Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Jappie Mhango has accused Alliance for Democracy (Aford) president Enock Chihana of ignoring calls for donations of food and other items to Rumphi District Hospital.
Mhango’s stand comes amid revelations about government struggling to allocate enough money to the health sector and after civil society organisations (CSOs) demonstrated against food shortages at Rumphi District Hospital.
In reaction to the CSOs’ protest march, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) functionaries, including Mhango, donated food items to the hospital which is in Chihana’s Rumphi Central Constituency.
Mhango personally donated food items to the hospital on Friday alongside lawyer Charles Mhango who Chihana defeated during the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections.
After the Friday donation, the two Mhangos held a rally where two Aford members were arrested for allegedly disrupting the gathering. The two are said to have been distributing Aford leaflets at the rally.
Reacting to the developments, the minister said, as parliamentarian for the area, Chihana should have been leading efforts to donate items to the hospital or support flood and hailstorm victims there.
He said: “This is the second time I have been to Rumphi District Hospital to donate food but him as an MP for the area has not even made an effort. Other MPs should also come and donate. Should it take me from Rumphi North to make such donations all the time? It is sad that people who are donating to the hospital are being attacked by Aford members.”
Chihana could not be reached on his phones yesterday. However, he earlier said Mhango had declared war on him and other MPs in the district, adding that the minister is trying his best to create confusion in their constituencies.
Rumphi Police spokesperson Victor Khamisi identified the arrested suspects as Gertrude Chipeta, 36, of Echiziweni Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mtwalo in Mzimba District and Linda Mwakalenga, 30, of Mpata Village, T/A Kyungu in Karonga District.
He said the two have been charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace and have been released on police bail.