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CDEDI demands Malawi’s 57 birthday expenditures report from Chief Secretary Zangazanga

Zangazanga needs to explain independence celebration funds

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s civil rights watchdog Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) is demanding accountability on how public funds were spent on July 6, 2021’s Malawi’s 57 Independence Day celebration.

The demand comes as reports show that President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse government did not use the trimmed MK43 million from initial MK240 million budget.

With lies, Chakwera Tonse administration instead used MK238, 286, 196.00 which was directly wired into Chief Secretary to Government FDH Bank account 19700 000 56939.

This has prompted CDEDI demanding detailed accounts report on how the remaining funds were used.

In letter dated July 16, 2021 in our possession, CDEDI demands accountability of the funds within seven days

“Failure to do so within the seven days, will leave us with no choice, but to invoke the Access to Information Act, to ensure that the citizens, who double as taxpayers, have the right to access this public information, without undue hindrance,” demands CDEDI letter signed by its Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa addressing to Chief Secretary to Government ZANGAZANGA CHIKHOSI copied to Minister of Homeland Security (Chairperson for the 2021Independence Day Celebrations), Minister of Information and Director, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Chikhosi is yet to comment on matter.

Below is CDEDI’s full letter:

Dear Sir,

RE: REQUEST FOR 2021 INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS EXPENDITURE REPORT   

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), hereby writes to be furnished with an expenditure report for the 2021 Independence Day Celebrations, by your office. We are making this request based on our investigations, whose results have shown that a commercial bank account no. 19700 000 56939, held at the FDH Bank, under the name Chief Secretary to Government, receiptedfunds amounting to MK238, 286, 196.00 on July 2, 2021, being funds meant for the 2021 Independence Day Celebrations. Ironically, Malawians were told by the Chairperson for the celebrations, Hon. Richard Chimwendo-Banda, that government had trimmed the budget for the celebrations from the initial MK240 million, to MK46 million, due to public outcry to have this year’s celebrations cancelled.  

Just to refresh your mind sir, Malawians saw no wisdom in celebrating our independence, at a time when we could not afford to procure Covid-19 vaccines, and neither can we afford to stock our public health facilities with essential medicines and drugs. It is against this background that CDEDI is challenging you sir, to explain to the nation, how the Chief Secretary to Government bank account receipted the whole amount for the Independence Day Celebrations, and not just the MK46 million, as earlier indicated by the Chairperson for the celebrations. This is theft of public funds, and deceit of the highest order by government!

CDEDI is, therefore, giving you sir, seven (7) days to make public a detailed statement on how the above stated funds were used. Failure to do so within the seven days, will leave us with no choice, but to invoke the Access to Information Act, to ensure that the citizens, who double as taxpayers, have the right to access this public information, without undue hindrance.

Yours Faithfully,

Sylvester Namiwa, CDEDI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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