By Alice Chunda
The Principle Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet responsible for Nutrition, HIV and AIDS Edith Mkawa has submitted resignation letter to Malawi’s President over ‘Nac-gate’, Banthu Times has learnt. Mkawa submitted the resignation letter to President Mutharika on Friday, December 12 and is yet to receive feedback from the president.
According to inside source from within OPC, Mkawa’s resignation is as a result of being bitter with how NAC is being abused by the government machinery forcing donors and bilateral partners withdrawing funding from NAC putting the lives of most people affected by HIV and AIDS at risk
Government is being accused for bulldozing NAC to provide funding to the First Lady’s Gertrude Mutharika Beautify Malawi Trust (BEAM), Mulakho wa Ahlomwe and National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) to a tune of K57million when majority of students on bursary are being withdrawn due to what NAC says lack of resources.
The saga at NAC is failing to die as the main donor The Global Fund has sought clarification from NAC on the funding. While NAC has tried to justify the funding, sources from within NAC, are saying that the funding to these organizations is unprecedented and abuse of power
“NAC management is at pains to justify the funding and is being forced to explain the situation. Everybody at NAC knows that they were forced by Government to fund and even the Chairperson, Mara Kumbweza Banda is being threatened with dismissal if she can’t defend the payout” said the source
Meanwhile, President Mutharika is pleading with Mkawa to rescind her decision on resignation as this will have a negative backlash on the whole saga.
“The president is aware that if the news of resignation becomes public and with the reasons being mentioned, it will open a can of worms and new information as to how this government abuses public institutions.” Said a source from state house
Ironically, the same NAC is embroiled with another scandal where the Global Fund is requesting NAC to refund millions of kwacha of AIDS funds which was abuse in 2010 at the time the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was in power