Rights group, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), has demanded the Malawi government to reverse its decision to construct a MK9.4 billion swimming pool.
In a press statement, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa said president Lazarus Chakwera should remember that Malawi is currently faced with a number of challenges in the health, education and economic sectors.
Namiwa said it is therefore unimaginable for the country to spend such amounts on a luxurious sports complex, which he said shall soon become a white elephant, and a drain for hard-earned taxes when time for maintenance works arrive.
He continued to say that CDEDI and many Malawians of goodwill believe the swimming pool is not a priority area to invest in at this material time when the nation is also grappling with unprecedented suicide cases among the youths.
Namiwa also said that it is uncalled for, for a well-meaning leader, to invest such a colossal amount in a project that will benefit a few when the same government is elusive on the future of the one million jobs the youth were promised.
According to Namiwa, it could be a good development if the same amount of money was diverted to renovate roads and boost health and education systems for improved service delivery.
“Should government proceed with its decision to construct the swimming pool, CDEDI will not hesitate but mobilize the youth to stand up and refuse to be used as pawns,” reads part of CDEDI press statement.
CDEDI has since demanded the firing of the current Minister of Youth and Sports, Ulemu Msungama be fired on grounds that he is giving president Chakwera wrong advice on the project and other issues.
“CDEDI is therefore demanding that government must fire Msungama and announce the discontinuation of this insult to the majority of Malawian youths who seek decent livelihood opportunities,” added Namiwa in the statement.
Namiwa further said that the development has also given credit to speculations that some Malawi Congress Party officials have direct financial interests in the project hence the need for president Chakwera to order suspension of the project with immediate effect.