…Govt. wants to divert attention
Member of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), including its youth league, have all ganged up against calls for party leader, Lazarus Chakwera, to refund K300 million (of public funds used in the procurement of his state-of-the-art vehicle.
The party diehards, who have also blamed government for tempting the retired man of God with a multimillion-kwacha-luxurious car, an offer he reportedly could not refuse, questioned the motives of the story at a time the public is demanding answers from President Peter Mutharika to explain how much from the public purse was used carter for the president’s trip and the delegates who accompanied him to the US for the UN General Assembly.
It has so far been alleged that government paid the reporter who blew the story to divert people’s attention from the current economic turmoil that the country is going through under the current administration.
“I have just realised there is a DPP hand in this whole story. Half truths have been blown out of proportion to divert our feeble minds from the UNGA saga. How come the figure is exact the one we lamented on the UNGA and how better a time to expose it?… The DPP machinery is really diabolic” wrote Richard Jackson Mdyetseni on Facebook.
While other MCP die-hards justified the purchase, saying Chakwera deserves lavish cars as part of his Parliamentary entitlements as Leader of Opposition even when this has to be at the expense of Malawians who are basking in poverty.
While another group that did not see anything wrong on government wasting close to K0.1 billion on a car, the same amount that could feed scores of people at risk of hunger, reasoned that the procurement was done last year before the Kwacha’s devaluation.
But the ugly side of the MCP manifested itself from the grave with the notorious youth league threatening to deal with people who were demanding a refund from Chakwera. Malawi’s renowned commentator, Onjezani Kenani, felt the wrath of these furious MCP . Kenani took to task the MCP leadership over comments made by Chakwera’s deputy, Mr. Richard Msowoya.
“Do Malawians want us walk?” Msowoya had asked a reporter when questions were raised to him if it made sense to spend K0.3 billion of public funds on cars rather than efforts to salvage the ailing economy. Kenani complained that he was subjected to verbally abused by the MCP fanatics.
“It would seem that supporters of the Malawi Congress Party have not changed. Every day we criticise DPP but not a single DPP supporter has ever called me names. But today MCP supporters have called me all sorts of names. If supporters of MCP dream of helping their party to win elections they should first change. Calling names anybody who holds a different opinion is not the best way of helping the party to restore its image. If you behave this way outside government, shall we be allowed to speak freely as we do today if you win?” Kenani has been quoted as saying by one local online paper.
Other commentators have also said government must shoulder blame, saying Chakwera was not part of the procedures that recommended the car. These commentators say Chakwera only received what was purchased on his behalf by government.