Unandi Banda, Billy Banda, Phillip Kamangira and Luther Mambala (from left) addressing the press on Thursday

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Civil Society leaders led by Malawi Watch on Thursday, December 10, 2020 took to task President Lazarus Chakwera’s Executive Assistance Sean Kampondeni for siding with State House on the decision to hire former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for technical expertise.

Kampondeni who is Chakwera’s over trusted son-in-law has defended Blair Institute’s hiring saying Malawi government will not coffer any penny to the institution’s operation.

Addressing the news conference in the capital Lilongwe, Malawi Watch Executive Director Billy Banda teared apart Kampondeni and his father-in-law Chakwera taking the nation for granted.

Banda reminded the state house that former President Joyce Banda also made similar decision which cost Malawi millions of kwacha to pay Blair whose work impact could not be traced on the ground.

He therefore dared statehouse not to make a mistake hiring Blair warning that his grouping will mobilize Malawians to chase Blair out of the country when he starts working.

“We are so much shocked with revelations that President Chakwera and his Tonse alliance have hired Tony Blair Institute to provide technical expertise to his administration for free, this is blue lie, this is taking Malawi back into colonial status; we can’t afford to bring this country into factory setting.

“We are aware as a country that Dr. Chakwera made a number of appointments of Chief advisors
namely:Chris Chaima Banda –Strategy and Manifesto implementation, Adamson Mkandawire – Rural Transformation and Development, Chancellor Kaferapanjira- Economy, Samson Lembani- Public Policy and Governance, Coleen Zamba- Sustainable Development Goals and International Relations, Advisors: Moses Kunkuyu- Chiefs and rural governance, Maxwell Thyolera- Parliamentary Affairs, Ephraim Chivunde- Political Affairs, Overstone Kondowe- People living with albinism and disability
Reverend Brian Kamwendo- Religious Affairs
Sheikh Hashim Abbas- Religious Affairs (Deputy)
Lucius Banda- Arts and Youth,” Banda pointed out.

He adds, “Then if Dr. Chakwera has indeed hired the Tony Blair Institute, what is the purpose of having this bunch of Advisors who are equally enjoying the benefits as
Cabinet Ministers?

According to Sean Kampondeni, the most powerful man in Tonse Alliance, he claimed that the Tony Blair Institute is so much moved with our poverty that unlike the many other countries which paid USD17 million in 2018 for TBI’s services. We are not children to be fooled by such foolish and stupid thinking that lunch is for free. Malawi will not pay a cent.

“Well, does he really know that the PP administration did the same and each of the 9 people that were hired from TBI was paid MK6.1m on a monthly basis? “

Banda fumes, “Mr. Kampondeni, stop this excitement for power, it’s too early for you to grow wings. We are therefore informing Malawians that we as a people are not able to accommodate Tony Blair Institute in this country and President Chakwera must take this warning very seriously that we are not relenting on TBI.

“These people are not welcome in this country. If anything, Tonse Alliance should pronounce its failure to govern this country, resign honourably and allow Malawians to call for
another Fresh Elections in which ably minded people can be elected to take this country forward”.


Below is the full state:

RUNNING A FAILED STATE THROUGH EXECUTIVE ARROGANCE, OPPRESSION, IMPUNITY AND SELECTIVE JUSTICE IS UNACCEPTABLE IN A DEMOCRATIC ERA


“Political and Legal Power derive from the people of Malawi; anyone exercising such power does so on sustained trust” (Section 12 Republican Constitution).

A time has come when people have to safeguard their rights. Malawi has reached that point. We Malawians shall never accept impunity, treachery and lies to rule.

We are a nation that is over half century free from the yoke of colonialism. One would have thought that now we have germinated and grown up enough to stand alone, to stop fooling the people that propel us into power, to respect the will of the people and live by the aspirations of the people of our motherland.

A time has come for accountability. We can no longer keep on dancing to the tom-toms of lies. Enough is enough. If we are to hold people accountantable then there is no best time than now.

Our dreams are splintered day in day out. The wishes and the will of the people get smothered on a daily basis. We are a nation that has risen beyond the ostrich mentality of burying its head in the sand when the storm rages.

We are here to face the storm. We are here to conquer the storm. Tonse Government has backtracked on the aspirations of the people.

The Government headed by Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has evidently failed to accord Malawians what they deserve.

We have been estranged from living the promised aspirations that had been sold to us during the campaign period.

Lies can no longer deceive us. People have to live by the promises that were made to them. No excuses.

No papering over cracks No more deceit. Enough is enough.

We keep on remaining a country burdened with promises that are never fulfilled. It would appear therefore that the battle against the monster of corruption is targeted in its sweeping power.

While others are persecuted without providing detailed reasons why they are being treated in such a manner, others are treated with toddler
gloves and if anything.. It is time that we Malawians now have to start questioning some of the things happening in our beloved country.

In the Malawi that belongs to Tonse we all ought to be treated equally as citizens of the motherland, the only place we can call home. What is justice if its wheels can only roll fast in one direction and take the snails’ pace in another direction?

Malawians have seen the nascent aspect of selective justice scrunching its teeth in the century of progress and fairness.

The Tonse government we were promised is getting perforated with selective justice. Has justice decided to crucify itself on the cross of choosing faces and political patronage?

Corruption fight by the ACB and selective justice

The President continues faulting corruption in the country saying it was time for action starting from the top to bottom. President Chakwera claims that corrupt people are leading this country into impoverishment and yet he cannot display in any way to have passion in the fight against corruption.

We find such sentiments rhetoric and political as the vice continues evidently seen on the rise even under his watch within the last 6 months.
While President Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance are busy painting a scare rosy picture in the fight against corruption, we are shocked with overwhelming evidence of gross mismanagement of public funds at State House and abuse of office by senior government officials.

The Anti- Corruption Bureau dealings appear to be very manipulative and selective to say the least. Malawi as a country deserves to have people of high calibre and not politically influenced as it is being observed.

ACB must know that as a people we know the law and should not pose
to be doing things diligently without any influence when it is open and clear that all they are claiming is false.

We are seriously concerned that despite having raised the alarm in so many ways, ACB chose to give a blind eye to matters of such concerns. It is against this background we propose the following:

  • ACB should give a public report on progress made in the fight against corruption including the State House –Crossroads Hotel accommodation corruption scandal, the NOCMA allegation, and the AIP within the next 7 days.
  • The judiciary should temporarily suspend hearing cases of corruption managed by ACB until such a report is released
  • The ACB should tell Malawians as to what happened to funds spent after the cancellation of 6th July, Celebrations due to Covid19 pandemic when all preparations were already done. Chakwera said that he will declare to Malawians all the expenses that were incurred. This has not been done.
  • The ACB should inform Malawians on the progress over Presidential Jet sale under PP Administration and how the proceeds were managed
  • The ACB should unfreeze the accounts of Former Head of State Professor Peter Mutharika for failure to notify Malawians on the crime that were committed. We feel this is nothing but political persecution aimed at crippling the opposition through undemocratic torture.
    We had an imprint that the Anti -Corruption Bureau would be unbound from the yoke of one sided view of corruption aspects. What do we tell the nation? What do we tell generations to come of our commitment to curb corruption? How slippery has corruption become to those whose hands are sunk deep in the sand of political
    power? ACB, we need answers. This nation needs illumination. We will not go to sleep when justice is inlet undercoat selectively. We will never get tired of seeking answers. We will never only be eloquent in silence.
    We will raise our voices until we are heard and responses, convincing responses are accorded to us. For Malawi we shall live and if need there be, die for. President Chakwera and ACB have demonstrated total failure in the fight against corruption in the country due to their silence on the matter that is directly involving state house gurus. The silence of ACB on the matter is raising serious questions in the fight against corruption. ACB has been finally captured. It is getting instructions from HRDC as to who should be arrested. This is unprofessional and shambolic in
    the administration of justice in this country. HRDC does not have any Constitutional obligation to be the advisory board for ACB. This is tantamount to childishness and recklessness by ACB.

  • Hiring of Tony Blair
    We are so much shocked with revelations that President Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance have hired Tony Blair Institute to provide technical expertise to his administration for free, this is blue lie, this is taking Malawi back into colonial status; we can’t afford to bring this country into factory setting. We are aware as a
    country that Dr. Chakwera made a number of appointments of Chief advisors
    namely:
  1. Chris Chaima Banda –Strategy and Manifesto implementation
  2. Adamson Mkandawire – Rural Transformation and Development
  3. Chancellor Kaferapanjira- Economy
  4. Samson Lembani- Public Policy and Governance
  5. Coleen Zamba- Sustainable Development Goals and International Relations
    Advisors
    Moses Kunkuyu- Chiefs and rural governance
    Maxwell Thyolera- Parliamentary Affairs
    Ephraim Chivunde- Political Affairs
    Overstone Kondowe- People living with albinism and disability
    Reverend Brian Kamwendo- Religious Affairs
    Sheikh Hashim Abbas- Religious Affairs (Deputy)
    Lucius Banda- Arts and Youth.
    Then if Dr. Chakwera has indeed hired the Tony Blair Institute, what is the
    purpose of having this bunch of Advisors who are equally enjoying the benefits as Cabinet Ministers? According to Sean Kampondeni, the most powerful man in Tonse Alliance, he claimed that the Tony Blair Institute is so much moved with our poverty that unlike the many other countries which paid USD17 million in 2018 for TBI’s services. We are not children to be fooled by such foolish and stupid thinking that lunch is for free. Malawi will not pay a cent. Well, does he really know that the PP administration did the same and each of the 9 people that were
    hired from TBI was paid MK6.1m on a monthly basis? Mr. Kampondeni, stop this excitement for power, it’s too early for you to grow wings. We are therefore informing Malawians that we as a people are not able to accommodate Tony Blair Institute in this country and President Chakwera must take this warning very seriously that we are not relenting on TBI. These people are not welcome in this country. If anything, Tonse Alliance should pronounce its failure to govern this country, resign honourably and allow Malawians to call for another Fresh Elections in which ably minded people can be elected to take this
    country forward.
    Signed Billy Banda
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