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CSOs pen Global Fund on Peter Mutharika’s appointment

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BY SERAH MAKONDETSA & AUDREY KAPALAMULA:

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have written the Global Fund, asking it to reverse its decision to appoint President Peter Mutharika as champion of the fund’s sixth replenishment campaign.

In a letter dated July 27 2018, the CSOs, operating under the banner Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), argue that the appointment was made without due diligence.

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The CSOs further argue that the appointment has been made without regard to Mutharika’s track record, citing the Malawi Police Service (MPS) procurement scandal whose investigations report has implicated the President.

“We believe that this was an appointment made without due diligence and in total disregard of President Mutharika’s domestic track record. We believe that, had due diligence been conducted, the Global Fund would have come to the conclusion that President Mutharika lacks the requisite moral standing to be a champion for Global Fund, more so in a position that requires him to lead efforts in soliciting funding pledges,” the letter reads in part.

HRDC Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, Sunday said the Global Fund erred in this appointment.

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“We want the Global Fund to immediately rescind its decision of appointing President Mutharika as an illustration of the Global Fund’s commitment to the values of accountability and transparency.

“They should show commitment to people of Malawi by joining us [CSOs] in Malawi and other international institutions in demanding that President Mutharika and all those implicated in serious corruption [be subjected] to justice and accountability,” Mtambo said.

But addressing journalists on his return from South Africa where he had attended the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) summit, Mutharika warned Mtambo and Trapence against promoting what he called the spirit of hate.

He said: “This is the first time they have ever asked anyone from the third world to do the fundraising. But I am very saddened to hear that two individuals from this country called Trapence and Mtambo went to Geneva to say that I should get disqualified in raising this money because I do not have the moral authority to do so.”

The Global Fund Wednesday appointed Mutharika as Champion of the Global Fund Sixth Replenishment Campaign.

Mutharika shall be responsible for coordinating activities aimed at harnessing efforts in soliciting funding pledges from countries, international organisations and individuals towards the Sixth Global Fund Replenishing Conference to be held in France in 2019.

The Global Fund is a Geneva-based international organisation that aims to mobilise, leverage and invest additional resources in ending the epidemics of HIV and Aids, tuberculosis and malaria to support the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.

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