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DPP faces legal action

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Pressure continues to mount on the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as various civil society organisations (CSOs) have joined forces to launch a court battle in an attempt to force the party to return the money it received from parastatals.

DPP got the money for its fundraising Blue Night event in Lilongwe recently.

Youth and Society (Yas) Executive Director, Charles Kajoloweka, said following the elapsing of the 14-day ultimatum given to the party to pay back the taxpayers’ money, the organisations have decided to seek legal redress as a way of reminding the DPP-led government to uphold and defend the country’s Constitution.

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Apart from Yas, the other CSOs include Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Centre for Development of People (Cedep), Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) and Church and Society in the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian.

Two weeks ago, The Daily Times obtained verified information that Blantyre and Mzuzu city councils committed K5 million and K3.5 million respectively towards the fundraising event while the Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) gave DPP K5million.

“We note with concern that our public statements have been undermined and defied, so we intend to officially write the DPP and make a specific demand. We are telling them that we expect immediate compliance within the next seven days. We will declare our interest to sue them therein,” Kajoloweka said.

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He condemned the party’s leadership for dismissing its critics on the matter, saying that  validates their decision to use the established means, in this case the court, to hold DDP accountable.

Kajoloweka said the CSOs have independently established that the National Roads Authority, the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority, Malawi Revenue Authority and the National Food Reserve Agency are among the top institutions that were ransacked.

CHRR Executive Director, Timothy Mtambo, said the organisations joined forces to demand accountability from DPP and the public institutions that supported the party’s function.

He said by rubbishing the CSOs’ call to pay back the money, DPP has demonstrated insolence of highest order and then accused it of abuse of power.

DPP Vice President for the Central Region, Hetherwick Ntaba, was quoted in the media to have branded the calls ‘rubbish’ while party Secretary General, Greselder Jeffrey, said it was ‘zachamba’ [nonsense].

“No matter how much they tell us we are rubbish, we are not going to keep quiet! We know that the government is powerful and it used such power to bully parastatals onto making such unwarranted payments.

“Need I say that most of those institutions are not performing impressively on financial grounds and for them to splash Malawians money just like that is uncalled for. And we are calling for the firing of the heads of the concerned institutions,” Mtambo said.

He called for the intervention of the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament on the matter.

But Pac Chairperson, Alekeni Menyani, said they are calling for incriminating evidence against the institutions, saying such public bodies ought to serve Malawians prudently and distance themselves from partisan politics.

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