Incessed by government’s failure to pay salaries to some civil servants, civil society organisations operating under the Grand Coalition has launched the most awaited Black Monday movement on Friday instead of Monday next week.
The activists have proposed — in coordination with other 13 high-profile civil society organisations — calling a ‘Black Monday’ when Malawians will dress in black every Monday to symbolise the death of the public purse after being looted by thieves.
“Following the prevailing collapse of social services, including the non-payment of civil servants’ salaries, the Civil Society Grand Coalition has with immediate effect, today, 6th December 2013 launched the most awaited Black Monday.
“The Civil Servants, Trade Unionists, Business Community and CSOs are of the view that failure to procure and manage the public health system, non-payment of Civil Servants’ salaries, non-remittance of deductions to Teachers SACCOs and other micro-finance institutions, are clear manifestation of the negative consequences of the ‘Cash Gate’,” reads a statement from the grand coalition signed by its spokesperson Benedicto Kondowe.
The Grand Coalition launched the Black Monday alongside the CSTU’s presentation of the petition to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) through the Lilongwe District Commissioner’s Office on Friday, Dec 6, 2013.
Led by the Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) leaders and imitating a funeral procession with sorrowful songs and hymns, while others imitated mourners, the public workers matched from Kamuzu Central Hospital via the Paul Kagame Road through Area 3 market.
The coalition urges Malawians and residents to observe the Black Monday by putting on black attire every Monday until Government becomes responsive enough to address the prevailing hardships, including taking meaningful steps to restore confidence in the public finance management and donor support.
The coalition also encourages Malawians and residents to unite in body and spirit to ask hard questions about the national welfare and demand accountability from the authorities.
“If Government cannot make drugs and medical supplies available in the hospitals, does it care about human life? If Government cannot pay Civil Servants, do they care that Civil Servants have families to fend and needs to satisfy as well? If government can unceremoniously sell the maize from the Strategic Grain Reserves instead of deploying the same to Admarc depots under the pretext of maize being rotten, does it care about the welfare of ordinary Malawians?” argues the coalition.
The Grand Coalition says it is aware of government’s on-going attempts to deceive the general public by downplaying the impact of ‘Cash Gate’ and withdrawal of donor support, and therefore urges all Malawians and residents to be vigilant.
“Let Government deliver its promises now; act in good faith to the benefit of the majority; and demonstrate the needed leadership in such crises,” reads the statement.
Malawi has been rocked with an embarrassing wide scale embezzlement, which is linked to the September 13 shooting of budget director Paul Mphwiyo.
The CSOs want government to investigate and prosecute suspects involved in the looting between July and September 2013 by end of November.
The activist have been concerned that there were selective prosecution in the cashgate scandal as “big fishes” are being shielded.
On international level, the Black Monday Movement is also celebrating its first anniversary in the month of December on their fight against wrongful self-enrichment.
The Grand Coalition wants to seek a vote of no confidence in President Joyce Banda’s administration and push for an interim government if the State does not address their concerns over the way it is handling the cashgate .
The CSOs are also aggrieved that despite donors withholding aid over the looting President Banda continues to travel extensively within and outside the country.
On the Action Plan by government in addressing the cashgate, the CSOs argue that the document is a political tool aimed at hoodwinking Malawians into believing that government is committed to dealing with the problem.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :