Barely five days after the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament ordered the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 to recover all allowances that were paid to the country’s Leader of Opposition (LoP) Kondwani Nankhumwa within seven days, some people in Kasungu are saying that he “is not more equal” and should, therefore, “step down from the position.”
Last week Nyasa Times reported that Nankhumwa, who is also parliamentarian for Mulanje Central Constituency, is being asked to pay back K3.6 million which he falsely pocketed in Covid-19 allowances and fuel refunds.
Our investigations revealed that Nankhumwa resides in Lilongwe and thus was not supposed to get allowances for fuel and accommodation as Parliament foots that bill by virtue of him being LoP.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential hopeful was roped into the Covid-19 taskforce by President Lazarus Chakwera for his role in the opposition.
But some people in Kasungu said they were not happy with the manner in which “President Chakwera was handling Nankhumwa with kids’ gloves” and yet was punishing others.
Maliko Mwale, leader of the group, said they were unhappy that nothing was being done about Nankhumwa yet their “own son of the soil Ken Kandodo” had been fired from cabinet as Minister of Labour over the same Covid-19 funds.
“Nankhumwa is also a suspect and we are not happy that it seems he has been left scot free. Even the President has failed to mention his name as a culprit in public and yet he went ahead to fire our own son Ken Kandodo. It is selective justice. We want everything to be fair. We want him to step down as Leader of Opposition,” said Mwale.
According to Mwale, the Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara should immediately find means in making sure that Nankhumwa is “fired” as Leader of Opposition saying he is “unfit” to lead the process of checks and balances in Parliament.
Mwale said his group, of more than 400, will join in the demonstrations to be organised by vocal and militant rights body Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) against those that foiled Covid-19 funds.
HRDC chairperson, Gift Trapence, said: “People who have been embroidered in the mismanagement, misappropriation or theft of public funds such as Covid-19 funds must not only be told to pay back but must also be prosecuted and face the long arm of the law.”