Government and the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Goodall Gondwe are still coming under intense pressure from critics over the suspicious rural projects’ funding dished to Members of Parliament.
This comes a week after The Malawi News unearthed details of the suspicious allocation which initially targeted 86 lawmakers [K40 million each] who joined government in rebuffing the proposed electoral reforms bills during the last sitting of Parliament.
Barely a day after Leader of the House Kondwani Nakhumwa had told the public that the money would be distributed equally to all the 193 lawmakers, some Civil Society Organizations joined forces to demand for the withdrawal of the transaction all together.
Youth and Society Executive Director Charles Kajoloweka has, in a petition, given Gondwe and government a seven-day ultimatum to rescind the decision or face legal implications.
In an interview, Kajoloweka described the allocation as an organized form of corruption aimed at rewarding politicians that support impunity.
He said government’s decision to share the money equally to the constituencies does not address the people’s concerns regarding its source and criterion used to choose the initial beneficiary constituencies.
“There is no justification whatsoever; this is political appeasement in the name of development. So we demand that within the seven days, beginning Wednesday, the
Minister of Finance should tell the nation that there will be no such transaction,” Kajoloweka said. Adding his voice, leader for Karonga Youth for Justice and Development Steven Simsokwe said the choice of the 86 beneficiary Members of
Parliament (MP) who are said to be flirting with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is clear indication that the latter is bent at using public resources to gain political advantage as 2019 draws close.
Political Commentator George Phiri of University of Livingstonia concurred with the activists, saying there is no morality in sharing the fraudulent budgetary allocation.
“The MPs are to blame and so is the government. In the first place, if you are elected to serve the interests of the people there is no reason for you to be bribed into anything that is not in the interest of the public, let alone the people that voted you into power,” Phiri said.
Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Alekeni Menyani had on Tuesday called for engagement of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), stressing his committee would like to know the source of the money.
It was however not to be as Gondwe simply extended the funds to the entire House, muting all the voices of the opposing MPs.
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