By Lusekero Mhango
KARONGA-(MaraviPost)-UTM Party has defended its Secretary General who is also Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati over criticism that she allegedly used party structures to hand out forms to women for loans through the Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (MADEF).
The Minister’s criticism came following her recent visit to Karonga where it has been alleged that during her visit she held a meeting with women from the party where MADEF forms were distributed to women formed groups.
Speaking in an interview UTM Secretary for the north Jane Mbale who accompanied the Minister at the meeting,,said Kaliati did nothing wrong as she did not distribute MADEF forms as its being alleged by certain quarters of the public.
“The truth of the matter is that the honourable Minister came to Karonga on government duties and seeing this the karonga business women invited her for an audience where they wanted to discuss with her issues of business, MADEF loans and a word of encouragement from the Minister and no point in time did she distribute forms as its being alleged,”Mbale said.
Adding, that during the brief meeting women from different political parties were present not as it’s being reported.
“It’s very unfortunate that some people are spreading fake news in order to tarnish the party and that of the honourable minister but as a party we remain unshaken and united,” she warned.
Susan Mwakikunga one of the business women present at the meeting, said it was unfortunate that certain individuals have politicised the Minister’s meeting with them as their audience with Kaliati was simply a Minister meeting the karonga business women not a party function.
However Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace under the karonga diocese Desk Officer Lewis Nkhatha, has warned politicians not to meddle in issues of MADEF loans saying the development is retro progressive against development of a nation.
“We do not want what was happening in the past and indeed in the past government where party royalist were given preferential treatment when it came to public developmental resources and services as this created inequality among people hence the warning to politicians to not interfere in such public resources,” he explained.