By Lusako Ng’ambi
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s civil rights watchdog Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) plans to hold a vigil at the main entrance of parliament building from August 11, 2021.
The vigil aimed at forcing Parliament leadership including Clerk Fiona Kalemba, Speaker Catherine Gotani Hara, leader of the house Richard Chimwendo Banda to give tangible answers to the public on the smuggled MK93 billion Loan Autholization Bill.
CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa told the news conference on Monday, August 9, 2021 in the capital Lilongwe that the vigil will also force President Lazarus Chakwera to immediately set up a committee to investigate and report back to Malawians on the motive behind the smuggling of the bill that sought parliaments approval to secure mk93 billion as a loan from the bank of Baroda for the construction of houses for Malawian men and women in uniform.
According to Namiwa, Parliament leadership including the Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa have been given a ultimatum time of 48 hours to respond on the matter.
However CDEDI lauded opposition leader Nankhumwa for responding on the smuggled bill. .
Namiwa also was shocked to learn that one of the suspect Pastor Martin Thom, concerning the matter was released without valid reasons.
The grouping has also given 48 hours to Inspector General of Malawi police service Dr George Kainja to respond on the matter and to release a bail condition that are attached to pastor Thom who is outside the country now while other Malawians who have lesser cases as compared to his, their traveling documents are confiscated.
Namiwa is therefore appealing to Malawians to join the vigil where all corona preventive measures will be maintained.
Below is CDEDI statement:
CDEDI TO HOLD VIGIL AT THE PARLIAMENT BUILDING UNTIL THE SPEAKER, CLERK, AND LEADER OF THE HOUSE PROVIDE ANSWERS
The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), has resolved to hold a vigil at the National Assembly in the Capital Lilongwe, from Wednesday, 11th August, 2021, until the Clerk of Parliament, madam Fiona Kalemba, together with the Speaker Hon. Catherine Gotani Hara, and the Leader
of the House Hon. Richard Chimwendo Banda, have addressed issues surrounding the mysterious bill that was smuggled into the National Assembly, a few weeks ago.
Secondly, the vigil aims to force President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, to immediately set up a committee to investigate and report back to Malawians on the motive behind the smuggling of the bill, that sought parliaments approval to secure MK93 billion, as a loan from the Bank of Baroda, for the construction of houses for our men and women in uniform.
CDEDIs decision to hold a vigil at the parliament building, follows an expiry of a 48-hour ultimatum we gave madam Kalemba, Hon. Gotani Hara, Hon Chimwendo Banda, and the Leader of Opposition, Hon. Kondwani Nankhumwa, who has since given his side of the story, as per our earlier demands.
Malawians may wish to recall that the Nation Publications Limited (NPL), reported last week, that the draft piece, No. 22 of 2021, Bank of Baroda (construction of residential houses under the National Housing Project, and various security institutions), Loan Authorisation Bill, allowing the Malawi government to borrow MK93 billion, to finance the construction of houses for security agency workers in the country, found its way onto the order paper in the National Assembly, mysteriously.
In view of this, CDEDI demanded President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, to act decisively on the matter, by instituting an independent committee to investigate the scandal and report back to Malawians within 30 days.
We further demanded Hon. Gotani-Hara, Hon. Chimwendo Banda, Hon. Nankhumwa, and madam
Kalemba, to exonerate themselves from this mafia kind of syndicate.
Now that the 48 hours have elapsed, CDEDI has taken it upon itself to hold vigil at the parliament building. Malawians of goodwill are kindly invited to join CDEDI at the parliament building for the vigil, should they wish to do so.
As usual, the city authorities, specifically the Lilongwe City Assembly, has been notified about CDEDIs intention to hold the vigil at the parliament building, and it is our expectation that the Malawi Police Service (MPS) will provide security, as per their constitutional mandate.
SYLVESTER NAMIWA, CDEDI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR