LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s civil rights body, The Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has challenged President Lazarus Chakwera to not proceed with plan constructing the contested MK9.4 billion swimming pool arguing that the project is ill-timed.
CDEDI has therefore asked President Chakwera to fire Sports Minister Ulemu Msungama for lying to Malawians that the project was funded by International Olympic Committee (IOC), the organization has refused of being involved.
In a press statement made available to The Maravi Post, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa observes that Malawi does not need a world class swimming pools as Msungama wants both the president and the voters to believe.
CDEDI has reminded President Lazarus Chakwera that Malawi is currently faced with a number of challenges in the health, education and economic sectors.
“It is, therefore, unimaginable for the country to spend such amounts on a luxurious sports complex, which shall soon become a white elephant, and a drain for our hard earned taxes when time for maintainance works arrive. CDEDI and indeed many Malawians of good will believe the swimming pool is not a priority area to invest in at this material time when the nation is also grappling with unprecedented suicide cases among the youths.
“It is uncalled for, for a well meaning leader, to invest such a colossal amount in a project that will benefit a few when the same government is elusive on the future of the 1 million jobs the youth were promised; when the country’s cities and towns have bad road networks; and when the health and education systems are falling apart,” observes Namiwa.
“We need facilities like the St John of God’s center that should provide sporting, counseling and guidance to our youths. Malawi youths need the one million jobs hence our call for the release of the much-awaited new cabinet so that there is someone to champion the creation of one million jobs.
“Malawi youths need adequate spaces in primary and secondary schools as well as in its colleges.Malawians need community play grounds fitted with counseling facilities across the country to avert the surging cases of suicides,” he says.
Namiwa adds, “CDEDI is therefore demanding that government must fire Msungama and announce the discontinuation of this insult to the majority of Malawian youths who seek decent livelihood opportunities.Should government proceed with its decision to construct the swimming pool, CDEDI will not hesitate but mobilize the youth to stand up and refuse to be used as pawns.
“The development has also given credit to speculations that some Malawi Congress Party officials have direct financial interests in the project. To avoid such speculations Chakwera should stop the project immediately”.
The nation is yet to hear from Chakwera on CDEDI demand as for several times he has been ignoring such demands.