial and independent probe into the Zambian maize procurement saga.
The MP also agrees with calls for Mulumbe and Chaponda to be out of their jobs to avoid interfering with investigations.
Admarc handled the procurement of the purported 100 000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) but allegedly engaged a privately-owned Zambian company Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Limited, which purportedly played the role of intermediary in the deal.
The Zambian company has since reportedly dragged Admarc to court for breach of contract, having already done so with the ZCF over similar charges.
Admarc reportedly paid about K26 billion, which government borrowed from Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank, commonly known as PTA Bank, for the purchase of the maize which is about K9.5 billion more than the estimated K15 billion it could have paid, had it bought the maize directly from the Zambian Government.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :