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Transformation Alliance conference venue cancelled

College o f Medicine (CoM) Sports Complex has cancelled venue booking for a conference of pressure group, Transformation Alliance (TA), which was scheduled for August 25 at the Blantyre facility.

TA Chairperson, Moses Kunkuyu, yesterday said CoM called TA to inform the pressure group that they could not allow the grouping to use their venue anymore citing noise as a concern since they have their students on campus now.

He said CoM also claimed that the booking did not elaborate the nature of the business.

Kunkuyu, however, alleged that the move to cancel the venue is political and it is aimed at frustrating the group ahead of the national conference.

“All the bookings and payments were done last month. But they just called to say they had instructions to cancel our booking. This is purely political, because even the lady who called to tell me the news was seemingly at pains relaying the news. We have sources who have indicated that the instructions came from a political player from the Southern Region but I will not dwell on that one,” he said.

Kunkuyu said the conference will not be rescheduled as preparations are almost ready.

“Most of the logistical preparations were done, accommodation, the transport and the guests that are coming from other countries, thus their flight reservations have been done, so it will be extremely difficult to cancel the conference.

“We believe the conference is comprised of something within TA and Malawians. So we can hold the conference anywhere, even if it means holding it on a roadside or an open field. What we want is to hold the conference at a place where we will not disturb others and we should equally not be disturbed,” he said.

But CoM Sports Complex’s Manager, Augustine Banda, said he has not followed the development as he is on leave.

He said he will make an effort today to find out from both the complex’s management and officials from TA to find out the fact of the matter.

But, the government Spokesperson, Nicholas Dausi, has distanced the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led government from the venue cancellation.

“That is an institution and it is under University Council, and there is no way the government could control everything. The government, under democracy, respects those institutions by the virtue of their mandate and autonomy,” he said.

On delegates, Kunkuyu said Zambia’s opposition party United Progressive People leader, Saviour Chishimba, has confirmed to attend the conference among others.

“We have a tentative confirmation locally from most of the political players, we are yet to get confirmation from DPP. And our office has received confirmation from most political parties including the leader of opposition [Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera]. Other confirmations will follow as the days get close,” he said.

TA was formed in 2015 and the conference is aimed at choosing new leaders and having views from local and international politicians who would help address some of Malawi’s challenges.

Chishimba has been in the limelight for reporting corrupt practices and fraud by Zambian and Malawian government officials in the scandal christened Maizegate.

The outcome of the revelations has seen Malawi’s former Minister of Agriculture, George Chaponda, Transglobe Operations Director, Rashid Tayub, and Grain Traders Association of Malawi Chairperson, Grace Mijiga Mhango, being arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The trio, who are currently on bail, were arrested following recommendations from two separate inquires.

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