President Chakwera Should Exonerate Himself From Nepotism, Corruption, Bribery Allegations
Press Statement
Blantyre, 13 February, 2021
The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has been compelled once again to take action on a number of emerging issues that have occurred in the country in the past few days.
CDEDI is aware that some issues have already been tackled by other civil rights campaigners, but it does no harm to add our voice on the same.
The social media is currently awash with issues ranging from the disturbing news about the alleged mismanagement of the MK6.2 billion that was meant for the Covid-19 response, to the Tonse Alliances loss of direction in terms of its commitment to honour their campaign promises that were contained in their consolidated manifesto. As if this was not enough, Malawians of good will may recall CDEDIs recent petition to President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, which contained, among other things his administrations growing tendencies of nepotism and his appetite of hiring retired civil servants, leaving in the cold the current crop of experienced and energetic civil servants at the Capital Hill who deserve promotions, thereby creating vacancies for more young people to join the civil service. We have been vindicated by a group of some members of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) who are calling themselves the Second Liberation of the Malawi Nation.
In their letter dated 8th February, 2021, the purported MCP Pressure group has accused President Dr. Chakweras administration of what the grouping has termed as nepotistic tendencies. The grouping is alleging that Dr. Chakwera is employing his relatives and cronies from his Church, the Assemblies of God. The grouping has further alleged that the Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mr. Zangazanga Chikhosi is playing some underhand tactics in frustrating the Tonse Alliance agenda by recalling and rewarding his friends to take up jobs in the civil service.
By coming out in the open with their true identities, the purported MCP grouping agrees with what CDEDI has always stood for, that Malawians were sold a dummy on June 23, 2020 when they voted the Tonse Alliance partners into office, on trust that they would execute their campaign manifesto, which contained a lot of sugar-coated promises. We commend the MCP grouping for their courage by holding the bull by its horns, and we further encourage all well-meaning Malawians to join this noble task of getting the Tonse Alliance administration back on track, before the goodwill that Malawians have for the new administration wanes off.
Thus far, CDEDI is in total support of the calls on the part of the Tonse alliance leaders to jointly address Malawians on the status of the alliance and provide a timeline on how the campaign promises will be fulfilled.
We at CDEDI would like to challenge the civil society organisations with support and capacity to initiate contact and dialogue with President Chakwera and the Tonse Alliance leaders on these issues of national importance, and encourage the leaders to report back to Malawians on the outcome of their dialogue. The Tonse alliance leaders campaigned together and Malawians deserve regular updates from them on the state of affairs and direction of the country.
While concurring with the MCP pressure group on their call for President Chakwera to do a serious soul searching on his administration, we would like to challenge him to institute an inquiry on the serious allegations that have been leveled against his senior staff at the State House, who the MCP grouping is accusing of soliciting bribes from the Malawians of Asian origin, and that the president should distance himself from such people.
Lastly, but not the least, CDEDI believes that Malawians voted into government the Tonse Alliance with a view to see change, and not the same business as usual kind of story. It is therefore our expectation that President Chakwera will take heed of the issues highlighted in this statement and indeed those that Malawians are discussing in the social media and open spaces.