Governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has defied a seven-day ultimatum given by some civil society organisations (CSOs) for the party to refund money received from some parastatals and city councils at its fundraising dinner on July 29 2017.
Consequently, the CSOs, according to one of their leaders, Charles
Kajoloweka, are today set to meet and instruct their lawyer, Wesley Mwafulirwa, to take the matter to court.
Kajoloweka said the CSOs will also write 10 parastatals and other public institutions, including Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) as well as Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Blantyre city councils to account for their actions in supporting DPP using public resources.
However, DPP leaders, including secretary general Greselder Jeffrey, have said the party will not make a refund as it did not force any institution to support its fundraising cause at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe where President Peter Mutharika was the guest of honour.
Kajoloweka said DPP will be taken to court for abuse of public office and public funds, but also for the court to determine whether the actions taken by the DPP and the parastatals and councils were lawful and reasonable.
In the demand letter last week, Mwafulirwa said the CSOs may also explore the option of lobbying for the arrest and criminal prosecution of any members of DPP whose conduct had criminal elements.
Yesterday, DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila refused to comment on the matter, saying: “I already responded to these issues last week, so am not talking anymore.”
Last week, the Malawi Law Society (MLS) joined the condemnation of donations to the governing DPP by State enterprises and demanded a refund to the agencies.
The councils and LWB collectively contributed K13.5 million to the DPP event.
The CSOs taking the matter to court are Youth and Society (YAS),
Centre for the Development of People (Cedep), Church and Society Programme, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), and Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC).n