Malawi Human Rights Defenders speak out on MPs Laptop Purchases

Undule Mwakasungula said Parliament must be ashamed of themselves if they claim to represent the ordinary citizens

Mwakasungula-MPs-Malawi-laptops
Social and human rights commentator Undule Mwakasungula speaks out against MPs purchase of laptops while they, at the same time, call for austerity.

A social and human rights commentator has accused Parliament of stealing 193 laptops during a time when Malawi was going through a period of financial difficulties in 2014, when donors withdrew $150 million in budgetary support due to “cashgate.”

Undule Mwakasungula said Parliament must be ashamed of themselves if they claim to represent the ordinary citizens.

“As MPs, their priority should be on the people and not their personal interests. Therefore, investing in health must be paramount to save the nation from lots of billions in kwacha paid for treatment done outside the country such as in India, South Africa and others,” Mwakasungula said.

“It is to be understood that at this very moment in time, Malawi is going through difficult financial situations and as legislators, they should have thought about leaving out certain benefits and luxuries for the good of the nation.”

Teachers, police, and nurses, as well as young people, are going through a lot of challenges now and the MPs need to sympathize with the people, he said.

“For some of us the laptop purchase was a misplaced priority done at the time everybody, including the same MPs, is talking of austerity.  Parliament is failing the nation for sure – their priorities are upside down.”

Mwakasungula has since appealed to the Public Accounts Committee to explain further to the nation on the deal.

“We need an explanation because we are hearing conflicting versions even from controlling officers on this purchase that does not speak to the problems which Malawi is going through right now,” Mwakasungula said.

Another human rights defender, Billy Mayaya said it is unfortunate that Malawi can spend a lot of money on laptops while the people continue to suffer.

“MPs are rich already. Why are they spending millions on people who could afford the purchase on their own,” Mayaya said.

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