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DPP abuses power

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Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is embroiled in abuse of power controversy after grabbing an official vehicle used by Deputy Mayor for Mzuzu City Frazer Chunga and using it for party functions.

The Daily Times spotted Chunga walking in the city on Tuesday. When asked why he had to hoof it, spotting dusty shoes, the deputy city father said his official car had been grabbed by the DPP regional committee for their functions in the region, one of which was campaigning for the party’s candidate in Chibanja Ward by elections.

Chunga said it had become a trend for such a thing to happen, citing a recent example when the DPP also grabbed his vehicle and used it during the recent visit by the First Lady Gertrude Mutharika when she opened a girls’ hostel at Baula School in Mzimba and laid a foundation stone for another girls’ hostel in Chitipa.

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And this week, said Chunga, the party also grabbed his vehicle and used it for a function organised by DPP’s director of women Patricia Kaliati in Chitipa on Tuesday.

“I have been a victim whenever the DPP officials decide to hold meetings in the region. They always use my car to carry party supporters or regional executive members. The council secretariat has no say because it is orders from above. Do you think I deserve this? I know that some people even laugh at me in mockery. I am sure this is happening because I am a People’s Party member,” said Chunga.

He said the DPP regional committee always undermines the Mayor’s office because, he and his boss, are both from opposition People’s Party.

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Incensed with the DPP’s conduct, Chunga said he approached the council secretariat on Tuesday and shouted at them for their failure to stop the DPP from using his vehicle for party functions, arguing the whole episode was putting the council to shame when residents see him walking in the city.

But DPP Regional Governor for the North Kenneth Sanga said he did not see any problem for the vehicle to be used during the First Lady’s function, arguing that her engagements were official. Sanga hit back at Chunga, accusing him and the Mayor of abusing their official vehicles by using them on personal errands.

“Let him [Deputy Mayor] shut up and concentrate on developing the city. Did people vote for him to be enjoying in the cars? It is him who misuses the city’s vehicle because I met him carrying maize from his farm using the same vehicle. Is that worth it? Between him and the First Lady who went to Chitipa and Mzimba who used the car productively? Chunga and his Mayor are all [sic] failures,” Said Sanga.

He added: “Let them see what their friends are doing in Lilongwe and Blantyre. Our Mayors are busy drinking tea at the council instead of leading fellow councillors in development. Who told them that their job is just to be driven in the car?” questioned Sanga.

Then Sanga said the regional committee has never used the council car to ferry people for party assignments. He said the party is clean and that the Deputy Mayor’s claims are aimed at hiding his failure to develop the city.

In an interview later, Mzuzu City Acting Chief Executive Officer Victor Masina said the council only provides transport to the Mayor and his Deputy when they are on official duties.

“If you see the Deputy Mayor not on official duty then he does not deserve that. It is just a privilege to be providing him with a vehicle when he is moving in town. We follow Conditions of Service and we are safe,” said Masina.

Quizzed as to why his council gives vehicles to the DPP, Masina said: “There I cannot comment because it’s him [Chunga] who is saying that.”

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