LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has set to hold a vigil at the entrance of Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda’s office at Capital Hill in Lilongwe forcing him to resign for failing to recover botched MK750 million Inputs Programme (AIP).
This comes barely a week after CDEDI gave AG Nyirenda to explain on the matter.
Addressing the news conference on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 in the capital Lilongwe CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa hinted that the vigil will end until Nyirenda recover the funds or resign.
“Following the expiry of the seven-day ultimatum to the Attorney General (AG) to show Malawians proof that he recovered the MK750 million meant for the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP), the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), in collaboration with some concerned citizens, hereby informs the general public that, as per its notice, it will start holding vigils at the entrance of Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda’s office at Capital Hill in Lilongwe from Friday May 12,2023.
“As the law demands, CDEDI has dutifully notified the Lilongwe District authorities about this intended action,” reads part of CDEDI statement.
CDEDI is therefore challenging Malawians to stand firm in holding public officers accountable for their promises, and lies, as the surest way of fighting impunity and executive arrogance which is threatening the country’s young democracy.
“Malawians may wish to recall that as some citizens took to social media protesting government’s decision to pay the MK750 million to a butcher in the United Kingdom (UK) others, led by the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture Chairperson Sammer Suleman, concluded that the money was stolen and shared within.
“From nowhere, and without being forced, during an interview with Times Radio, the AG said point-blank that he would resign if the MK750 million was not recovered in full. He in fact, told the nation that the money was frozen in a bank account in Germany,” says Namiwa.
He added, “On April 28, CDEDI invoked the Access to Information (ATI) Act, trying to hold the AG accountable on this matter of national interest. As feared, CDEDI’s bid fell on deaf ears a typical example of impunity and executive arrogance.
“CDEDI, therefore, wishes to remind AG Chakaka-Nyirenda that, according to Section 12 of the Republican Constitution, all the legal and political authority derives from the people of Malawi and those exercising such authority, including the State President, do so on trust. Now, the question is. How do Malawians trust the AG who is not transparent, let alone not accountable to his own promise?”
Namiwa said, “On a second thought, the AG’s deafening silence gives credence to Hon. Suleman’s assertions that the money was, indeed, stolen and shared among those that feel they can do as they please with Malawians’ hard-earned taxes. Nonetheless, Malawians are eager to know how much of the MK750 million has been recovered.
“Further, the AG owes Malawians an explanation as to why, besides the sacking of Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe and his Deputy Madalitso Kambauwa-Wirima, no one has been arrested in connection with this shameful AIP scandal?”
“Alternatively, the AG should swallow his pride and accept that he lied to Malawians. Unless he provides evidence that the money has been recovered in full, Chakaka Nyirenda has lost the trust of the people of Malawi, therefore, the noble thing he should do is to resign.
“Malawians want an honest Attorney General. Similarly, letting him continue serving in this constitutional office will be setting a bad precedent that public officers of the AG’s caliber can lie and get away with it; that is unacceptable; hence CDEDI won’t leave Capital Hill until the AG produces evidence of recovery of the MK750 million or resign,” he said.
The vigils will run on all working days from 7am to 12 Noon.