Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Forum (HRDF), are calling for the resignation of President Peter Mutharika within 14 days and are asking Malawians across the world have been urged to work in unison for the love of their country by signing a petition with a hash tag #mutharikamustgo to force the Prsident to step down as for being embroiled in a K145 million corruption syndicate now being referred to as 'police-gate.'
The CSOs made the call at a news conference in Lilongwe on Sunday after a leaked Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) document suggests President Peter Mutharika may have benefitted from K145 million that a supplier deposited in a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) account for which he is the sole signatory.
The money is suspected to be part of proceeds of payment from Malawi Police Service (MPS) to Pioneer Investments--a firm owned by Zameer Karim and the ACB suspects fraudulently supplied food rations after the bill was inflated from the contract price of K2.327 billion to K2.8 billion days after it was signed in August 2015.
Addressing reporters, Reverend Macdonald Sembereka, Timothy Mtambo, Gift Trapence and Billy Mayaya , the HRD said while they have consistently made calls for transparency and accountability, to date, now of their calls have been heeded by the current government.
HRDF said the situation has, instead, proliferated as evidenced by the most recent revelation of continued plunder of taxpayers' money.
"We are shocked though not surprised by the recent recent MK2 793 087 500 involving the State President of Malawi Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, Malawi police and Pioneer Investment owned by Mr. Zameer Karim," said Mayaya while reading a statement titled 'Call to the President of Malawi, Arthur Peter Mutharika to resign'.
"Amid growing concerns of plunder of public resources by the country's political masters and great suspicion that the same could actually been sanctioned by the high office of the land, we feel vindicated by the most recent revelations that the Malawi Police Service (MPS) has suffered from a scheme that was aimed at nothing but to defraud it by its own people and unscrupulous traders."
Among others, the rights defenders want call for the immediate amendment of Section 91(2) of the Republican Constitution in order to remove the President's immunity from investigation and possible prosecution.
HRDF also calls upon the Speaker of the National Assembly "to convene parliament as a matter of urgency, and commence impeachment proceedings. We further call upon national treasury to provide the requisite financial resources."
According to HRDF, they "are calling upon all Malawians of good will to sign a petition on calling on the State President to go. #mutharikamustgo."