Embassy fraud in Ethiopia, yes, but other matters too: ‘Ujeni’ not good at all  Mr. President

Turn it up for me! President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika is reportedly ‘furious’ that government money was systematically stolen at the Malawi Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. What is he talking about? He is demanding the immediate recall and prosecution of the implicated top envoys; fine.Loose cannon

But wait a moment; is this ‘Ethiopia rhetoric’ not a latest round of calculated pronouncements by the President and his administration that are virtually aimed at distracting people’s attention from the real outstanding issues that continue to shake the very livelihood of the citizens and the survival of the state nation?

For starters, while any form of fraud and theft involving Malawi taxpayers’ money is unpardonable, some of us are surprised that there have been many instances of theft of government money now and the President has never been angry.

The recent revelation about theft of public money at the Ministry of Agriculture is a case in point. The same ministry has been embroiled in the abuse of Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) funds.

The situation is not much different is many government ministries and departments where corruption, fraud and inexplicable pilferage of government money are the order of the day while service delivery has plummeted.

Recently, there have also been reports of abuse of government money in several embassies overseas. There has been little or no remedial action at all from the Mutharika administration pertaining to such reported abuses. Why should ‘Ethiopia’ be an exception? Is this a case of witch-hunting or a mere smokescreen in the light of increasing discontent among citizens against general misrule and economic malaise?

Abuse of public resources messes up lives of innocent citizens and the image of the country but isolated attention on various financial and other criminal scandals is disheartening to say the least.

‘Real issues’

The issue of abuse of tractors and other agriculture machinery from India and elsewhere is yet to be resolved. State House undeservedly receives an increase in budgetary allocation at the expense of deserving ministries departments. Malawi Revenue Authority has dismally failed to collect enough taxes to enable government fund social service delivery resulting in calamitous consequences in hospitals, schools and colleges and other social amenities. These are the issues to get real angry for.

The DPP administration is rocked with a host of economic and governance challenges. The family, Malawians and our traditional Western donors are demanding a speedy investigation into the brutal murder of Anti-Corruption Deputy Director Issa Njaunju. It is almost a year now since he died and justice is far from being seen and done.

The passing of the Access to Information (ATI) bill seems may not see the light of the day anytime soon. Investigation into the MK577 billion fraud has virtually been halted. The government of Germany has actually offered to fund a forensic audit into the MK577 billion but APM and his government are having none of it.

 

Malawians themselves have called on the President and his government to decisively deal with the matter of MK577 billion of public money that inexplicably disappeared between 2010 and 2011 during the DPP regime under the late President Bingu wa Mutharika. Government seems seriously intent to deflect any attention away from that fraud. All calls have fallen on deaf ears allegedly because many ministers in the President’s current cabinet directly benefited from that fraud. Would the President himself come out clean?

So, for the President to get ‘angry’ today over the loss of about a mere $30 000 (about K20 million) is simply laughable. One suspects it is nothing but the President’s attempt, and that of his government, to score cheap political points at the expense of starving Malawians. It is important that President Mutharika embraces, as a matter of urgency, the rule of law, transparency and accountability.

Malawians sadly remember the savage murder, on September 24, 2011 of Robert Chasowa,a student activist at the Polytechnic, a constituent College of the University of Malawi. The cause of death and the circumstances surrounding the death were mysterious.

A Commission of Inquiry instituted in 2012 by former President Joyce Banda identified 15 suspects to be prosecuted for that brutal murder. Ever since, the matter has grown cold. President Mutharika and his government have both moral and constitutional duty to ensure that justice is finally done and that the family of Robert Chasowa is granted the exact answers to cause of his untimely death.

‘Ethiopia’ yes, but these are issues, above, and many more, have to be given equally adequate attention for speedy social, economic and political progress and development of our country.

Ujeni’…is not good at all, Mr. President

Finally, Mr. President, instead of being only angry with some thieving envoys deployed in Addis, may you also direct your anger at State House aides for their failure to prepare appropriate notes when you recently opened the 2015/2016 tobacco buying season. You embarrassingly forgot what you were officially inaugurating, Your Excellency, which was ‘Msika wa Fodya’.

Mr. President, we understand you are quite advanced in age but it is inconceivable that you could forget that you were inaugurating the 2015/2016 tobacco buying season considering that tobacco is Malawi’s number one forex earner. Tobacco has traditionally been Malawi’s lifeline. To make it worse, Mr. President, you shamelessly laughed about that gaffe; dear me!

“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.”- Henry Ward Beecher

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16 thoughts on “Embassy fraud in Ethiopia, yes, but other matters too: ‘Ujeni’ not good at all  Mr. President”

  1. Chikwenda says:

    Embasyy fraud yeah. Addis Ababa, Zambia, komaso Pretoria unikani bwino! Kauza Masina ndi Irenga mbava sikulusikulu. Amagwirizana ndi anthu aku foreign affairs to divert funds. Bashoppppu!

  2. Deadend says:

    Great analysis – yes, the DPP guys are not serous about fighting corruption. The article was written that was to present a false impression that the man in command is serious about corruption. How can he be serious to fight the scheme that brought him to power? The guy was a mere university professor in the USA earning enough to keep himself and family barely alive. Any serious forensic audit of the K577B will demonstrate how he wickedly because a billionaire himself. So, stop wishful thinking that DPP can ever allow a forensic audit of the K577B. What would you have done if you were in power yourself? The only solution is a major civil revolution that will sweep the crooks out of power and get the country start its nation-building agenda afresh.

  3. tozertsono says:

    K577bn unaccounted for and hoping for donor assistance? What a joke! Malawians ought to protest for quick action. If there had been any reason to bring the DPP government to a stand still, the missing of k577 bn and the lack of a transparency to audit DPP activities, is it.
    Malawians are so helpless to do anything about the loot. Their only hope is to wait for their own chance to join in the looting or benefit from the looting by getting appointed to an embassy, etc.
    What is shocking is the government’s resistance to deal with current or former DPP
    corruption squarely. One of the key results of the self-righteous policies of DPP is Panhandling almost at every level of government. You get rid of panhandlers on the streets but leave out the official government paid panhandlers, who include police, airport employees/security screeners, bankers, employees in parastatal organizations, immigration and customs employees, name it the whole government staff are panhandling with very few exceptions. They say, Njala bwana or what do you have for us or did you bring something for us or ya fanta or just gesturing give me something? They have such audacity to pull money from your wallet if they had to. Malawi is for sale!
    What can Malawians do? Wake up and refuse to pay taxes until the k577 bn is accounted for! The Donors won’t give money due to corrupt DPP, PP, MCP, UDF leaders, why should tax payers bail out corrupt leaders?

  4. Omex70 says:

    Thom you are right. As much as I hate any kind of looting from our money entrusted in the hands of government, I feel this government is very selective when it comes to fighting corruption in the country. If our Embassy in Ethiopia was headed by people sent by DPP regime, this issue couldn’t have come out. It could have swept under the carpet like the issue of Chasowa, Issa Njauju, K577bn. DPP is silent on these crucial issues because their thugs are behind these issues. We have blind followers of DPP who do not see anything wrong with the death of Chasowa, Issa Njauju, the fraud of K577bn. But God will eliminate this party in his own way and time.

  5. The Analyst says:

    O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O
    Some of us are worried that we are slowly losing you Thom, as you are also slowly losing hold of yourself and touch with issues and reality . . .

    I dont understand why people keep making an issue on the “ujeni” non-issue.
    . . . You have rightly observed that vicissitudes that accompany old-age are well manifested in APM just any other old person, yet fail to understand that forgetfulness is one of them?
    . . . And who doesnt forget, even in prime of their youthfulness? Even you Thom have at some point searched for a thing, fumbling through stuff, only to discover that its right in your hands. What more with an idea and APM, a septuagenerian?
    . . . And are you sure you can blame State House Aides for APM’s forgetfulness? What would you have them do? Hold and drum-beat APM’s head so as to keep the cells vibrating? Lets not see mountains where only anthills exist.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    And its quite strange why you seem not comfortable with APM’s reaction to Ethiopia Embassy saga.
    . . . Are you proposing that just because problems seem to exist everywhere in Malawi, then APM should address them all, at the same time, and at once? Is this even practical?
    . . . Is he not to start form somewhere?
    . . . Are you proposing that just because we have had problems from the days of yesterday, then APM has no moral right to adress problems now?

    Come on Thom; you can think better than this!
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Truth is . . .
    . . . APM is slow in doing and responding to issues . . .
    Wherever he has shown a commitment to doing something good, no matter how small; we should applaude or say nothing (for want of not applauding). Coz it is better . . .
    . . . to start small than not start at all . . .
    . . . to join a slow-moving queue that a queue thats not moving at all . . .

    Otherwise if we find comfort criticising everything, we run the risk of losing ourselves and seemingly (from this write-up), we are losing you Thom.
    O……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O

    1. Bwande says:

      I agree with you APM is slow to act and respond in many cases. But honestly, if he can forget that he is at the action floors ‘kutsegulira msika’ then he is more or less incapacitated and not fit to lead a country. Mind you he says he is standing again in 2019. I am not sure if he will be able to remember anything by then. To be honest that was the most embarrassing thing to come out of a head of state. We are indeed a joke as a nation!

      1. The Analyst says:

        O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….O
        It was sad and very embarrassing indeed . . .
        . . . but not something as unexpected as people are making us believe; since everyone can forget.
        On his intention to stand again in 2019 when it is evident that Malawi won’t benefit much from him
        . . . I think it will do noone any good to tremble before the shadow of a thought far off into the future as APM standing again in 2019, coz tomorrow is promised to no one. And it’s not guaranteed that him standing means him winning.
        O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….O

  6. Daiton Mbewe says:

    Mugowokereni mdala wachekula beyond limit. If he is forgetting what he is at a place or on a podium for could we say he will still have vigour and sound memory to rule Malawi again after 2019? Ninabwela kuno kudzatsegula ujeni………..ujeni…….ujeni hahahahahahahahah ndatsegulira ujeni hahahahahaha (interjection…awo a Pita) let me finish ndisiyeni kaye ndimalize mubvinabe hahahahaha kudzatsegula fodya hahahaha kudzatsegulila ujeni hahahahahahaha kudzatsegulira msika wa fodya, shame, shame, shame, shame Mr. President, you need to rest mwachekula nadi, nkhanila. Next time he will forget how to put on his own pant. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk.

  7. Kodi abale MK577bn ndi ndalama pang’ono nanunso a marvel chikondi? This is what we call blind following. Za ku Ethiopia ndi MK577bn zinayamba ndi ziti, ndipo zambiri ndi ziti???? This is why our country is moving backwards because many people akuombera mfiti mmanja. Shame on DPP blind followers.

  8. santana says:

    The problem with our reporters is that they always want to be used by politicians yet they can not give good advice to their affliated parties. The same reporters told us that out of the 577bn the 350bn was squandered during the Joyce Banda admin. The PP had all the 2 years to question the DPP on the 61bn and 92bn yet they came out of govt embarrassingly without handling this DPP embezzlement. The German auditors came with the 577bn of which 350bn is for PP. And the Chiumias think the DPP can stupidly audit itself. It looks like reporters are dry of facts and the politicians’ money is haunting them. Joyce Banda smeared all mud on the DPP to make it not come back into govt but failed miserably. It only shows that these politicians have not benefited from you in mudslinging the DPP and the opposition itself have nothing to do to convince Malawians that they have something to offer. They are just waiting for another shameful defeat in 2019. What will the ”UJENI” issue help Malawians? It only shows our reporters have lost direction, are dry of facts and have nothing to offer. I don’t see any candidate in the opposition who is weighty to run the show. Even the number 4 man in DPP can defeat the opposition alliance in 2019. Don’t talk of PETER, he is just too big for your opposition candidates.

  9. marvel chikondi says:

    I have re-read your article and i am failing to see what you are after. Do you want the president to tolerate the thefty of money in Ethiopia? You talk of the ministry of agriculture didn’t the president react by removing the minister responsible so that enquiries can be made to see what is really happening there? you talk of UJENI isn’t that irrelevant for the topic of this article? i have ever liked your articles and will continue to but this one oh my foot

  10. Jelbin Mk says:

    Mr true citizen re read the story so that you can get what the writer is up to. He has stressed and condemned the theft of our hardly earned taxes abroad but not on the expense of our locally budgeted revenue he said the former is as important as the later hence the need for both to be paid equal attention not selective responses to issues of the same nature. Mwina chinavuta ndi chingelezi bwana? Worry not next time we will ask nyasatimes to provide interpretation of their articles into your native language though that will take ages am sorry. Anyway the president very recently challenged us that he did not have an intermittent mind but has proved differently not long time after the challenge. He lost memiry as no body’s business embarrassingly may be God wanted to prove him wrong and if this is happening now then what will happen after 2019? considering his age by then i tell you he will be sleeping on the podium while women are ululating and singing.

  11. true cizen says:

    Dont tell me you are encouraging people to be stealing.do you want the president to stay idle on Ethiopia’s issue just because the previous issues are not finalised?U r a bad citizen or parent if at all u r aparent.think wise when writing.

  12. DK PHIRI says:

    TRUELY THE ARTICAL HAS A GOOD MESSAGE THAT SHOULD BE ACTED UPON

  13. Ruben Kacheche says:

    This theft happened in the face of George Chaponda. Is he fit to run another Ministry / He should follow Allan when funds also missed. After in Agriculture it was less. Lets be fair abale

  14. Mswachi says:

    I can’t stop laughing when I view the video clip which a friend sent to me on whatsapp. That was embarrassing. Bravo azimai poyambitsa nyimbo, you kinda saved a situation even though too late.

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