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Malawi CSOs leaders petition Parliament to summon ACB Director Matemba on MK5bn State house residents’ renovation contract, M1.6bn ambulance saga

Unandi Banda handing over petition to Lawmaker Awali

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s civil society leaders on Monday, September 14, 2020 petitioned Malawi Parliament that Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General Reyneck Matemba be summoned in the house to clarify on certain matters of national importance that are related to corruption

The matters including the outrageous and obscene MK7.6 Billion Legal fee award by the Supreme Court to Dr. Chilima and Dr. Lazarus Chakwera who happens
to be the Head of State and Vice President respectively.

The grouping says the petition is in line with citizens ambitions to operate in an enabling environment in order to contribute efficiently to national building and that it is unfair for the citizens to have no voice on matters that are directly upsetting and denying them a right to decent life and development.

“ACB director must investigate and inform Malawians if it is logical in nature for the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to approve this paying having in mind they are also serving the current administration.

“The bureau must investigate on money that was allocated for National Celebrations on 6th July, 2020 that ended up being cancelled due to Covid 19. Who made the banned that were displayed everywhere in the city of Lilongwe and what process was used to award such a contract and at how much?”, reads the demands.

The grouping led by their leaders Billy Banda, Unandi Banda, Luther Mambala and Philip Kamangirah also want Parliament through Legal Affairs Committee must question ACB boss on the alleged MK5 billion contract to renovate State Residents.

“We want the bureau to investigate procurement of the Lilongwe City Council vehicle which raises huge suspicion looking at the alleged price

“ACB must investigate and also come out on the allegations that all Tonse MPs had an audience with the President soon after being sworn in and that everyone
went smiling after being given some cash amounting to MK500, 000
each. Where did this money come from and what was the basis for such
a hand out when it is against the Tonse government to maintain,” reads the petitioned.

Bester Awali, Malawi Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee member who received the petition assured the grouping that their concerns will be channeled to the committee’s chairperson for action.

The petition has been copied also to The Speaker of National Assembly Catherine Gotani Hara, Leader of Government Richard Chimwendo Banda and
Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa.

Below is the full petition to Parliament:

PETITION TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR NEED TO SUMMON THE ANTI-CORRUPTION BUREAU DIRECTOR TO CLARIFY ON CERTAIN MATTERS OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE

The Civil society leaders having noted the responsibilities of providing checks
and balances through unstoppable oversight in a democratic state of the Republic of Malawi, hereby submit this Petition to the National Assembly in order to request the August House to summon the Anti- Corruption Bureau Director to clarify on certain matters of national importance that are related to corruption.

We recognize the role the Anti- Corruption Bureau play in its effort to fight
corruption in this country.

Perceiving that the economic stoppage is further cuddling the ordinary citizens into massive and enormous poverty therefore refuting their rights as preserved in the Republican Constitution Eliciting our thoughts on the theme “time to hold office bearer.

We submit this petition in order to bring to your attention that on the 10th September, 2020, the Nation Newspaper carried an advert under the title
“NOTIFICATION OF INTENTION TO AWARD A CONTRACT”.

The notice indicates that the Ministry of Health intends to award a contract to
supply and deliver 35 ambulances (Lot.1) to a successful bidder by the name
Grandview International Limited, whose address is Reliance House, Plot No.
35374, Thabo Mbeki Road, Lusaka, ZAMBIA.

As Civil society Leaders, we are equally aware that Malawi has potential companies and individuals who can afford to deliver on the same and therefore
any attempt to award this contract to a foreign national is denying Malawians
an opportunity to economically succeed.

While we commend the ACB on the steps taken on the same as evident by the
notice to the Secretary for Health to produce or furnish the documents to ACB,
dated 11th September, 2020, we would like to call upon Parliament to allow
the ACB Director to appear before the Legal Affairs Committee and assure
Malawians that this contract is cancelled entirely and such decision be made
available to the Public and those involved must face the long arm of the Law.

We further wish to understand the position of the Anti- Corruption Bureau on
Mr. Chunara who happens to be involved in a cement corruption saga. Every
Malawian is eager to know what has transpired on this person from the time
he was arrested, appeared in Court and given bail.

As Malawians we have not been told as to how far this matter has gone. We
are afraid the Tonse government may also engage the same person in some
dubious contractual agreements which may compromise the work of the ACB
in their fight against corruption. Against this background, this submission is
made.

On another serious note, we would like to ask the ACB to tell Malawians how
long they have gone in investigating the immediate past Former Head of State,
His Excellency Professor Peter MUTHARIKA.

We are aware that the police conducted its investigations on the former Head of State and until now Malawians have not yet been furnished with any information.

The Anti- Corruption Bureau went further in freezing all accounts of the former Head of State and no grounds for such action have been given. Could this be done on the basis of suffocating him politically?

If not what are the charges levelled against him so that it doesn’t seem to be a political persecution.

We would also like to call upon the ACB to report to Malawians efforts
taken on current Government’s perceived matters that demonstrate lack of
transparency and accountability on:

  1. The outrageous and obscene MK7.6 Billion Legal fee award by the
    Supreme Court to Dr. Chilima and Dr. Lazarus Chakwera who happens
    to be the Head of State and Vice President respectively
  2. Inform Malawians if it is logical in nature for the Attorney General and
    the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to approve this paying
    having in mind they are also serving the current administration.
  3. Money that was allocated for National Celebrations on 6th July, 2020
    that ended up being cancelled due to Covid 19. Who made the banned
    that were displayed everywhere in the city of Lilongwe and what
    process was used to award such a contract and at how much?
  4. The alleged MK5 Billion contract to renovate State Residents.
  5. Procurement of the Lilongwe City Council vehicle which raises huge
    suspicion looking at the alleged price
  6. ACB must also come out on the allegations that all Tonse MPs had an
    audience with the President soon after being sworn in and that everyone
    went smiling after being given some cash amounting to MK500, 000
    each. Where did this money come from and what was the basis for such
    a hand out when it is against the tonse government to maintain handouts.
    Call to Action
    We are hereby calling on Parliament to take these concerns with seriousness and that efforts are made to summon the Anti- Corruption Bureau Director within the next 7 days so that Malawians are fully informed on steps by ACB as requested by the Civil Society Leaders.
    That the leadership of the Anti- Corruption Bureau will honor this call
    knowing as a governance institution, it strives to serve the aspirations of
    Malawians through creation of an environment that is free from corruption.
    This petition is in line with citizens ambitions to operate in an enabling
    environment in order to contribute efficiently to national building and that it is unfair for the citizens to have no voice on matters that are directly upsetting and denying them a right to decent life and development.
    Signed:
    Billy Banda
    Unandi Banda
    Luther Mambala
    Philip Kamangirah
    Dated: 14th Septemb

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