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Chiefs back K4 billion payout

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Paramount chiefs Thursday backed the K4 billion pay-out to lawmakers and warned against the April 27 demonstrations planned against the Peter Mutharika administration

Activists have called for the protests after Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe and Minister of Local Government Kondwani Nankhumwa ignored their calls to resign for orchestrating the K4 billion expenditure without Parliament’s approval.

“We are saying people should not take part in these demonstrations because we are concerned…during Cashgate we never heard anything about demonstrations but, now that we can see government being transparent, these people are saying they want to demonstrate,” Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa said.

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The meeting— which was led by Paramount Chief Lundu, and attended by Ngongoliwa Kawinga, senior chiefs Lukwa and Kapeni— was held at Ngolongoliwa’s Mtunda Osema Headquarters in Thyolo District.

“If Members of Parliament don’t want to receive the K4 billion, we, as traditional leaders, are ready to receive it through the office of the District Commissioner because we are the custodians of culture and development,” Lukwa said

Lundu also mobilised about 13 senior chiefs from the Southern Region to attend the meeting.

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Meanwhile, civil society organisations Thursday met top police officers in Lilongwe to discuss the route and other issues ahead of the planned protests.

The meeting discussed a voice clip making rounds on social media, warning people not to participate in the demonstrations.

On Wednesday, the Public Affairs Committee backed the demonstrations, the saying government should stop ruling the country with impunity.

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