By: Vincent Gunde
A British Civil Service Technocrat, Chris Chauma Banda, has described the arrests of two Malawian Activists, Gift Trapence and Mac Donald Sembereka for misappropriation of UNAIDS funds as cheap propaganda, so shallow that even a_ five year old child can do better.
Trapence and Sembereka have been arrested on allegations that they are operating an NGO without registering with NGO Board.
The Malawi Police Service in partnership with the DPP are alleged to be peddling the arrests of the two Activists as one way of silencing them on their active involvement with planned demonstrations organised by the HRDC with national calls for Justice Dr. Jane Ansah sc to resign as Mec Chairperson.
Chauma said the arrests of the two are ill advised, politically motivated and aimed at suffocating the democratic rights of Malawians.
He advised MPS and DPP that no one has ever succeeded on this pointless path hence no justification for their arrests which in the end will put to shame the country and its leadership.
The Technocrat said in the event such funds were indeed misappropriated, USAID would not undertake criminal proceedings with their contractor.
Chauma said in the case of improper use of Donor funds, the most drastification the Donor takes is to blacklist the service provider with the option that service provider will refund the money inorder to safeguard future funding relationships.
He said Malawians have heard on afew occasions when the Malawi government has been asked to refund some grants due to non_ contacted use of donor funds.
The Technocrat said the Ministry of Health bears a classic example where donors asked them to refund grants previously given.
Meanwhile, the United Nations ( UN) has clarified that the case affecting MANGo reached amicable resolution, and the funds will be repaid to UNAIDS.
The UN therefore is seeking the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Malawi Police Service’s immediate cooperation to effectively release Trapence and Sembereka from police custody.
And on its part, the Amnesty International has condemned President Mutharika over the arrests of the two Activists saying the charges are a ploy to harass and intimidate the two and force them to end the on- going post- election demonstrations.