Presidential aide and ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice president for Central Regio, Dr Hetherwick Ntaba has adamantly said his party will not pay back all the money parastatals and other government agencies gave it during its fundraising event called Blue Night recently in Lilongwe.
Ntaba has since called the demand by Mzuzu-based Youth and Society (YAS) executive director Charles Kajoloweka for DPP to pay back the money or institutions that are yet to pay the money to cancel the transactions as utterly “rubbish” .
“That’s rubbish!” said Ntaba in reaction to the demands.
Ntaba, who was chairperson for the fundraising event, argued that parastatals and councils that made pledges or paid the money did so willingly, insisting “whether likes it or not” DPP will not pay back.
“The institutions that gave out the money did that willingly, voluntarily, nobody forced them and they haven’t come back to us to demand back their money. So, there is no need to pay back that money,” said Ntaba.
In a statement Kajoloweka describes government’s move as irrational abuse of resources and warns of unspecified consequences if the money is not given back.
the “abuse of resources”, according to Kajoweka, follows a spate of abuse and corruption scandals that have rocked parastatal institutions.
“A fresh case in point is the siphoning of K10 million from Lilongwe Water Board by the DPP in February 2016 through a similar ‘Blue Night’ scheme. It is also not long ago when the First Lady Getrude Mutharika invaded the National Aids Commission [NAC] and siphoned K5 million for her private activities.
“In view of this ‘Blue Night’ incursion on the public purse, we, therefore, make the following demands: That the Democratic Progressive Party must within 14 days [by 15th August] pay back the money to all parastatal institutions which were siphoned in the name of ‘Blue Night’ fundraising dinner,” reads the statement in part.