As pressure continues to mount on government over a K4 billion suspicious payout to members of Parliament (MPs), Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe has asked for dialogue with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who have been calling for his head.In a letter requesting for the meeting, which we have seen Gondwe, has said facts on the matter are being misrepresented.The letter dated March 12, 2018 has been addressed to Youth and Society’s (YAS) Executive Director, Charles Kajoloweka, also copied to Timothy Mtambo of Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Gift Trapence of Centre for Development of People (Cedep).Gondwe says during the meeting he intends to share with the CSOs accurate information on the matter.“I have noted with regret facts being misrepresented on the matter in the public share with you accurate information, I wish to invite you to an interface meeting to take place on Wednesday, March 14,” reads the letter in part.
The meeting, according to Gondwe’s proposal, is to take place at the ministry’s headquarters in Lilongwe.
But, reacting to the request, Kajoloweka said in a telephone interview yesterday that as a team they will meet and ponder over the request.
He, however, stressed that, as CSOs, they will not relent in holding the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration accountable.
“Our stand is that what happened in Parliament is organised corruption. It is disheartening to see Members of Parliament approving the transaction which the minister has been at pains to justify to Malawians. We acknowledge receipt of the letter and we will be responding once we discuss as a team,” Kajoloweka said.
Following revelations by our sister paper, Malawi News two weeks ago that the government enlisted 86 MPs, a majority from the opposition who joined government benches in shooting down some of the proposed Electoral Reforms [Amendment] Bills during the last meeting of Parliament to benefit from the fund, various quarters have been pressing the government on the matter.
One the the demands is that President Peter Mutharika should fire Gondwe alongside Local Government Minister, Kondwani Nankhumwa, whose ministry is said to be handling the suspicious allocation meant for development projects.
But State House recently branded the calls as ridiculous, a response which irked the CSOs who on Sunday threatened legal action against the government and subsequent mass demonstrations