Malawi Catholic church statement on cashgate scandal

PREAMBLE

We, Catholic Bishops of Malawi have followed with great concern events surrounding the revelations of what appears to be massive looting of public resources dubbed as “Capital Hill Cash gate”.

We have taken time to understand what is happening, to ponder and pray over these revelations and we are still shocked that such things could happen in this God-fearing country. This scandal is an embarrassment to the country and an indication of serious moral decadence and dwindling levels of patriotism in our country.

We are dismayed that materialism, corruption and get-rich-quick syndrome seem to be on the rise at the expense of truth, honesty and hard working. It is in this context, that we your pastors humbly but truthfully propose a critical reflection on the issues relating to this scandal, the impact of the looting, and call for appropriate, proportionate and timely actions.

THE ISSUES AT STAKE

We note in this scandal the following:

• huge  sums of public resources  have  been  swindled  for  purely selfish gains at the expense of service delivery;

• a  syndicate organized and cooperated  to loot  public  resources pointing to  a structural and entrenched way in which evil has taken root  in our midst;

• the financial  management structures and systems have been rendered   powerless largely because of  human machinations and lack of human integrity.

IMPACT OF THE LOOTING

Whilst we acknowledge the efforts already underway to get to the depth of this scandal by the Government, civil society, development partners and Malawi citizens at large, we feel it is important to highlight the following:

the pangs of poverty are likely to intensify as the cost  of  living keeps  running high as a  combined effect  of  lack of  effective people-centered  policies  and  the looting  of  public  resources;

the withdrawal of budget support by donors will have an obvious  inflationary effect, which will  further lead  to  economic hardships  as prices of goods  and services take  a corresponding rise; the forex gap that will  be  created as donors withhold budgetary  support means that  the country will struggle  to cover costs for   importation of critical goods  like medicines  and  agriculture items, especially at this time when the economy is getting into the lean season; ordinary Malawians and  taxpayers will suffer a multiple times from  this  crisis:

first, they have been swindled of  their scarce  public  funds; secondly,  the same taxpayers  will  have to face  scaling  down of   development and service  delivery activities due to the expenditure cuts; finally, ordinary people  will have to pay for the costs of all the prosecution, court processes, and other investigations whose costs need  to be shouldered using public resources.

OUR CALL FOR ACTION

Following the foregone reflection, we call for the following:

The Government

Tangible and verifiable confidence-building steps should be taken lest ordinary people are subjected to further injustices by financing further looting;

• Let investigations be done with the swiftness they deserve so that   the findings help government to take  concrete actions that will build public confidence;

• Let government officers humbly acknowledge their moral responsibility in this scam;

• A process to reclaim the looted property and cash should be embarked upon as this will help to complete the equation of economic  and social justice by acting beyond the arrests, and ensuring that  the resources are returned to ordinary Malawians who are the ultimate victims of the ‘Cash gate’ scandal;

• Let the government open up and listen attentively and  honestly to the  cries and  frustration of the people emanating from  this crisis.

Cooperating Partners

The cooperating partners under the Common Approach  to Budgetary Support (Cabs) should timely and effectively find a way of     providing their resources  to the people of Malawi while government       is trying to put its systems  in order, the ordinary Malawian citizen      should not  continue to  suffer the negative effects of aid delay or freeze.

Malawians

• Malawians in general need a deep soul searching and a genuine repentance remembering that, regarding public resources, much as we are accountable to the citizenry of this country, it is finally to God that we are accountable;

• Those involved in this malpractice should immediately stop doing        so as this contravenes the commandments of God and stands in the way  of development and mutual respect befitting sons and daughters of God;

• Financial control mechanisms and systems finally fall or stand on the integrity of the people behind them and hence the need for faithful God-fearing stewards;

• We call upon priests and religious not to use the ‘Cash gate’ crisis to advance partisan interests but to recall what we have said many times that the role of the Catholic Church is not to make particular political choices for people.

CONCLUSION

The ‘Cash gate’ scandal is of serious concern for us. We reiterate our condemnation of the immoral acts and express our solidarity with all those engaged in positive actions so that Malawi does not continue to lose opportunities for growth in all aspects.

The social ill facing our country will not be overcome solely by political or social remedies because, for us, the true nature of the evil facing Malawi is moral.

“The principle obstacle to be overcome on the way to authentic liberation is sin and the structures produced by sin as it multiplies and spreads”

1. The sins of individuals and the sinful structures built into systems actually reinforce one another –“and thus they grow stronger, spread, and become the source of other sins, and so influence people’s behaviour.”

2. As a God-fearing nation, we call Malawians towards an immediate moral and spiritual conversion.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From Nyasatimes

More From the World

Comments are closed.