Kwataine assures CSOs she will facilitate presidential audience as NAP wary with Malawi corruption

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CSOs under National Advocacy Platform (NAP) at the presser

LILONGWE (MalawiTalk) -Presidential adviser on non-governmental organisations Mrs Martha Kwataine has assured civil society organisations (CSOs) that she is ready to facilitate an audience for them with President Dr Lazarus Chakwera.

Kwataine gave the assurance when CSOs  asked her on Thursday February 25 2021 why that have not had an audience with the State President since submitting their grand petition last July.

National Advocacy Platform (NAP) chairperson Mr Benedicto Kondowe said the CSOs outlines various issues which they want to engage the President on.

Kwataine organised the  meeting with NAP in Lilongwe after NAP indictment on Chakwera that he is  indeed  slowly and steadily turning into the person he campaign against corruption to the point of decorating the then leader, Professor Peter Mutharika, with a disdaining name of a “prince of thieves” as he appears to be turning into the person he saw in Mutharika with his henchmen from State House and Office of the President (OPC) let loose to be in wrongful self-enrichment.

NAP said there was continued lack of accountability and transparency in the management of public resources, heightening corruption, fraud and abuse of public resources by the Chakwera-led administration.

He cited citing the recent K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds saga, unresolved reports of fraud at National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma), Crossroads Hotel saga, and bribe reports involving Ministry of Mines officials, apparently giving an indictment that Chakwera was shielding his troops from corrupt deals.

President Chakwera’s  henchmen from State House and Office of the President (OPC) threatening Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera)to award oil contracts to two suppliers for them to share the proceeds.

Secretary to President and Cabinet Mr Duvelious Zangazanga Chikhosi on orders from the Malawi leader has been forcing the award of oil supply contracts to two companies Mera rejected.

Mera reportedly refused to approve the contracts because of irregularities in the awarding of the contracts to the two companies out of 23 bidders.

It is further said that there are also concerns over the capacity of the two companies to supply fuel and over reports that Lake Oil is facing a debt crisis in Tanzania.

Said Kondowe: “While the government is seen to be taking tough stance against corruption suspects, fraud cases involving those connected to the administration including Ministers and advisors tend to be avoided with no explanations given. The financial and control systems remain weak and porous.”

Kondowe was flanked by NAP executive members Mr Leon Matanda, Ms Barbara Banda  chairperson of NGO-Gender Coordinating Network, Ms Stellabella Chikombole of Public Affairs Committee (PAC), Mr Desmond Mhango of the Centre for Youth and Children Affairs (CEYCA) and Mr Edward Chileka-Banda of Citizen Alliance.

On her part, Banda of NGO-GCN  said: “Reports of corrupt practices and numerous reversals of tenders is evidence that the administration is taking its time to act decisively on rebuilding the accountability systems.”

Banda  bemoaned the erosion of freedom of the press, saying “journalists  continue to face unwarranted attacks from political groups.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Eisenhower Mkaka, who is also President Chakwera’s green eyed boy and another powerful minister Mr Richard Chimwendo Banda are implicated to be on a rampage, demanding K50 million from each and every Asian businessperson who wants to bid for Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (Marep) tenders, if they want to be successful.

With the blessings of President Chakwera, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) established a committee to look at allocations of Marep tenders and that Chakwera and his errand boys should make a good fortune from it.

From the directions of the President, the Committee had to  include Mkaka and Chimwendo as they were the ones to report to the President directly and make sure the proceeds reached to him.

This has forced Mkaka and Chimwendo to be going around in town pushing Asian businesspersons to pay up to get a cut or they lose the contract.

Some Asians who are hesitant to pay the K50 million have been threatened to be started of government business.

CSOs under National Advocacy Platform (NAP) at the presser

They asked the Principal Secretary Mr Patrick Matanda and a senior ministry official Mr Rex Gama to prepare the necessary documents so that they see how to play around when one pays up.

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has been tipped on this issue to investigate.

The Joint Civil Society Platform on Governance chairperson  Mr Fryson Chodzi also condemned  corruption and fraud activities, saying the country needed to hear the logical conclusion of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) investigations into alleged abuse of public funds to pay hotel bills for some State House guests whose mission in the country was clouded in mist.

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