Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) pushing the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to pay back money it got from parastatal institutions have ditched the dialogue process on the matter.
The CSOs say the move follows what they call the party’s lack of seriousness on the issue.
The organisations have since resolved to proceed with their earlier intention to sue the party.
CSOs, through their lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa, yesterday wrote the DPP informing it of their decision to pull out of the talks.
The letter, dated September 11 2017 titled Termination of Dialogue over the Blue Night Funding Issue, states that the CSOs have noticed lack of commitment in the DPP.
“Our clients advise us that they have seen lack of seriousness in your approach in the above matter. As such, they have instructed us to terminate the dialogue.
“Be, therefore, advised that any day from to date, you will be served with necessary court processes, unless of course our clients’ earlier demands are met. In any case, our clients strongly believe their two demands can be met without further meetings,” reads the letter in part.
One of the CSOs leaders, Youth and Society (YAS) director Charles Kajoloweka in an interview said they do not need another meeting for the DPP to meet the two demands.
“The dialogue process was an opportunity to meet the demands… At the moment, we are proceeding with the matter to court,” he said.
Earlier, Kajoloweka said the CSOs were disappointed with the postponement of the Friday
meeting and felt the DPP was taking them for granted.
However, DPP vice-president for the Centre, Hetherwick Ntaba, who was also part of the dialogue team, said they still expect the discussions to continue.
“We have not seen the letter, but still, we agreed last time we had a meeting that if there are any other problems, we should be informed and the CSOs have not come to us with any problem.
“As a member of the dialogue, I expect the process to continue. The party expects the dialogue to continue,” said Ntaba who also chaired the Blue Night event.
The decision follows DPP’s move to postpone the second meeting last Friday where the party was expected to furnish the CSOs with a list of public institutions that donated towards its fundraising dinner called Blue Night in July. The DPP was also expected to provide a date on which it would pay back the money.
DPP postponed the meeting because its secretary general Greselder Jeffrey was reportedly hospitalised, a decision which attracted the wrath of CSOs.
The CSOs argue that DPP’s conduct amounts to misuse and abuse of public resources contrary to Malawi’s laws .
On July 29 2019, DPP held a fundraising dinner and dance at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe where Blantyre City Council (BCC), Mzuzu City Council (MCC) and Lilongwe Water Board (LWB), among others, contributed K13.5 million. n