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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

DPP must return money to parastatals

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Some civil society organisations (CSOs) are, rightly, not relenting in their quest to have Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) return the taxpayers’ money it received as donations from some parastatals and city councils for the ruling party’s Blue Night fundraiser.

For starters, reports have merged that Blantyre and Mzuzu city councils, despite their poor service delivery to their residents, contributed a total of K8.5 million to the coffers of the ruling party.

Therefore, through a letter filed by the CSOs’ legal counsel, Wesley Mwafulirwa, the groups have made solid arguments on why it is morally and legally wrong for DPP to squeeze the cash out of underperforming statutory corporations that are offering the public poor services due to, what they claim, is severe cash problems.

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The CSOs have made it plain that DPP’s conduct is criminal in nature and violates Section 25B (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act, which is against using public funds in private business such as the ruling party.

To make matters worse, DPP Secretary General, Greselder Jeffrey, and the party’s Central Region Vice-President, Hetherwick Ntaba, have, of late, responded to these genuine calls from the CSOs with insults such as ‘zachamba’ and ‘rubbish’.

DPP should, for once, be sensitive and realise that the CSOs are merely speaking on behalf of the voiceless poor masses whose taxes fund these parastatals.

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If anything, the poor performance of these parastatals is partly due to appointment of party sympathisers into the boards of the government agencies, thereby compromising service delivery.

The sole reason the ruling party plants its ‘blue people’ in the boards of these statutory corporations is for these undeserving and, sometimes unqualified, men and women to return the favour to the party masters by providing vehicles and money to DPP activities.

Yes, this is a party whose government would like us to believe it is serious on championing reforms in the public sector when DPP itself is refusing to reform.

The ruling party cannot claim that these are mere donations when it is common knowledge that these parastatals are under pressure to do so. In any case, why should DPP feel comfortable receiving millions from these financially struggling parastatals?

Now the CSOs are saying ‘enough is enough’— DPP must return the taxpayers’ money at all cost. DPP should just return the money and save itself from growing ridicule.

The reforms which the DPP-led government is advancing need political will for them to become a reality. Such political will needs to start by ending this immoral conduct of milking the poor institutions, which are failing to deliver basic services such as streetlights, garbage collection and road maintenance.

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