Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera is no different then the ones he took over from. Why do I say that? Well, the President is appointing his family to positions, hiring associates and officials within the ranks of the Tonse Alliance. This has been proven and he does what he promised he wouldn’t do.
Chakwera went after the previous President and his actions towards appointing family members into government positions or offices. The current president hired his own daughter and gave her job. This is why he has already caught flack for that this recent week.
Now to top it off, he is travelling to London, United Kingdom (UK) in the middle of a global pandemic. To participate in a virtual conference. Meaning a conference, which will be held online and be on the internet. This will not be held in a fancy hotel and be like ordinary conference with food, pleasantries and meetings in various of rooms at the venue. However, no… this will be virtual. Meaning, the participants can be anywhere as long as they have the code to enter and be part of the program as scheduled. That is usually sent from the ones running the conference to the speakers and whatnot. Therefore, the President flying to the venue or the nation of the conference is just foolish at best.
The President clearly doesn’t care. As his been mentioned to say the “internet” and the “connection” in Malawi is unsteady and not reliable. That’s why he has to cross half-of-the-world to participate in this conference.
By doing so… he is indirectly saying the ICT sector and the Internet isn’t good enough for him. Not like he has any power or ability to make it better. The President could invest in better broadband and ensure steady electricity. As these things are big investments of fibre- or secure the electricity companies deliver continuously and not have “blackouts”. So, he has a job to do and he could push the other ministries to make this happen. However, that is most likely since he gets a few free rides to other capitals by not doing it.
Chakwera is reckless and doesn’t care. That is clearly the visible message, as he went on the plane yesterday. Because, it is very “rich” that he can spend public funds on a travel like this to London to be a speaker and a participant in a virtual conference. Not like he couldn’t done that from the State House or any government facility. He should have trusted his government and internet connection they have.
The President is mocking his own country and citizens by doing this. It is not a sign of greatness, but of how willing he is to take a plane to live lavish elsewhere. He will enjoy the spoils of London and be a dignitary in the United Kingdom. Where he can eat, drink and spend like there is no tomorrow. That’s what will happen.
The President will enjoy the silver lining and be at a 5 star hotel most likely and possibly eat a Michelin star restaurant every night. If not have specialized procured and made by an expensive chef. So, don’t be shocked if the billing for this trip is out of the roof and the President doesn’t want transparency over this. Because, it will look bad publicly.
Chakwera promised to be different than his predecessor, but his current day actions is copying the ones before him. He is just acting like them and taking the people for granted. Peace.
“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.