People’s Party clarifies on Joyce Banda’s Nsanje donation

The People’s Party (PP) of State Vice President Joyce Banda has refuted insinuations by some individuals in Nsanje that the VP cheated flood victims allegedly for not dispatching relief items after recording names of the would-be beneficiaries.

The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) mouthpiece, Sky News of Friday, March 2, 2012, reported that the VP “cheated flood victims for not fulfilling her pledge to donate maize stuffs to victims of floods”.

The newspaper quotes Fatima Masala, the Chairlady for Bangula Camp A, as wondering “why the whole Vice President of the country could cheat them like that”. The broadsheet reports that Masala said the Vice President had recorded their names with a pledge of sending them relief items.

Msonda: Clarifies

But PP deputy publicist, Ken Msonda told Nyasa Times in an interview that the insinuations by Masala were not true as it was on record that the Vice President had been barred on February 10, 2012 from donating various relief items to the suffering people in Nsanje.

Masala is quoted as saying that since “we came here we got pledges from Medicines San Frontiers, Plan-Malawi and Malawi Revenue Authority, which were fulfilled. “

“It is only the Vice President who is yet to honour her pledge. We think she was cheating,” Masala told the newspaper.

She “warned” all politicians not to take advantage of the floods to cheat them by promising them pledges that they cannot fulfill.

“I think that is a blue lie. Masala should have known better that Madame VP travelled to Nsanje on February 10, 2012 and when she addressed the public meeting at Nsanje Community Centre Ground, she explicitly said she had gone to Nsanje to see the flood victims and give them some relief items.

“The VP said on the previous night she had received a telephone call from the District Commissioner’s office in Nsanje that she would not be allowed to donate the various relief items she had planned to because it was claimed she had not followed the procedures.

“One wonders what procedures someone needs to follow when they want to assist the suffering particularly more so that the individual involved in this matter is the Vice President of the country. It’s all cheap politics,” said Msonda.

Msonda said the truck that had carried some flour was actually at the Nsanje Community Ground where the VP addressed the rally and that the VP made specific mention of the truck and said she would surrender the responsibility of distributing the relief items, including the flour that the truck had carried, to the traditional chiefs.

Vice President Banda was expected to donate 500 bags of flour and other relief items, which she wanted to handover at Traditional Authority Mlolo’s Headquarters.

“People in Nsanje are suffering and she, Banda, thought it was important that she intervenes by donating relief items as the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi as she is constitutionally obliged to do so,” Msonda said, adding that there are a lot of people suffering there but it is “unfortunate that some Malawians always want to politicize these things, which is not good for the development of the country”.

Msonda said Banda would continue to perform her obligations as the constitutional Vice President of the Republic of Malawi.

What is more surprising, according to Msonda, is that a few weeks later after the VP was barred from making the donation, the First Lady Callista Mutharika went to Nsanje to donate kitchen utensils, maize, sugar and others to the people of T/A Mbenje and Mlolo.

After making her donation, Mrs. Mutharika addressed a gathering at Bangula Trading Centre where she asked the victims to relocate to the upland.

It was all politics, cheap politics, said Msonda, adding that President Bingu wa Mutharika also “rushed there to officially open an unfinished Bangula-Nsanje Road in a desperate attempt to win back people’s confidence”.

About two years ago, President Mutharika officially launched the elephant Nsanje Port project with a lot of fanfare but has not been functional since.

Nsanje DC, Rodney Simwaka said while the people of Nsanje needed assistance, there was need for well-wishers before they make any donations.

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