Malawi’s Leader of Opposition in Parliament who is also DPP Vice President for the southern region and Member of Parliament (MP) for Mulanje Central Constituency, Kondwani Nankhumwa, has suggested that some of the funds meant to help Cyclone Freddy victims must be converted into an emergency cash transfer fund.
Nankhumwa said this on Sunday, April 9 at Chingazi Catholic Parish in Thyolo District where he was invited to pray with parishioners to mark the resurrections of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior this Easter season.
Nankhumwa said one of the reasons why he is calling for the implementation of a emergency cash transfer-system for cyclone survivors is because there are rising cases of theft of items that are meant to be distributed to victims in various areas and camps across the southern region.
“There are almost 12 camps around this area, but we just hear that items meant and recorded to be destined for some camps have not reached their destinations. I want to suggest that every family must receive at least K100,000 per month as cash transfer to help them pick up the pieces and recover,” said Nankhumwa, drawing a loud applause from the congregation.
The youthful politician psaid he knows that some people will grow rich and that some will build houses and buy cars using money meant for the victims. He added that this is the repason why he was calling upon the government to have other alternative measures of helping those who have been affected by the cyclone.
Nankhumwa thanked the Catholic Church for its consistency and focus in terms of implementing helpful projects such as schools, which he said have helped many people across the country regardless of their faith affiliations.
“There is nobody in the country who has not benefited from the Catholic Church in one way or another. If it is not you, it is probably your uncle or any other relative. That has always been the reach of the Catholic Church in this country, and I wish to thank them for these untiring efforts,” said Nankhumwa.
The opposition leader also thanked the Catholic Church for the critical role that it played to bring about multiparty democracy in the country, adding that democracy would probably have not been here were it not for the boldness of Catholic Bishops who challenged Kamuzu through that Pastoral Letter ‘Living Our Faith’.
Nankhumwa donated K300,000 for ‘fuel’, to the Parish before preaching a message of love to the congregation saying this Easter is a season of love and celebration. He said apart from celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Easter is also an opportunity for “all of us” to show love and compassion to one another and to forgive our enemies just as Jesus did through his death on the cross and resurrection.
“Jesus represented truth and love that is why we are here to celebrate his resurrection. I want to take this opportunity to wish you and all Malawians the very best and that when Jesus is rising today, we must rise with him. There is only one King and that King is Jesus Christ whose kingdom will be forever,” said Nankhumwa.
Before Nankhumwa spoke, Priest for the Parish, Reverend Father Dr. Damazio Ngoma thanked the Leader of Opposition for honoring the invitation to pray at Chingazi Parish. He said Nankhumwa and him go a long way and that the Leader of Opposition has always been a friend of the Parish.
“Honourable Nankhumwa is a true friend who has alway been there for us. He has always helped us every time we extend a begging bowl. When we were celebrating our 50 years, he gave us 40 bags of cement for our Mulesiva outstation Church construction project, and just recently he gave us another 40 bags on top of helping us in other various ways,” said Reverend Father Dr Ngoma.
He said Nakhumwa also bought them 117 iron sheets, and that the Parish’s six outstations are beautiful mainly because of the assistance that it received from Nankhumwa.
The Reverend then called for support for Dr Nakhumwa as he goes about his duties of providing checks and balances to government as Leader of Opposition.
“We must not forget that Honourable Nankhumwa is representing all Malawians from Nsanje to Chitipa as Leader of Opposition. I appeal to the opposition to be united and give proper checks and balances to government so that it serves Malawians well,” said Father Ngoma.
Chairperson for the Parish, Blessings Makwinja outlined some of the challenges that the Parish faces saying that the establishment has a monthly wage bill of about K500,000, which he says the Parish often fails to meet due to revenue collection challenges.
“Chingazi Parish has approximately 20,000 members but instead of collecting revenue from our members, often times we find ourselves giving the little that we have to our members due to levels of poverty owing to the tough economic times that our country is currently going through,” said Makwinja
He also thanked Nankhumwa for coming to pray with them whilst expressing optimism that the Leader of Opposition in Parliament will continue to be a true friend and to come through for the Parish like he has always done over the years.
Nankhumwa said he had noted what the Parish said and that as servant of the people, he would pass the message to the government through Parliament.
Said Nankhumwa: “As your servant, I will pass on to the government the message that there are no three meals a day as promised; that there is rampant poverty in this area; and that the price of basic commodities like soap have gone up; that cyclione Freddy victims are suffering and going for days in camps without food because those entrusted to bring items to them are stealing the same items.”