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Civil Society Organisations to march to State House

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Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have planned nationwide demonstrations slated for July 7 when a petition is expected to be presented to President Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu and Sanjika Palaces in Lilongwe and Blantyre respectively over the contentious K92 Billion Report.

In the North, the petition will be presented to Mzuzu City Council, according to organisers.

Spokesperson for the group, Billy Mayaya, told The Daily Times in an interview on Sunday that in the short-term, a special session of National Assembly must discuss the nature and scope of the (PricewaterhouseCoopers) preliminary findings, highlighting the content, anomalies if any and propose the way forward to speed up the audit.

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“There is a general outcry about the general lack of transparency and accountability on the part of government. Citizens are continually given this song and dance about investigations taking time to conclude and yet we still have the culprits walking around and assuming key government positions. This makes a mockery of our nascent democracy,” said Mayaya.

He said in Mzuzu demonstrators will congregate at Katoto from where they will proceed to read and deliver the petition to Mzuzu City Council.

Said Mayaya: “In Lilongwe we will march from Kamuzu Central Hospital to Parliament roundabout and proceed to Kamuzu Palace where a petition will be read out and handed over to the President. Similarly, in Blantyre demonstrators will march from old town hall to Sanjika Palace where a petition will be read out and delivered to a representative of government.”

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He further said Parliament should pursue the matter to its conclusion by demanding that a forensic audit be expedited so that suspects can be investigated and if guilty eventually prosecuted.

“A 10-month wait is unacceptable as that will impede investigations. We urge citizens to come out and express their disgust over this messy state of affairs. Malawians are aware of why this nation is not moving forward,

“Additionally, no development partner in their right mind would support the budgetary shortfall of 40 percent in this context where mafia-like tactics are being used to fleece poor Malawian taxpayers who can barely put together resources to have one meal a day,” he said.

The demos come against a background of a recently released data analysis report which members of Parliament have described as ‘fake’ and ‘irregular’.

However, The National Audit Office (NAO) and the Germany Embassy, which financed the audit exercise to the tune of €250,000, have come out in defence of the document, arguing that it has not been doctored.

The 52-page data analysis report, titled ‘Final Analysis Report: Reconstruction of the Malawi Government Cashbook for purposes of further investigations’ , found that at least K577 billion cannot be accounted for, according to the examined records for the period between January 2009 and December 2014.

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