Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have warned public officials both elected and appointed that they are being watched and will account for their omissions or commission when discharging their duties arguing that nobody is above law.
The CSOs said they have enhanced their watchdog role claiming there is a total collapse of state accountability institutions in Malawi.
“The Anti – Corruption Bureau is almost dead, for instance. Hence, we will not tolerate high level impunity in terms of fighting corruption,” said Charles Kajoloweka, Director Youth and Society.
“Thieves have become sophisticated in stealing public money, and we needed to change our approach on advocacy too,” he added.
The CSOs: Church and Society Programme of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia, Youth & Society, Foundation for Equal Rights & Opportunities, National Women’s Lobby Group, Phunzirani Development Organization, Mzuzu University Student Union said this during a news conference at Mimosa Hotel in Mzuzu on Thursday.
The presser followed the CSOs’ triumphant in persuading the High Court in Mzuzu to grant leave for judicial review and an injunction effectively restraining Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda from discharging his duties as Minister pending the finalization of the commission of inquiry.
The CSO’s have been protesting against President Peter Mutharika’s sole appointment of the members of the Commission of Inquiry saying it was unconstitutional and illegal because it abrogated section 7 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, Cap 18:01 of the Laws of Malawi and clear principles of natural justice and constitutionalism
Mutharika instituted a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the scam in which Admarc reportedly bought maize at K26 billion from the Zambian company and it is believed that Malawi could have saved about K9.5 billion if it had bought the grain directly from the Zambian government.
“We will continue taking action in line with our advocacy roles. Among other actions we will continue to name and shame, effect citizen arrests and litigation like what we have done with Chaponda,” Moses Mkandawire, Director Church and Society said.
“We are not saying Chaponda is guilty, but we want smooth investigations and that cannot happen with him at the helm,” Kajoloweka added.
The CSOs say they were forced to go to court because President Peter Mutharika failed to act on Chaponda.
Kajoloweka says their lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa working on how to serve Chaponda with the injunction.
Second respondent in the civil cause number 01 of 2017 between: the State versus Chaponda as first respondent, the Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale as second respondent and President Mutharika as third respondent,told a local radio after the court ruling that government will fight to vacate the injunction because the High Court Judge made a “fundamental error.”
Kaphale said in their application to vacate the injunction and dismiss the case the government will enlighten the judge on some other issues including the limits court are supposed to follow when giving out rulings arguing that courts cannot rule on issues to do with presidential appointments but rather only administrative issues.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :