By Macdonald Thom:
Last week, Mutharika donated 1,600 security gadgets to Apam.
But upon discovery of what has been written on the gadgets, the association has rejected the gadgets.
Apam Deputy General Secretary Ian Simbota said they are against the personalisation of the gadgets.
“It is one big question that I think a serious organisation like Apam shouldn’t just look at it and let it go. We are not ready to look as if we were siding with anyone,” Simbota said.Advertisement
He added: “If you look at guns, which the police and the Malawi Defence Force have, you will not find anything like ‘APM cares’, you will not find anything like ‘Bakili Muluzi cares’ or ‘Bingu cares’ because they were bought within the time such leaders were in power. So, why are those security gadgets written ‘APM cares’? We, as an association, can’t subscribe to that and we are not ready to use that and until it becomes neutral.”
When the 1,600 gadgets were being donated, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Cecilia Chazama said the ministry is grateful for the donation as it will play a role in the implementation of the National Action Plan on Persons with Albinism.
Efforts to seek Chazama’s reaction on Apam’s latest position proved futile as she could not be reached on her mobile phone.
Presidential Press Secretary Mgeme Kalirani was also not immediately available for comment.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition Chairperson Timothy Mtambo Friday said they support the decision Apam has made.
“We commend them for the decision. The national action must be funded. Nobody should be using people because of their vulnerability. For us, it is very difficult to isolate personal money from that of government. Somebody should not use national resources for campaign. That’s actually unacceptable. APM did not take the money from his pocket,” Mtambo said.
In February, in a meeting which Mutharika had with people with albinism, he made a number of promises, one of which was to purchase security gadgets for them.
K3.1 billion is needed for the implementation of the National Action Plan on Persons with Albinism.
Recently, government released K250 million towards the implementation of the action plan.
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