Some traditional leaders in Mzimba Central Constituency are up in arms against their Member of Parliament (MP) Mavuto Kachali, threatening to drag him to court over allegations that he is trying to divert materials bought through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
The materials are said to be meant for a school in their area, but the MP is allegedly planning to take them to another school.
However, in an interview on Tuesday, Kachali described the move as politics being perpetrated by Blantyre Bangwe MP Henry Shaba, who comes from the area and is said to have ambitions to contest in the constituency in 2014.
Four angry Group Village Heads (GVH) from Traditional Authority (T/A) Chindi on Tuesday visited Nation Publications Limited (NPL) newsroom in Lilongwe to present their grievances after efforts to track down the MP for the last one month to explain about the materials allegedly yielded nothing.
The four chiefs were accompanied by members of Mongola Full Primary School committee, which was the beneficiary of the materials.
The GVHs included William Shumba, Chiyotha Ngulube, Nemon Nyirongo and Chauluma Chamvula whereas the school committee members included chairperson Alex Nyirongo, committee member Aubrey Musapenda Mwale and Parents, Teachers Association vice-chairperson Davies Mwale.
Musapenda Mwale explained that the issue started after communities in the area asked Kachali to assist them through the CDF to acquire materials for one school block at Mongola, a primary school which currently run up to Standard Seven because of lack of classrooms.
He said Kachali’s change of heart came after Shaba, a Blantyre-based businessperson, also assisted the school with the construction of another block.
The K1.6 million (about $3 809) worth of materials, among several others, include 30 bags of cement, eight bags of lime, almost 137 plunks of timber, 108 iron sheets, six doors, two doors frames, assorted nails and paint.
But in an interview on Tuesday, Kachali said all what is happening is politics and accused Shaba of trying to grab the constituency from him.
Shaba, on the other hand, laughed off the accusations that he is the one fuelling the problem.
He said: “I have been assisting these people even before Kachali became an MP and that is why even on this issue, I was approached to assist them.”
Shaba said his assistance does not mean that he has plans to contest in Mzimba central but just because that is his home area.
Mzimba district commissioner Moses Chimphepo confirmed that the chiefs went to see him over the issue but he turned them back because he sensed that there was politics at play.
“I am a DC and not a politician; my office is not a political playing field. When they came here, I did not chase them, but I advised them to go back to their MP Kachali and discuss the issue,” he added.