Some civil society organisations (CSOs) who are calling for the firing of Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe over the K4billion payout have hit back at State House.
State House recently described the calls for Gondwe’s resignation as ridiculous.
At a press briefing held in Mzuzu yesterday, the rights bodies said what State House spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani said during the week smacks of executive arrogance and the CSOs have vowed to continue holding the Peter Mutharika administration accountable to the masses.
Flanked by Gift Trapence of Centre for Development of People (Cedep), Charles Kajoloweka of Youth and Society (YAS), Steven Simsokwe of Karonga Youth for Justice and Development and Jennipher Mkandawire of Foundation for Children’s Rights (FCR) among others, Timothy Mtambo of Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation said the K4 billion payout is a scandal that shows carelessness and dishonesty of the government.
Mtambo reiterated that Mutharika should fire Gondwe and Minister of Local Government Kondwani Nankhumwa for the role they played in the payout before addressing the nation on the matter within seven days.
“Our calls have been greeted by highest levels of insolence and rudeness but we want to send a strong message that what happened in Parliament is one of the biggest plunders of our history. It only reaffirms our fears that there are people who parade themselves as political, socio and economic messiahs and they end up robbing us by creating a status quo that benefits them only,” Mtambo said.
He then condemned Parliament for approving a development fund which came into being fraudulently with an aim of appeasing what he called political sympathisers of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
He thus called on leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera to make a public apology within the seven days and facilitate the process of ensuring that Parliament suspends the approved transaction.
“Our Parliament is a disgrace. Now that the Leader of Opposition[ in Parliament] says his party is not party to what was agreed in Parliament, let him tell us the way forward in the interest of Malawians. What he is going to do to ensure that the whole allocation process is reversed,” Mtambo said.
Taking his turn, Trapence said should their calls continue to fall on deaf ears they will seek legal redress and will mobilise Malawians for nationwide demonstrations.
Trapence said as CSO, they are disappointed that the opposition supported the government in this suspicious payout.
When reached for comment Kalilani said State House maintains its stance on the matter, while MCP’s officials could not be drawn to comment with their Acting General Secretary Eisenhower Mkaka reporting to have been in a meeting.