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Kamlepo Kalua calls for the Resignation of President Peter Mutharika, Says he has failed as a leader

Hon Kamlepo Kalua Interview By: Lloyd M’bwana

 

KARONGA, Sunday, April 10, 2016, (MaraviPost): God’s time is always the best, that’s the vocabulary and language which the man of the moment on Malawi political scene, Kamlepo Kalua is enmeshed in. Since the down of democracy even before that, Kalua has been vocal through various media outlets until former President Joyce Banda recognized him which led to him eventually winning the Parliamentary seat for Rumphi East constituency under Peoples Party (PP) ticket.

 

The past week, The Maravi Post (MP)’s Reporter, Lloyd M’bwana in the capital Lilongwe caught up with Kalua on a little bit of his political journey, his role as vice chairperson of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament and his stances of calling the incumbent President Peter Mutharika to resign. Excerpts:

 

 

MP: Welcome, Honorable Kamlepo Kalua. Can you briefly tell us and our leaders on how your political journey has been like?

 

Kalua: I am political activist, started way back in 1991 in Republic of South Africa (RSA) through Channel Africa Radio and other media outlet. In fact I was very instrumental to the country’s multiparty dispersion from Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s rule. I started as a young man at time which eventually I competed for the presidential race in 1994 and 1999 but I didn’t make it in both elections.

Therefore, since then I have been an advocate of the country’s democracy with political persecutions on my head from Bakili Muluzi, Bingu wa Mutharika leaderships until former head of state Joyce Banda noticed something important in me which consequently I capitalized on then become a Member of Parliament (MP) for Rumphi East and currently serving as People’s Party (PP) Vice President for the Northern Region,

Vice Chairperson for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Malawi Parliament and member of Parliamentary committee on education.

MP: Honorable Kalua, you lost both presidential elections in 1994 and 1999 which eventually you won the parliamentary seat under Joyce Banda leadership, should we read too much that cash gate made you into this?

 

Kalua: Hahahaha (loughs). I am not a product of cashgate but God’s time is always the best. I think, It is God himself who decided that it was necessary for me to see the doors of the August House through Joyce Banda leadership on PP’s ticket.

 

MP: You are currently the vice chairperson for PAC of Parliament, how relevant is this committee?

 

Kalua: This is a very important committee of Parliament which overseers, monitors and investigates government expenditures and that there is economic prudence. It also summons controlling officers on public expenditures to tell us how the tax-payers money is being used.

 

MP: Looking thoroughly how public funds have been misappropriated and abused over the years by controlling officers, is really PAC a committee the general public should rely on?

 

Kalua: Why not? The public should keep on trusting on us. Just for your information this past week committee demanded a former controlling officer for Nkhotakota to pay back the money they misused failing which will face arrest or dismissal from their positions.  Isn’t that relevant? This is one of the practical works PAC do. The committee will surcharge any public officer who might abuse tax-payers money. These monies are for all of us therefore it’s unacceptable for just few individuals reaping from the poor.

Parliament suspect billions of Kwacha’s were stolen between 2008 and 2010 in most Districts, Towns and City Councils as it has discovered that a lot of payment vouchers and supporting documents for some expenditures are still missing.

Some district councils are appearing before the Committee to respond to audit of 2008 to 2010 with focus on missing payment vouchers highlighted in the audit reports under the period. The committee is following up on unaccounted purchases of fuel, other materials for projects and subsistence allowances among others as there were no supporting documents during the time of auditing. However, it has been established that although the documents went missing during the material time of auditing, during the appearance to Public Accounts Committee the papers are being brought to auditor general for certification.

Committee has been informed that some of the missing documents have been traced and have now been certified by the Auditor General. The common justifications given to the Committee has been that most documents could not be traced at time of audit due to misplacement. However, still some districts have failed to trace the payment vouchers of which the committee has further demanded the Councils to produce the documents

 

MP: Let’s cross over to your party, PP. You are the Vice President forthe north the time there are two factions that of Reverend Christopher Ngwira and the Acting PP’s President, Uladi Musa. When you tally the two, how do you see the future of this party?

 

Kalua: There are no factions in the north. The situation in the north,  it is a result of frustration from misguided Ngwira who didn’t like the decision our leader, Joyce Banda made by appointing Uladi Mussa as Acting President which was contrary to his (Ngwira’s) wishes that Khumbo Kachali should be the one. Instead of accepting the authority’s decision, the latter is busy causing havoc which won’t take himanywhere. Members however must be assured of total control of PP’s affairs by us who have been trusted with power.

 

MP: Honorable Kalua, you were vocal starting from the late Kamuzu Banda, Muluzi, Bingu and you ceased during Joyce Banda regime but now you are at it again on the incumbent Peter Mutharika. What is the problem with you and should the public read your antics too much?

 

Kalua: A problem? You are a joke. I don’t think the public should read too much on what I do but judge me on the course pursuing that there is drugs in hospitals, enough maize in Admarc deports, public funds are used appropriately, and power isn’t abused to score political mirage and that there’s economic growth. If such calls are a problem, then will stop advocating for the better lives of the poor which I have fought for and I was part of the people who ushered in democracy this country.

 

MP: You are pursuing the good course for the poor but the general public is dormant in picking up these issues to authorities for actions as in one there is strength. Why most Malawians don’t like questioning the leaderships’ mistakes?

 

Kalua: Wow, good question: Most Malawians are embroiled with the culture of secrecy; fear and failing to point out mistakes authorities make no matter how big the blander might be. We live a closed society of tribalism and regionalism. You might once notice that if someone from a certain region or tribe gaffes, people of that area or tribe don’t voice out their concerns no matter the pain might be inflicted upon.

To some is a political inclination that if they oppose the leadership their children, families are going to suffer which is dragging the nation backwards after 52 years of independence. But to some of us we have suffered a lot that even the fruits of our efforts will not enjoybut the generation to come as only God knows.

MP: Honorable Kalua, is being a lawmaker made you more confortable in political sphere than ever before?

 

Kalua: No, No! No! As earlier stated, I started active politics way back in 1990s only that I wasn’t in a strategic forum like the Parliament where one contributes a lot on policies and laws formulations which help the poor people to get better services. In fact, I always raise issue when need be.

 

MP: You are still insisting that President Peter Mutharika should resign for what you claim to be leadership failure. Do you think the President can bow down to such calls?

 

Kalua: Ohoo, yes, Mutharika must go. He has completely failed to winthe trust of people. Mutharika is unable to take charge of the state hence economic down turn which has brought numerous challenges to most Malawians. The nation is desperate for comprehensive leadership to bail them out from the current economic mess. If he won’t resign we will keep on reminding him his responsibility of providing quality public services.

 

MP: If the President resigns today and be it that fresh elections are held, do you think Peoples Party (PP) can retain its lost glory?

 

Kalua: Why not? Who knows that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will come back to power after two years in opposition? Anything in politics can happen no matter how rough the journey the party can take. What we want from this leadership is to provide enough drugs in hospitals, low inflations rates, stabilizing of the Malawi Kwacha, enough maize in Admarc, portable water, and good roads networks among others.

 

MP: After all is said and done, what legacy do you want to leave after this life not we are wishing you dead?

 

Kalua: You are very interesting. I want always to be remembered as one of the few individuals who fought one rule system of government, the person who speaks the truth, the person who fears nothing but standing for the values of the democracy and an individual who is patriotic to his nation.

 

MP: Our readers might be interested on your personal life. Are you married? What else we don’t know about Kamlepo Kalua?

Kalua: Wow, there’s no problem knowing my personal life. I am now 58 years old and a married man of four children and prayerful person but suffered several political persecutions which even affected my family unable to enjoy public services such as education but all in God has kept us alive till now.

 

MP: What last word do you want to leave us together with our readers?

Kalua: Let’s love our nation, Malawi by being patriotic and responsible to the calls of needy. Lets learn listening to the dissenting views for our growth. Nobody will transform this country without us.

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