Member of Parliament in Zomba Grace Kwelepeleta is facing accusations of barring individuals from supporting a local organization that provides tailoring and electrical installation trainings to less privileged youths.
Grace Kwelepeleta who is Democratic Progressive Party legislator for Zomba Malosa constituency, is being accused of frustrating several individuals who wanted to pump in some funds to One For All Organization towards the purchasing of sewing machines which are given to successful youths after undergoing a six months training.
According to founder of the organization, James Kajawo who is a musician cum producer at JK Records, Kwelepeta has been preventing well-wishers from donating to his organization which provides free trainings in tailoring and electrical installation to school dropouts.
Kajawo who says he has sustained the organization through live performances, said last year in June, he trained 54 youths in tailoring and designing and that he contacted the lawmaker to preside over a graduation ceremony, but she did not honor the invitation.
He claims that this year Paul Gadama who is DPP’s presidential hopeful was willing to support 63 youths who are in the final month of tailoring training with sewing machines, but the MP was not happy with the arrangement development which he said saw Gadama withdrawing his support.
Kajawo continued by alleging that Kwelepeta is doing all this thinking Kajawo is offering the trainings to entice people to vote for him as MP in the next elections.
“I tried to look for donor to support 63 youths with sewing machines and I managed to found one who promised to buy 63 sewing machines to these youths but sadly this MP in our area stopped him from help the youths and the donor called that he will not be able to help.
“I am not a politician and I don’t do politics and I never dream of politics but the MP thinks am doing this with political mind. People says she abandoned our community, accusing the area of not voting for her during the 2019 tripartite elections,” said Kajawo.
In some WhatsApp messages which we have seen, the legislator wrote a man identified as Hussein, from a Muslim association, At-Tariqatu Qadria Sunnia Association (AQSA), enquiring why Kajawo was using for political gains sewing machines which he got from the association.
In another text, Kwelepeta wrote DPP vice president for the eastern region Bright Msaka enquiring why Gadama is being allowed to put his shadow MPs in the area including Kajawo.
“Gadama walowa mu Eastern region wadzala ma shadow ake. Every constituency. Some constituencies wagwilitsa ntchito party structures mwinamu ayi akumalowamo yekha. Can u ask him kuti upresident wakewu ndi otani odana ndi ma MPs? And as VP East mutithandiza bwanji pa nkhani imeneyi before we start mipaliro?” reads part of Kwelepeta’s WhatsApp text.
When contacted to hear her side of the story, Kwelepeta vehemently denied the accusations of barring the donors from supporting One For All the Organization and further indicated that she was hearing the news first from this reporter.
Kwelepeta admitted that Kajawo has been approaching her for financial assistance but said when she checked with Senior Chief Malemia and the office of the DC, it was established that the organization was not registered which prompted her not to offer any financial support.
“When I checked with Senior Chief Malemia and the office of the DC, it came out that it’s not a registered organisation and there was no way I could financially support an unregistered NGO. I convinced myself that the money would have benefited him as an individual and not the community and that’s why I refused to support him.
“He was asking for K300, 000 a day for what he called sensitisation meetings. To me, I thought it wise that I better take that money and purchase timbers to construct a bridge which in return would benefit the whole community and not an individual. My failure to grant him his wish might have fuelled his anger on me and later cooked such a story against me,” reacted Kwelepeta.
The MP also described as fake allegations that she is abandoning Somba, Malosa and Namwera areas for not voting for her claiming the mentioned areas have benefited a lot from all the developmental activities in the constituency.
Kwelepeta also admitted to have contacted Msaka but she said she was only following up from Msaka if he had an idea of Gadama’s visit since there is a party agreement that a sitting MP should be made aware of any visit by a member of the same party in one’s area.
“About contacting honourable Msaka, yes, it’s true I did talk to him. The following up only came because Gadama is one of us, he is pure DPP and he knows the protocol so I was equally surprised that he just accidentally forgot what was supposed to be done,” she added.
Meanwhile, Senior Chief Traditional Authority Malemia has told this publication that he is aware of some of the issues being talked and he will invite all the concerned parties to a meeting which he said is aimed at resolving the matter.
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