Press Release
April, 29, 2020 Lilongwe
The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) commends President Arthur Peter Mutharika for finally listening to the voice of reason by dissolving the Cabinet Committee on COVID-19 though a bit too late when the damage has been caused already.
If the recent leaked conversation between Minister of Health Jappie Mhango, who was the Chairperson of the now dissolved COVID-19 ministerial Committee and Minister of Information Mark Botomani a member of the committee and government spokesperson, is anything to go by, then many Malawians who expressed their reservations on the conduct of the committee have been vindicated!
Listening to the conversation it is clear that the committee members’ priority was to enrich themselves on the pretext of combating the pandemic.
CDEDI is convinced that the leaked conversation and the video clip that have gone viral on both mainstream and social media platforms means an outright job that has been cut out for President Mutharika who in his own words while swearing in this cohort of ministers at Sanjika Palace warned he would not spare corrupt ministers.
On the other hand the involvement of the government spokesperson means the face of government has been heavily bruised to the effect that every time the minister is seen or heard speaking on radio and on TV the contentious conversation will be coming to the minds of the general public.
CDEDI is therefore giving Mutharika 48 hours to fire Mhango and Botomani for the sake of his own credibility and that of his own Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
His prompt action will also act as a spring board to his commitment to fight against corruption which is synonymous to his six year reign.
Should CDEDI’s call land on deaf ears we on behalf of the citizens of Malawi will be compelled to write the country’s major traditional donors such as the American government, the British government, the Peoples’ Republic of China, Germany and world agencies and institutions such as WHO, USAID and the like to stop direct COVID-19 support to Malawi government and use parallel structures to channel the same so that they should be used for the intended purpose.
CDEDI cannot sit back and watch politicians sharing money that is meant to save lives of the ordinary people that cannot afford to pay for the private access to health facilities.
CDEDI is also appealing to the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director Rayneck Matemba to move in swiftly by prosecuting the two ministers who, according to the conversation, are caught in the act, on the other hand, the members of the whole committee should be investigated.
CDEDI is a non partisan, nongovernmental organization that was established with a goal to have a well-informed and organized citizenry that can ably demand their social and economic rights at the same time hold duty bearers accountable for their actions.
Among many others CDEDI aims at sensitizing the masses on matters of national importance, inculcate the spirit of a peaceful coexistence among people of different ethnic, political and religious affiliations; provide civic education on people’s rights and responsibilities in economic independence and contribution towards national development and lobbying for the electoral law reforms.