March 7, 2021

HRDC back in the streets for campaign promises

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition [HRDC], says Malawians are already losing hope and openly expressing dissatisfaction with the Tonse government and unless they see genuine change and drastic steps to implement campaign promises, it will soon start to mobilize Malawians to demand what they deserve, what they were promised and voted for.

The HRDC says 8 months down the line, Malawians are saddened that little efforts have been made to implement most of the merged campaign promises and are shocked to see that these promises seem to have been abandoned except the Affordable fertilizer pledge.

The organization says Malawians have lost hope and they feel duped, especially by the total silence from the Alliance leaders including Vice President Dr. Saulosi Klaus Chilima, who is also UTM President, saying this silence is making the HRDC and Malawians wonder whether the Tonse Alliance is still intact, or it is now only MCP that is governing.

In a statement dated 10th February 2021 signed by its National Chairperson Gift Trapence and National Coordinator, Luke Tembo, the HRDC is demanding the Tonse Alliance leaders to jointly address Malawians on the state of the Alliance and give a clear timeline to Malawians how the merged campaign promises will be implemented.

The statement is calling upon Government to institute a clear, professional and independent investigation to verify how the 6.2 Billion Kwacha Covid-19 funds, under DoDMA which is under the Office of the President and Cabinet [OPC] were disbursed and used, saying receiving reports alone will not give a complete picture of the whole situation.

The HRDC is demanding the Tonse Alliance leaders to adhere to the agreement they signed which propelled them to victory and that government has to take a series of reviwing its pace of service delivery to Malawians in the 8 months that they have been in power.

Chilima’s silence has Malawians baffled

Meanwhile, the HRDC has said it is quite disturbing that while the nation awaits with a baited breath for investigations on the alleged State House\Crossroads Hotel scam, it has information that high profile government authorities are allegedly threatening MERA and NOCMA officials to award a contract to their preferred suppliers [two].

The HRDC is demanding the Anti–Corruption Bureau [ACB] to quickly move in and stop the unprocedural award to these two companies, also the Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet [OPC], Zanga–Zanga Chikhosi to cease being the Board Chairman for NOCMA, EGENCO, and Power Market Limited [PML] to avoid conflict of interest.

……..’’These are some of the things that derail commitment to governance and accountability, President Dr. Chakwera should have stepped in and stopped as soon as he settled into Kamuzu Palace,’’…..reads part of the statement.

The organization says just like the President accepted to be Chancellor of the University of Malawi on the pretext that laws are yet to be changed, the HRDC feel President Dr. Chakwera is not angry enough to lead this country, saying the President seems to not be transformative.

The HRDC is urging President Dr. Chakwera to walk the talk in clearing the rubble that he has repeatedly promised Malawians that he would clear, reminding him that the rubble has not been cleared at the MEC despite the courts finding several officers at fault, and at NOCMA where he said he is in support of public concerns that the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Hellen Buluma was a known operative of the DPP.  

By Vincent Gunde

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