Government is mobilising Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth to benefit from the taxpayer funded K5 billion tree planting program.
The government funded project is set to employ 10,000 youth countrywide and will be managed by the Department of Forestry Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining.
Reports show that the DPP has also found a role in the program as the party is enlisting its cadets to take part in the tree planting while some senior members have already registered to supply the trees for projects.
A source who has penetrated the system and manged to register as a DPP member said the Department of Forestry does not know how the program will be managed and raised fears that the party is planning to steal public funds through the project.
“Currently the DPP is mobilising its youth and other senior members to register where they can supply the trees. I have penetrated the system and have registered as one of their own.
“The responsible dept. up to this minute has no information how this program will be run despite making many inquiries from their parent ministry,” the source said.
Commenting on the issue, social commentator Onjezani Kenani said the issue should be cause for worry and described the conduct of the DPP as theft which must be stopped.
“It is not right for Peter Mutharika to play Father Christmas to his party’s youth wing using government funds.
“This is theft and must be stopped forthwith. Malawi belongs to all of us. Is there a way for Mutharika and his party to do anything at all without thinking of theft?” said Kenani.
When presenting the 2018/19 budget in May, Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe said trees will be planted in areas which require reforestation such as road sides, forest reserves, river banks, bare mountains and other catchment areas.
Government hopes the program will minimize the effects of deforestation and climate, provide vegetative cover to reduce soil erosion and control flooding. It is further expected that the program will continue for the next three years.