19 March 2018

Malawi: Constituents Wants MP Willard Gwengwe to Step Down Over 'Incompetence'

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Member of Parliament for Lilongwe South East Constituency Willard Gwengwe is under fire from his constituents who are demanding his resignation within 30 days for failing to bring development projects in the area.

The constituents have threatened to stage demonstrations if he does not resign.

In a letter issued on Friday and signed by Nyanja and Mtenthela Area Development Committees, group village headmen Mawelu, Malaza, Undi, Mwachilolo, Kamphata and Umodzi State Force and Justice organisation in the area, the people cite Gwengwe's abuse of funds meant for development and his complete lack of interest to initiate development projects in the constituency and disrespect for the people that voted him into power.

The people further allege that Gwengwe has been telling them that an opposition legislator does not get funds for development in his constituency "but we have realised that he has been lying to us because every constituency receives Constituency Development Fund and Local Development Fund among others."

"He abuses Community Development Fund (CDF) by driving the resources to his Double Vision Secondary School and into bogus construction companies. He has failed to develop the youth and the aged, besides he is not the true son of Traditional Authority (TA) Kalumbu, he comes from TA Mazengera," reads the letter which highlights six grounds for the resignation demand.

Copied to the office of the Speaker of National Assembly, Malawi Congress Party President, Anti-Corruption Bureau, Lilongwe District Commissioner, and Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, TA Kalumbu, the letter adds that the legislator has no interest to represent the interests of the people because he does not contribute to any debate in parliament.

TA Kalumbu said he was aware of the letter and added that the legislator had failed his constituency as there was no development taking place in the area.

"The legislator does not attend Area Development Committee meetings hence difficult for people to share with him their developmental concerns. People have spoken their mind, let the MP listen. It is clear to everyone that one takes care of a place where he or she owns structures, am not sure if Gwengwe has even one structure in my area. May be that is why we are ignored and have no development at all," said Kalumbu.

Group Village Headman Kamphata, one of the signatories of the letter confirmed the letter and said the locals are no longer interested in him because he has been touting of having done several development projects on papers contrary to the reality.

"He has been cheating people that he (Gwengwe) erected a guardian shelter at Mtenthera Health Centre. He has also been telling people that he built a school at Ukonde in Group Village Mthethe in TA Kalumbu but all these are bogus projects, there is literally nothing on the ground, where did that money go," GVH Kamphata asked. He said demonstrations were inevitable should he not resign and that they would not allow him to contest again in the area.

In an interview on Sunday, Gwengwe said that he was not surprised with the letter which he believed is a political move being orchestrated by shadow members of parliament eyeing his seat in the area.

"Some people are being used by shadow MPs in my constituency so as to advance their political ambitions. I am not resigning, after all recall provision was repealed from our constitution. Let them wait for 2019 parliamentary elections and I will defeat them thoroughly," said Gwengwe.

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