MZUZU--Barely few days after top activists John Kapito and Chancellor College based professor Wiseman Chijere Chirwa censured president Joyce Banda, a budding youth activist Charles Kajoloweka has called the president to reduce her "excessive motorcade" and declare her assets.
Kajoloweka is the chairperson of Network for Youth Activists, a grouping that advocate for the socio-economic and political rights of youths in Malawi.
In an exclusive interview with Marapost, the soft-spoken Kajoloweka said it is grimly disturbing to note President Banda's insistence to live a luxurious life at a time when most Malawians continue to face the wrath of her economic policies, precisely, the devaluation of Malawi Kwacha.
The activist observed that it is insensitive for the President and her vice, Khumbo Kachali, to continue draining the country's meager resources through unreasonable and luxurious motorcades that are on the road almost everyday.
He argues that the current economic woes inevitably require government to sensibly cut public expenditures, and prioritize poor masses' welfare.
"It is unfortunate that President Joyce Banda has only achieved political rhetoric on the need to reduce her economically insensitive motorcade. She has by far failed to live by her promise".
"We are therefore calling upon President Joyce Banda to with immediate effect reduce her motorcade to at least to eight vehicles and the Vice president's motorcade to at least six vehicles respectively", said Kajoloweka, claiming this will save public resources that are now spent needlessly. He adds, "It is shameful for the political leadership to maintain its insensitive expenditures on itself while preaching to Malawians the falsity of perseverance".
The youth activist pointed out that it is unwise and an insult to most poor Malawians for the President and her deputy to continue living a sumptuous life in this economic disaster. He charged that Malawians are today victims of unsound and poorly managed economic policies partly championed by the current administration, hence, the need for Banda to take caution on public expenditures and make timely decisions.
Kajoloweka warned that failure to abide by this has the potential to trigger protest. Said Kajoloweka "We wish to state that failure to seriously treat public extravagance as mirrored in the oversize of the Presidential motorcade is a direct and an irresistible call for protest by Malawians especially the youth who ought not to be taken for granted". He then called upon all Malawians to guard against this insensate extravagance by President Joyce Banda's leadership.
On declaration of assets, the youth activist said it is very unfortunate that there is no will from the political leadership despite consistent calls by several stakeholders asking President Banda and her Cabinet to declare assets.
Added Kajoloweka "It must be restated that declaration of assets by the President and the Cabinet is not optional, but a constitutional requirement. It is a matter of law. It is unfortunate that President Banda who seems content defiling the country's laws without caution as is the case with section 65, equally seems determined to ignore this constitutional requirement." The youth activist further observed that this raises serious questions about President Banda's leadership accountability and respect to the country's laws.
Kajoloweka, who few months ago marched to present petition to speaker of parliament to evoke section 65 or failing which the speaker should resign, said it can only be hoped that President Joyce Banda will respond to this call by way of action - reduce her oversize motorcade and declaring her assets as required by law.