The Centre for Democracy and Development Initiatives [CDEDI] has requested the office of the Secretary to the President and Cabinet [SPC] to release the 2021 Independence Day celebrations expenditure report.
CDEDI says it is making this request based on its investigations, where results have shown that a Commercial Bank account Number 1970000056939 held at the FDH Bank under the name Chief Secretary to Government received funds amounting to K238,286,196.00 on 2nd July 2021 being funds meant for the 2021 Independence Day celebrations.
The organization says ironically, Malawians were told by the Chairperson for the National celebrations, Hon. Richard Chimwendo Banda MP that Government had trimmed the budget for the celebrations from the initial MK240 Million to around MK 46 Million due to public outcry to have this year’s Independence celebrations.
In a letter to Mr. Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi, the SPC dated 18th July 2021 with copies to the Minister of Homeland Security, Chairperson for 2021 Independence Day celebrations, the Minister of Information and the Director, Anti-Corruption Bureau [ACB] signed by its Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa, CDEDI is demanding a public detailed report on how the funds were used giving him seven  days to explain to Malawians.
CDEDI has warn Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi that failure to provide a detailed statement on how the funds were used within the stated period, will leave the organization with no choice, but to invoke the Access to Information Act to ensure that the citizens who double as taxpayers, have the right to access this public information without undue hindrance.
“…The organization says Malawians saw no wisdom in celebrating their Independence at a time when they could not afford to procure Covid-19 vaccines and neither can they afford to stock their public health facilities with essential medicines and drugs…,’’ reads the statement in part.
It is challenging Mr. Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi to explain to the nation how the Chief Secretary to Government Bank Account received the whole amount for the Independence Day celebrations and not the MK46 Million as earlier indicated by the Chairperson of the National celebrations.
“…This is theft of public funds and deceit of the highest order by Government…,’’ reads the statement in part.
By Vincent Gunde