“Government has said there are no funds for more audits implying Malawians will be kept in the dark over how K17.5 billion of Covid-19 were used. The decision not to release the funds come 11 days after the leak of the audit report of the first K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds revealed how senior government officials including President Lazarus Chakwera’s close allies were implicated in the free-for-all loot” (Russell Kondowe – ‘Shocking: Chakwera sits on 17 billion Covid-19 funds audit’ 27.04.2021, Malawi24).
President Lazarus Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance have been credited by so many people for his battle against corruption. As he sacked a minister for his misuse of funds. The leak of Auditor General has also hit the pride of the government, which was supposed to be different from the previous ones.
Chakwera is following a typical pattern here. There is nothing new with corrupt ministers and misuse of office in Lilongwe. There been so many scandals of late. This being import of maize, cash-gate and others have proven how the previous administration was acting.
Now, Chakwera has gone hard and said he wouldn’t accept any corrupt official. However, when his keep audits secret or suspending funding from looking into the books. There can easily be done trade behind closed doors and tenders, which is done with kickbacks and with perks for the ones issuing them. This isn’t anything new… and Chakwera’s government is following suit.
If Chakwera thinks this is a smart move. Well, it’s not wise to keep people in the dark and shield the culprits. Sooner or later, whistle-blowers and other might leak documents to prove to the general public mischief. It might even be a corrupt fellow who didn’t greased, as he wanted to sting the ones higher up who didn’t give him/her a cut. Therefore, the President is doing himself a disservice.
Instead of being transparent and accountable. Letting people audit and showing the reports to the public. He will instead blame lack of funds and not allocate the needed money for the investigation. That shows that his really not seeking the truth and that is deliberate. It is like he knows the partners, the comrades and the culprits behind the scandals. Therefore, its easier to shield them on a technicality. Than actually do his job and govern properly.
Chakwera wants to be the hero, but this is the act of an zero. He wants to be praised and his gotten heroics for the sacking of minister. The Head of State is failing at his own game if he doesn’t prioritize and use funds to audit and have oversight of government spending. How can we trust the reverend, when his keeping it all hidden? What skeletons does his government have in the closet? What misuse of funds and deceit have been done by his appointees?
The President is failing his job and has his priorities wrong. This sort of statement and decision only undermines his anti-corruption drive and cast doubt about his will to do so. It is easy to take the fish and small-fishes who has already been revealed by leaks. However, it is something else to go after the ones who has done things in the dark and yet to be shown to the world. If the President is sincere and honest about it. He would spend money on this and not waste the general public’s time. Neither take the general public for fools.
It is not like COVID-19 funds is the only one. The President have charcoal and surely other scandals will come his way. Now we know he wants to hide these and not have it in the public’s eye. The reverend wants to keep secrets and that’s dishonest of him. Peace.
In Lilongwe everything isn’t all well. The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and United Transformation Movement (UTM) coalition government is getting into the same sort of corruption scandals, as the ones who plagued them before with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP and former President Peter Mutharika. It is the same ills. Just another head.
It is still wastage of public funds destined to something good for the commoner, the citizens and everyone who needs it. That is why this is blaring the face of the ones who thought they got something else when the opposition got into power. Right now the President and his associates are doing similar acts, which the current day leader was calling out and dismissing in opposition. They were running wild with Maize-gate and other scandals, which is similar to this. The only difference is who is the head of state and who is appointed as head of the government organizations.
Take a look!
“President Lazarus Chakwera has fired Co-chairperson of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid 19 John Phuka and Commissioner for the Department of the Disaster Management Affairs-DODMA James Chiusiwa, in connection with the mismanagement of COVID response funds. This follows revelations that the larger percentage of the K6.2 billion for Covid 19 response funds, were spent on allowances. There are also fears of massive looting of the funds by controlling officers and heads of clusters who have since been suspended” (Capital FM Malawi, 15.02.2021).
“NEWS UPDATE: The Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (MPCC) has demanded that government officials involved in the recently exposed illegal charcoal transportation scandal face prosecution. This follows an investigation which Weekend Nation published on January 30, 2021 titled ‘Our sting,’— which uncovered how government organs such as the Malawi Police Service, Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources, Department of Road Traffic and Safety Services and Malawi Revenue Authority are propelling charcoal trade in the country. The Caucus co-chairperson, Welani Chilenga, said: “Let us not hear of slapped wrists, demotions, or sidewards moves but prosecutions under the full weight of the law.” (Report by Clement Chinoko)” (Nation Online Malawi, 18.02.2021).
Now there is news in co-ordination of President Chakwera is reacting to this. The government are dealing with it, but they are starting an inquiry and investigation of it. However, that is prolonging the agony. Instead of acting swift. Because, that means the President would go after cronies and possible associates in connections to himself. That is why these sort of affairs is tricky. When you follow the money, you don’t know where you ending. Money doesn’t have owners, but it has spenders. This is why people are misusing it and spending funds, which isn’t their in the first place.
For more: “Following the directive by Pres. Lazarus Chakwera, on 14th Feb 2021, that Veep Saulos Chilima must form & lead a special taskforce to review three govt systems of allowances, procurement, and employment contracts, a 14-member taskforce to carry out the assignment has been formed. According to a statement signed by Press officer for the Veep, Pilirani Phiri, the taskforce, to be chaired by Chilima who is also Minister responsible for Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, will submit its recommendations to Chakwera within 90 days.askforce will hold first meeting on 25th Feb, 2021 to agree on procedures including action plan with clear timelines. “Thereafter, the team will ensure that the public is regularly engaged & that the taskforce is held accountable by both the President & the people of Malawi.”” (Nation Online Malawi, 19.02.2021).
Well, I have my doubt that this is enough. Especially wondering about their mandate to forward individuals caught thieving and getting kickbacks on behalf of the government. Wonder if they will seek to capture the small-fish, but let the Don of the hook. Because, when its all said and done. We know that big-men is eating and having a field day on the public dime. These ones are shielded and have the power behind them. They wouldn’t do this. If they knew it would cost their careers and livelihood. No, because they know the President and his men is behind them. They are all in it and somehow earning fortunes on it.
Chakwera isn’t different there. Just because his an evangelical reverent by trade. Doesn’t mean his holier than though. That is why he invited his family and inner-circle to get appointed in his cabinet. His just continuing traditions in power and does it without a doubt. The only real difference is that his a fierce speaker and can write statements with flair. That doesn’t change the reality on the ground. When both COVID-19 Funds and Charcoal industry is shady. It just means that the government are letting to hands into the cookie-jar and someone leaked the theft. Peace.
Malawi have just inaugurated and welcomed new President Lazarus Chakwera with his Tonse Alliance. The Malawi Congress Party, the party of Banda back to power. The man could walk on water in the first hours of his Presidency. Everyone was looking at the stars, the moons and pledging for a new start after years of Peter Mutharika in power.
It didn’t take many days going from heavenly praises, psalms song across the continent and sweet melodies played to serenade the masses. However, the announcement of the cabinet has backfired. The family affairs, the nepotism, the gifting of ministries and questionable appointments. It is just a familiar tale of kick-backs and grifting.
Chakwera was supposed to be different. He promised change and was supposed to be different than Mutharika. We are now seeing the same sort of affairs like the ones blamed on the previous President. The only different is that a Reverend is doing it and not one of the sons of the dynasties doing it.
With a new head of state out of the norm. There was supposed to be change. However, those who believed that, have been proved wrong and just within days. The President has appointed cronies, family members and financial backers of the campaign. It is like a ceremonial act.
Lazarus will have a hard time to say this is made by merit and the warning sign should be there. When the Attorney for the petition to challenge the previous election was offered to become the Attorney General and turned it down. That should been the red-flag of how Lazarus would act.
If he could pay-off his lawyer, the man who made the Fresh Presidential Election possible. What could he do to others?
That was proven on the 8th July 2020. Lazarus would give his blessings, he would appoint family, associates and party cronies. Not the ones most fitting for the roles, not the ones with technical abilities in the field, but some friendly faces who will not challenge his reign. That is how it seems.
This is nepotism. Plain and simple. The President cannot say otherwise. If he does, his lying and that’s not good a look reverend. To make the cabinet into a family matters, make the cabinet into stalwarts and insiders of industry to reign supreme. Only leads to speculations that Lazarus was only game for publicity stunts, but go back to the ordinary politics like usual.
Lazarus was supposed to revive, to reform, but with these appointments. You cannot anticipate much. Except that with nepotism usually comes graft. I anticipate a maize scandal, another cashgate and maybe some unexplained SUVs in the near future. Peace.
There is proof in humanity and in the world that the people can overcome rigged elections. The incumbent President was willing to become the Tipp-Ex President in 2019. He was willing to overturn and use his office to overstay. While the public was really tired of him and his reign. The public was ready for change and someone else at the helm.
The incumbent as the results of the Fresh Presidential Elections was proclaimed has called this the “worst election ever”. He is right at one point with his statement, but not in the way he wants to be believed. Its the worst polls for him, because the public shunned him and didn’t support him. It is not the worst election in the sense of electoral malpractice or rigging. That was done in the previous election and the reason why it was null and void.
It is like incumbent cannot live on the laurels of the office. He wanted to use the army, use the state broadcaster and all the other tools at his disposal. Now, the incumbent have to give that up. He cannot even drive his big convoy of 40ish cars through the streets of Lilongwe. In his SUV he drives alone now and doesn’t have the soldiers or police officers guarding his every move.
The new president will feel the pressure and will be tested. His in an alliance and has to play his cards well. To both deal with the task at hand. Lazarus Chakwera has made promises to the people. The reverend has spoken against corruption and shady deals for years in opposition. Now he has to prove that his administration will not copy its predecessors with maize scandals and cashgate.
The new president need to fulfil his pledges and settle grievances. Yes there are moments to celebrate. Peter Mutharika is out of office. The DPP doesn’t have power anymore. Now, the liberation party MCP has with Chakwera at the helm. He got to step up and show capacity to lead.
His acceptance speech shown his maturity and his level of understanding. However, the actions he does in office will quickly reveal who he is and who his friends are. We can easily see, if his there for selfish reasons or for serving the public. That will be revealed. The President can decide on the outcome of his time in office. That depends on how he wants to serve that time.
Chakwera will work closely with Saulos Chilima. Both of them will have to step up and prove their game. They got to be big-men and prove their words. After years of challenging the governments in power. These two now has to deliver and show their skills. By the way they have spoken of good governance and spoken against the corrupt behaviour of the previous ones. They better act right now in office.
These two gentlemen better be the best examples of public officials. The duo better be there and act righteous. Chakwera and Chilima have to live up to their whole potential. The people have already celebrated them and fought for them. Now they got to serve and do it correct. Peace.