BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s rights body, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has challenged President Lazarus Chakwera to clear himself on allegations that he is entrenching nepotism, corruption and bribery in his leadership.
CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa said it is clear from the lamentations of a group of some members of the Tonse Alliance lead partner, Malawi Congress Party (MCP), that something is amiss in the Chakwera administration.
Apparently, the grouping, which has been christened Second Liberation of the Malawi Nation (SLMN), is accusing the President of demonstrating nepotistic tendencies after it was made known that Chakwera is employing his relatives and cronies from the Assemblies of God Church where he belongs and has been a pastor for years before joining politics.
The grouping further alleges that the Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC), Zangazanga Chikhos, is playing some underhand tactics in frustrating the Tonse Alliance agenda by recalling and rewarding his friends to take up jobs in the civil service.
Namiwa, through a statement issued on Saturday, February 13, 2021 has described the development as disturbing, especially coming at a time Malawians are grappling to come to terms with another revelation that some Controlling Officers are failing to account for MK6.2 million Covid-19 funds.
“The social media is currently awash with issues ranging from the disturbing news about the alleged mismanagement of the K6.2 billion that was meant for the Covid-19 response, to the Tonse Alliance’s loss of direction in terms of its commitment to honour their campaign promises that were contained in their consolidated manifesto.
“As if this was not enough, Malawians of good will may recall CDEDI’s recent petition to President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, which contained, among other things his administration’s growing tendencies of nepotism and his appetite of hiring retired civil servants, leaving in the cold the current crop of experienced and energetic civil servants at the Capital Hill who deserve promotions, thereby creating vacancies for more young people to join the civil service,” reads the statement in part.
Namiwa emphasizes that by coming out in the open with their true identities, the MCP pressure group agrees with what CDEDI has always stood for, that Malawians were sold a dummy on June 23, 2020 when they voted the Tonse Alliance partners into office, on trust that they would execute their campaign manifesto, which contained a lot of sugar-coated promises.
He commends the grouping for gathering courage to hold the bull by its horns.
“And we further encourage all well-meaning Malawians to join this noble task of getting the Tonse Alliance administration back on track, before the goodwill that Malawians have for the new administration wanes off.
“CDEDI is in total support of the calls on the part of the Tonse alliance leaders to jointly address Malawians on the status of the alliance and provide a timeline on how the campaign promises will be fulfilled,” he says.
Namiwa is also challenging civil society organisations (CSOs) with support and capacity to initiate contact and dialogue with President Chakwera and the Tonse Alliance leaders on these issues of national importance, and encourage the leaders to report back to Malawians on the outcome of their dialogue.
He says Tonse alliance leaders campaigned together and therefore Malawians deserve regular updates from them on the state of affairs and direction of the country.
“While concurring with the MCP pressure group on their call for President Chakwera to do a serious soul searching on his administration, we would like to challenge him to institute an inquiry on the serious allegations that have been leveled against his senior staff at the State House, who the MCP grouping is accusing of soliciting bribes from the Malawians of Asian origin, and that the president should distance himself from such people.
“CDEDI believes that Malawians voted into government the Tonse Alliance with a view to see change, and not the same business as usual kind of story. It is therefore our expectation that President Chakwera will take heed of the issues highlighted in this statement and indeed those that Malawians are discussing in the social media and open spaces,” Namiwa ends his letter.
Despite reports of corruption, fraud, nepotism in the last seven months, Chakwera has never responded but only carrying sweet talks pressers.