CDEDI executive director, Sylvester Namiwa
* As it queries government on FDH Bank account that drew over 238m in name of Chief Secretary to Government
* Petitions to account for 2021 Independence Day celebration expenditure
By Duncan Mlanjira
Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has written a petition to Secretary to the President & Cabinet, Zangazanga Chikhosi accusing government of theft of public funds released for 2021 Independence Day celebrations expenses.
CDEDI then calls on government to be furnished with an expenditure report, saying their investigations indicate that K238,286,196 was receipted by FDH Bank account number 1970000056939 made on July 2 under the name of Chief Secretary to Government to meet expenses for the Independence Day celebrations.
CDEDI makes this query taking cognizance that chairperson for the celebrations committee, Richard Chimwendo-Banda announced that government had trimmed that the budget from the initial K240 million to around K46 million “due to public outcry to have this year’s celebrations cancelled”.
CDEDI executive director, Sylvester Namiwa reminds Zangazanga that “Malawians saw no wisdom in celebrating our independence at a time when we could not afford to procure CoVID-19 vaccines and neither can we afford to stock our public health facilities with essential medicines and drugs”.
“It is against this background at CDEDI is challenging you, sir, to explain to the nation how the Chief Secretary to Government bank account receipted the whole amount for the Independence Day celebrations, an not just the K46 million as earlier indicate by the chairperson for the celebrations.
“This is theft of public funds and deceit of the highest order by government. CDEDI is, therefore, giving you seven days to make public a detailed statement on how the stated funds were used.
“Failure to do so within seven days will leave us 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.”