CDEDI tells Chakwera to rise above sugar-coated campaign promises


Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) says it is clear that President Lazarus Chakwera is sleeping on duty despite numerous assurances that he will be an agent of change in as far as transforming Malawi was concerned.

In a statement signed by Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa, CDEDI has highlighted matters requiring Chakwera’s urgent attention.

He said that Malawians are eager to know what has become of the earth-shaking revelations made under oath by the former National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) acting Chief Executive Officer, Hellen Buluma, before the Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament whereby it was seriously alleged that the Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) Colleen Zamba meddled in NOCMA affairs.

“The President’s deafening silence on this matter gives credence to speculations that the SPC meddled in NOCMA affairs under the President’s instructions,” he says.

Namiwa has also called for presidential action on the K750 million meant for the ultra-poor, through the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP), that was paid to a butcher in the United Kingdom (UK).

“It beats human comprehension and imagination that those millions, which were paid in the much sought-after foreign currency, were partly repaid in local currency by some lawyers at a commercial bank in Blantyre,” said Namiwa.

He added that it is worrisome that despite Malawi having a fully-fledged Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) the lawyers who partly repaid the money have not been held accountable for the same.

In its statement, CDEDI, among others, is requesting for attention on eyebrows raised over the merit of government buying luxurious cars amid impending hunger following a difficult farming season which was worsened by a poorly delivered Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP), and weather shocks epitomised by Cyclone Freddy that washed away hundreds of hectares of crop fields.

Namiwa is convinced that President Chakwera owes Malawians an explanation on his  government’s decision to sell donated fertiliser to the vulnerable and  marginalised Malawians.

“Worse still, government snatched MK30,000 from AIP beneficiaries in the pretext of advance payment for the fertilizer, which some of them have not redeemed to date,” he said.

The CDEDI Executive Director also cited endemic corruption and institutionalized incompetence as another important area that needs practical attention.

A clear demonstration of lacking leadership, President Chakwera informed Malawians that 84 people were implicated in alleged corrupt deals involving businessperson Zunneth Sattar but selective application of justice is evident in the matter.

For instance, upon firing of the then Inspector General of Police George Kainja and the Anti-Corruption Bureau subsequently arrested him but nothing of that sort happened to former Chief of staff at State House, Prince Kapondamgaga.

Malawians also witnessed Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima’s delegated powers withdrawn and after sometime, was also arrested by the ACB whose case is currently under Financial Crimes Court.

“Meanwhile tongues are wagging as to what has become of the suspended State House Chief of Staff Prince Kapondamgaga? Is he a person of interest to the ACB as he was also reportedly linked to the alleged corruption involving Sattar? Has Kapondamgaga been silently taken back at State House? Are Malawians paying  two people for the same position of State House Chief of Staff,” queries Namiwa.

According to Namiwa, Malawians have the right to know the future of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka’s case with the ACB in relation to the Mercedes Benz believed to have been a donation from Sattar.

“Otherwise, as it stands, we are compelled to ask President Chakwera if the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is still relevant to the country, at least during the Tonse Alliance administration’s remaining two years,” he queries.

Namiwa has since commended President Chakwera for displaying the much needed leadership during the disaster caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy that hit most parts of the Southern Region recently but cautioned on the need to dutifully not wish-away matters of national importance that the cyclone drew the nation’s attention from.

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