Malawi donors senseless on full-board

Well, the shame of being Malawi, a poor nation, is that you live in perpetual subjection to entirely senseless but hegemonic ideas of the rich and powerful nations.

Donors holding talks with President Peter Mutharika

Donors holding talks with President Peter Mutharika

They decide while seated in air-conditioned comforts of their skyscrapers and, without a touch of understanding the context of their decision, impose their supreme will well aware that poor nations will have no option, but to submit.

This, I should admit, is the price we shall always pay for failing to build our economies.

Had we been sensible with our ways of political and economic governance, like China, we could have had the zeal to stand up and challenge these Western donors, disguised today as development partners, to give us a break.

We know from history that Western donors, using their economic advantage, have imposed awful policies on poor nations such as Malawi. The results of such policies, we all hold the truth, have done extremely well in deepening, not uplifting our poverty.

Because we are poor and helpless, so the donors find comfort, we cannot stand up to their increasing imposition of awful and senseless ideas. Because if we stand up, the way the late Bingu wa Mutharika did, they will cut their financial support.

Well, I know withholding financial support is their most trusted bullet to shoot and disable all of us to submission.

That is why, no matter how unpopular their full-board policy is among most Malawians, a consortium of donors is demanding Malawi Government to endorse the policy or risk aid withdrawal for the projects.

Should we, as a nation, be living in constant fear of not advancing what is good for us just because donors will cut their aid? Like seriously?

I argued, no long ago, how full-board will widen even further the gap between the rich and the poor and also kill mushrooming small-scale hospitality industries.

Full-board gives money to already rich and successful hotels. By not giving Duty Station Allowances (DSA) to a civil servant, it means the money remains with the rich hotel owners.

What suffers are all these small-scale businesses— lodged, eateries, groceries, minibuse ,  crafts  industries, bottle stores— that get patronised with an extra-income for a civil servant with a DSA.

Further, the donors themselves argue that civil servants are shunning trainings because of full-board. I find this a vindication to them that full-board is unpopular.

The solution, therefore, is not for government to deepen the system by smoking out those who missed this or that training; rather, to abandon full-board and revert to DSA.

It is surprising to note that there has never been a systematic study to prove the wrongs of DSA in relation to full participation of civil servants in the donor-funded trainings.

I would not be wrong, therefore, to assume that the donors’ decision to change from DSA to full-board, as per their historical tradition, was purely a same old case of imposition.

In fact, I could only shudder to understand how His Excellency the German Ambassador Peter Woeste, without providing figures, could publicly declare that ‘many Malawians attend external events for the sake of receiving allowances’.

Such a generalisation, without facts, defeats even the slight truth embedded in his words. It is the least you would expect from a diplomat.

I shall, therefore, continue to challenge full board system.

In fact, among civil ser vant s and many other Malawians, it shall consistent l y remain shunned.

The solution is to sit down with government, with an open mind, and develop a system that works to the advantage of all the players involved. This traditional condition of attaching ‘withdrawal of financial support’ to every discussion defeats every word in the principles of development partners.

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VYOTO
Guest
VYOTO
1 month 3 days ago
MR NYONDO IS MISSING THE POINT(S) ON THE REASONS BEHIND THE INTRODUCTION OF FULL BOARD SYSTEM.OUR CIVIL SERVANTS ARE TO BLAME FOR THE PROBLEMS IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES.THE DONORS ARE JUST COMING UP WITH A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM.THERE HAS BEEN A BIG APPETITE FOR TRAVEL ALLOWANCES AMONGST ALL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FROM CLEANERS TO THE CHIEF SECRETARY AND EVEN THE PRESIDENT JUST TO GET TRAVEL ALLOWANCES AS A WAY FOR SUPPLEMENTING THEIR LOW SALARIES. IMAGINE PROFESSOR MATHEWS CHIKAONDA WHO HAS BEEN REPLACED BY PATRIDGE HAS BEEN RECEIVING A FAR MUCH HIGHER SALARY THAN THE PRESIDENT.IT IS THIS SCENARIO… Read more »
Spade
Guest
Spade
1 month 8 days ago

The allowance culture only benefits those who are able to work in the field or attend conferences. When you you are making a case against full board, do not generalize the benefits of DSA as not all civil servants are accorded that chance. Already this culture has brought about inequalities among civil servants and has promoted corruption and inefficiency because those who don’t get such allowances derive their own means to also get up there financially. I did really expect something like this from people like Nyondo

M Sizini
Guest
M Sizini
1 month 9 days ago

Mr Nyondo – you are fortunate that you are not one of my students. The best grade that you could expect for this gibberish would be D-.

chimpeni james
Guest
1 month 9 days ago
We dont need donors in this country PERIOD. Malawi can run its own affairs without donor stupid conditional aid. Bingu had run this country for two years without donor support and Peter too has completed another 2 years without donor money. So do we need them???? think..its only when a leader is a boot-licker like Joice Banda who had no clue but distributed UFA and MBUZI, fear donors. she too is a MBUZI no wonder was busy distributing mbuzis to enhance her UMBUZISM which was manifested upon her arrival at No. 10 Downing Street…. gracing towards heaven as Cameron demeaned… Read more »
FootSoldier
Guest
FootSoldier
1 month 9 days ago

In case you have forgotten, Peter is a bigger mbudzi and chitsiru with nothing to show for the papers he claims to have!

james
Guest
james
1 month 9 days ago

DSA is a leaking bucket and will always be. In govt ministries, civil servants make allowance and upkeep claims for workshops and training sessions that never took place. Full board will help curb this thievery !

sugar free
Guest
sugar free
1 month 9 days ago

Za ziii mmxxxxxx kulilira allowance basi mbava za anthu

Dr Tambala
Guest
Dr Tambala
1 month 10 days ago

In fact for USAID or the UN family their DSA are publicly available on their websites. Just google it. The rates run in tens of thousands of kwachas for example USAID pays a DSA rate of USD 70.00 per night plus bed and breakfast while the UN family pays about K120,000.00 per night for bed breakfast and incidentals. Now how can they be paying these allowances to their staff members but refuse to pay k20,000 per night for participants to the meetings they organize? This is hypocrisy of the highest order. To hell with their money

The Analyst
Guest
The Analyst
1 month 10 days ago
O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O When attendees are given full allowances hence freedom to fend for themselves; making savings (on the allowances) becomes a priority. Thus, everything cheapest, becomes appealing; especially accommodation, sometimes disregarding the distance from the workshop venue or availability of other services like internet. . . . This has a bearing on attaendance hence effeciency and effectiveness of the workshop or conference. Full-board (everything already paid for hence no need for allowances for attendees) is meant to curb such problems. Thus, mostly; all attendees stay at the workshop’s venue. This ensures timely attendance and thus increases the chance of success of… Read more »
Only the Truth
Guest
Only the Truth
1 month 10 days ago

Full-board is senseless to many Malawians. Whats the point of sleeping in a K70000 per night room at a hotel,and eat anything you want when you are attending a meeting, when there is no food when you go back home? The little money we get as allowances in meetings help us a lot in running our families because the salaries are peanuts. Everyone who works in the Civil Service in Malawi knows this very well.

Bolero
Guest
Bolero
1 month 9 days ago

DSA is not salary supplement you people. They is nothing wrong the donors are doing. Keeping you in luxury is a big plus for you. At least you have comfort to focus on what you are there for and not DSA. Donors are right to pay the way they do it.

Any Hope
Guest
Any Hope
1 month 9 days ago

I totally agree, Allowances are a tax free scam for those that cannot sit in their offices and do the job they are paid to do.The reasons that salaries are so low is that much goes to the few who have access to meetings. Why should the Central Medical Stores sponsor a meeting including a MK 9,500 buffet at Livingstonia Hotel when there are perfectly good conference rooms at the Min of Health of KCH. This is Civil servants stealing money without working!!!

Observer
Guest
Observer
1 month 10 days ago
Well said indeed. The donors impose these rates on us where we end up dipping from our meager salaries as well when we go out for duty while they use their 100 thousand plus kwachas and claim that they are not using Malawi conditions but those of their organisations. Same trip they sleep in Sunbird hotels while we have to go look for lodges because of the accommodation limits imposed in their letters. What hypocrisy!! Where is equality they talk about? Where is human rights in all this? You attend the same meetings with a donor partner, and they will… Read more »
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