By Lovemore Khomo
Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiative (CDEDI) has advised President Lazarus Chakwera to stop prioritising luxurious life amid problem engulfing the country, but focus on the strategies that can alleviate the sufferings of the most vulnerable population.
CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa spoke on Wednesday during a press briefing to share some issues his organisation has delivered to the president through a letter dated 25th April, 2023.
Namiwa said it is unthinkable that Chakwera government is planning to buy luxurious cars amid impending hunger following a difficult farming season which has been worsened by poor delivery of Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP), and weather shocks epitomised by Cyclone Freddy that washed away hundreds of hectares of crop fields.
Namiwa explained that an abdication of constitutional powers to unknown individuals as per the President’s own public admission, a scenario also echoed by the country’s Catholic bishops in their December 2022 pastoral statement is another big challenge that needs much attention.
He then cautioned endemic corruption and institutionalised incompetence in a public domain that President Chakwera has put in record that 84 people were implicated in alleged corrupt deals involved businessperson Zuneth Sattar.
“The President immediately fired the then Inspector General of Police Dr. George Kainja and the Anti-Corruption Bureau subsequently pounced on the former police chief. The President went on to withdraw his delegated powers to the Vice-President Dr. Saulos Chilima who, after sometime, was also arrested by the ACB.” said Namiwa.
Namiwa also asked for clarity on the case involving former State House Chief of Staff Prince Kapondamgaga as there has been silent all long, and don’t even know future of the ACB investigations.
CDEDI has also raised issue on the future of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) secretary general Hon. Eisenhower Mkaka’s case with the ACB, in relation to the Mercedes Benz believed to have been a donation from Sattar saying these cases have compelled them and if it still remains relevant to the country.
CDEDI has further expressed concern over uncertainty future of the Agriculture Development and Marketing Cooperation (ADMARC) and the outright torture subjected to former and existing employees through closure of its offices back in December paving way for restructuring.
“We would also like to ask President Chakwera to explain on his government’s decision to sell donated fertiliser to the vulnerable and marginalised Malawians. Worse still, governments snatching of the MK30,000 from AIP beneficiaries in the pretext of advance payment for the fertilizer which some of them have not redeemed to date.” Namiwa asked.