BLANTYRE (MalawiTalk) – A law expert Mr Allan Z. Ntata who launched a citizen-led initiative to help build and ensure public accountability has hit at President Dr Lazarus Chakwera that he is presiding a fresh rubble that needs to be cleared, punching holes to expenditure of the K6.2 billion for the Covid-19 fight.
Ntata a law barrister who had previously worked at Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and also served as late president Dr Bingu wa Mutharika’s legal advisor writes in ‘Uncommon Sense’ column published by Sunday Times newspaper that although Chakwera administration has tried to ask donors for financial support dealing with the pandemic; “Malawians are almost unanimously refusing to trust the government with any money and are happily channelling the little they have to The Onjezani Kenani initiative.”
He writes: “There is no way to sugar-coat this: this is an alarming indictment of the Chakwera administration. It is an unambiguous charge that Chakwera and his administration have lost the confidence of those that voted it into power.
“Of utmost concern is that this is not surprising because the government’s appeal for financial donations comes after people have requested for a detailed accountability report of the MK6.2 billion, which the government – through Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) – is failing to honour.”
Questioning the expenditure of the K6.2 billion, Ntata noted that the 585 million Kwacha reportedly used to repatriate Malawians, the alleged beneficiaries are vehemently denying receiving government assistance that would justify the expenditure of such a colossal sum of money.
“If anything, they claim to have paid for their transportation! The question therefore is: where did the MK585 million go?
“Without a detailed expenditure report, no one in their right minds believes the President’s statement.”
He continued: “Moreover, when contacted by Idriss Ali Nassa for a detailed report on the expenditure of the 6.2 billion Kwacha, Dodma which is in the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) reportedly said they couldn’t release a detailed report before an audit is done!
“Yet, the same department dared to use Chakwera’s rhetoric skills to launder its dubious expenditure report!”
Ntata, who established a watchdog called Independent Commission on Accountability and Transparency (iCAT) geared toward investigating, and supporting the prosecuting and preventing acts of corruption in both the public and private sectors of the Malawian society, including educating the public about the ills of corruption and the benefits of its eradication, gave credit to Onjezani Kenani and the citizens’ initiative for being transparent and accountable and hence more trustworthy than the Chakwera government.
“Any investigation can prove this as a fact,” he stated.
Ntata says President Chakwera ought to meditate on Collin Powell’s advice that “Leadership is solving problems and the day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.”
In his column, Ntata wrote: “In our case, Malawians are taking their problems to Onjezani Kenani. Now tell me, who is governing Malawi? Is it Chakwera or Kenani?”
In his televised address on Sunday from Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, Chakwera gave controlling officers and cluster heads 48 hours to account for the funds to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.
State House Director of Communication Mr Sean Kampondeni is on record to have told the Weekly Press Conference that President Chakwera appreciates the literature which Ntata has been writing regarding to fighting corruption.