Civil society organisations (CSOs) have asked the Chief Secretary to Government Lloyd Muhara to step down over allegations of abuse of office.
His office is said to have requested for a ‘no objection’ from the office of Director of Public Procurement to buy furniture worth K64 million.
Speaking at a joint press briefing in Lilongwe, the CSOs, led by Centre for Human Rights and Rehabiliation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (Cedep), said there is need for an immediate decisive action as the allegation reflects negatively on the Presidency, as it is happening under the President’s nose.
Correspondence on social media, purportedly from the Office of President and Cabinet, to the Office of the Director of Public Procurement requests for a ‘no objection’ using single sourcing, something that has not amused CSOs.
Rights activist Billy Mayaya said the procurement of furniture issue puts to question the President’s credibility in providing oversight functions in his own office.
“We are demanding transparency and accountability in terms of his actions. If this is true, how [does] he ensure that his office is transparent and accountable?” asked Mayaya.
CHRR executive director Timothy Mtambo said: “We expect the President to act on the matter with speed because in the past we have seen the high office shielding culprits who have abused public funds”.
Efforts to talk to Muhara proved futile, but government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi said the refurbishment of Muhara’s office is long overdue and necessary, because it has not been rehabilitated since 1975.
“This is an important office where sensitive government information/documents are kept and we think its only proper to rehabilitate it,” said Dausi.