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DPP, CSO leaders exclude key issues

A MEETING between Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) leaders   which took place in Lilongwe on Friday ended without concluding the issue of the party siphoning money from public institutions.

According to what both parties said after the two-hour meeting which took place at Golden Peacock Hotel, the issue of K13.5 million which the DPP received from Blantyre and Mzuzu city councils, as well as Lilongwe Water Board (LWB), will be handled in  a meeting to take place “in the near future”.

It has, however, been revealed that during the meeting, the DPP officials apologised to the CSOs on the use of abusive language in the debate on the issue.

DPP Vice President Hetherwick Ntaba, Secretary General, Greselder Jeffrey, central region governor, Dean Josiah, were joined by Presidential Advisor on nongovernmental organisations and CSOs Mavuto Bamusi in a meeting which took place for close to two hours.

Moses Mkandawire, Dorothy Ngoma, Billy Mayaya, Gift Trapence and Timothy Mtambo were some of the CSO leaders present.

“What we have agreed upon is that the three issues, with regard to the list of institutions, refunding of the money and stoppage of getting money from public institutions have not been discussed. And we have agreed that we will meet in the near DPP future to discuss those issues,” Mkandawire said.

He, however said the party apologised on the use of abusive language. “They have apologised to us. But we have also understood the context in which those words like zachamba or rubbish were uttered.

But we have also advised them that it will be up to the leadership of the party to go public and apologise to the people of Malawi, because we were insulted as civil society, but also the people we represent,” Mkandawire said.

Ntaba said the meeting was important as it has helped to iron out some misunderstandings.

“We are very happy that we had this meeting. Both sides have agreed to have dialogue. We were concerned that when this issue came out for the first time, their side and our side were just discussing it in the media. There were distortions sometimes,” Ntaba said.

The meeting took place few days after the party asked for discussions on the issue following plans by CSOs to take the matter to court.

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