Action Against Impunity (API) has made a fresh call for the resignation of senior government officials over the allowances scam at Capital Hill.
The grouping wants the resignation of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Dr. Steve Kayuni, Secretary to Treasury Dr. MacDonald Mafuta Mwale, Accountant General (AG) Jean Munyenyembe, Minister of Mines Albert Mbawala, IFMIS Director Felix Zagwazatha Sato and Grace Mponela, a Human Resource officer at the Accountant General’s office.
The rights activists in the name of CDEDI Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa, Gomezgani Nkhoma of Mzuzu Youth Caucus, Rights activists Rodney Salamu, Mundango Nyirenda, Wells Khama, Zainab Hassan, Steven Chimwaza and Richard Mphepo feel that the stepping down of the said individuals will pave the way for smooth investigations by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
According to the rights watchdog individuals, all depends on leadership which should have been on the forefront advocating for results in the investigations that are taking forever by just arresting of junior accountants at the Accountant General’s department leaving out the “big fishes”.
“In fact, if it were in a serious country, President Chakwera should have fired the above officers for their alleged involvement in abuse of office and unjustifiable accumulation of allowances. API, therefore, will not hesitate, if President Chakwera does not act speedily on this matter, to call for vigils at Capital Hill for the officers to be fired or resign,” reads the statement.
Initially one of API members, the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) wrote the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to probe top government officials that immensely benefited from the dubious allowances, a scandal that came to light following the arrests of junior public servants at the Accountant General’s office in Lilongwe.
ACB responded, through a letter dated 3rd August 2022, indicating that it is screening CDEDI’s complaint. A few days later, the bureau asked for trace marks, which CDEDI dutifully provided.
However, API said in its statement that it has noted that there is little action towards the same since the calls by the API to have senior government officials step down as it has always been difficult to investigate officials who are reporting on duty.
Notably, DPP Kayuni is alleged to have accumulated dubious allowances for 372 nights in a year that has 365 days.
In its statement, the rights activists have also taken a swipe at the impending electricity tariff hike by warning the Tonse Alliance administration against the insensitive decision that is very likely to fuel anger among Malawians who are already down-trodden with the sky-rocketing prices of essential goods and services which are making their lives unbearable.
The API has challenged government, through the Minister of Energy Hon. Ibrahim Matola, to make power available to the voters before thinking of skinning them alive with such inhumane tariff hike which, if implemented, will worsen the problem of deforestation.
Like API, parliamentary committee on Natural Resources and Environment Chairperson, Welani Chilenga has also warned that parliament will not take up the suggestion of hiking the electricity tariffs.