We are all guilty of Cashgate

While financial forensic experts, anti-corruption officers and the police are busy hunting down Cashgate suspects, leaving most of us observing from a distance and going about our daily routines as innocent souls, the philosophical verdict condemns us all to many years behind bars for letting Cashgate happen before our eyes.cash

Albert Einstein, a well-known sage and physicist once said:  “If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.”

Indeed, at the heart of the crisis which our nation is currently grappling with, is the gross complicity demonstrated at all levels which saw billions of kwachas finding its way outside the system to few individuals who did not render any meaningful service to government.

‘Complicity’ is akin to silence, inaction, support, omission and hypocrisy to name just a few.

As Georgio Agamben, another philosopher, once remarked: “Today’s man has become blind not to his capacities but to his incapacities, not to what he can do but to what he cannot.”

Each one of us should pause and reflect as to what we failed to do when Cashgate was happening (or we are failing to do to stop ‘sub-Cashgates’ happening in our institutions as we speak).

We are blind to our inaction. There is massive inaction over pertinent issues in our society right now which jeopardises our economy, environment and security, to name a few. It is high time we started taking to task those who do nothing, keep quiet and pretend that all is well when in actual fact they heard, saw, felt or read in reports passing through their own desks that something was not right somewhere.

For instance, the control measures in our financial system are too numerous to mention. Starting from how contracts are solicited and awarded, preparation and cashing of cheques, monitoring and evaluation, auditing and much more.

Sometimes I ask myself how all those good accountants in government offices prepared cheques of huge sums of money without supporting documents, and why nobody bothered to alert somebody whose job is to follow up on such anomalies?

All signatories in various departments signed and countersigned the checks when they knew no service was being offered. The banks honoured huge sums of cash in unbelievable time frames without verifying them, yet a poor person like me takes over an hour to cash a check of K500 000 because of multi-level verification of such a cheque?

Monitoring and evaluation officers saw no need to raise an alarm and it had to take the shooting of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo for Cashgate to come to the fore? Were they (monitoring and evaluation specialists) really working? Do we have auditors in the system or were they on sabbatical leave somewhere?

And finally, were the politicians really keeping tabs of how their technocrats were channelling finances to various planned programmes?

What I see is that everybody was there but nobody spoke, condemned, reported or took any action to save public funds in his capacity and within his available means. I find gross complicity in our society and a laissez faire attitude of not getting concerned when something wrong is happening. That takes me to the issue of morality to say that as a nation we have thrown our morals to the dogs.

We are too blind to our incapacities and cannot point a finger at someone whose actions have potential to put the whole nation on fire. That is why we aid illegal immigrants to do whatever they want to do in this country, do not report thieves in our communities to police, are selling prime land at give-away prices to foreigners and are betraying Mother Malawi in so many ways, all for money.

As a nation, we must confront the evil spirit of complicity. We are wherever we are for a purpose and must stop all the bad things happening near us. When a crisis hits, as has happened with Cashgate, it is not fair to let or expect the financial pundits, politicians and law makers alone to come up with solutions that will prevent Cashgate from happening again.

The solution lies with us all to rethink how—through omission, oversight and a general lapse in alertness —we condone the plunder of public resources and unexplained enrichment by some of our compatriots.


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34 thoughts on “We are all guilty of Cashgate”

  1. chemwali chimwene says:

    this article leaves a lot to be deisred. only few malawians knew what was happening. the majority of us NAY. people are in the villages kulima masamba and accuse them of being guilty, please spare the majority in your guilty umbrella.

  2. chaiwone wawo says:


  3. Piche Yakiti says:

    For a start is Benison Linje a Malawian? Has he observed our political landscape since HKB time to date?

    I will tell you two things: (1)Much as an individual would be aware of the rot happening in Government,it becomes difficult to spill the beans cos of fear of reprisals or sometimes an individual could be silenced by awards that come in different forms….who doesnt want to get rich by the way????? Integrity is a term that exists in the dictionary not on the ground mind you..i dont want a long write up on this.(2) Politicians in Malawi are too powerful they wield power akin to god. If you add up these two my friends, cashgates will continue to happen much as politicians in Africa are there to enrich themselves and not to govern.

  4. Saini says:

    we are not guilty some of us individuals had no knowledge of such massive activity taking place underground until a gun shot of director of budget in government and
    persident JB speaking at a rally that was an eye opener.So we are not guilty but you knew something and kept quite just tell us what you know

  5. kusyeje says:

    Akulu akulu mukumabisa bwanji nkhani yeni yeni ya cashgate. Cashgate was an organised crime by the governing Parties ruling getting first hand instructions from the head of state him or herself to be funding their party for the daily running of their members kuti adzioneka olamula kupedza bwino. Inu mukuona ngati Lutepo amanama. All civil servance organised themselves not just to be handing over all the money that the governing party asked them to loot but keep part of it. Then this keeping part of the instructed looted money civil servance started paying themself using same method that’s why they were signing all signatures on checks paid to unsupplied transactions most of them their created bussiness. Namathanga of Tourism good example. Ndiye mukachemerera kuti President wakuti wakuti ndiye wabwino kumeneko ndiye kusapota dala mbabva poti a Malawi mtsogoleri wachipani chathu olo adzipha anthu sitidzudzula kuti akulakwa chisanzo bena siamasonkha K5million ya BEAM ndiye M’Malawi ameneyo wapaphata.

  6. upile kulekangana says:

    We are not guilty of cashgate. Iweyo just confess ur sins. Thanks to JB who revealed it

  7. Nachipanti says:

    Foresure the author is another cashgater. The money he stole is finished and he wants to plead guilty. Ingokadzipelekani kuti mukaulule a nzanu otherwise we are not guilty with you…

  8. dadaboma says:

    To say “all are guilty of complicit” is wrong. May be the author of the article knew that people were stealing and did nothing because he was a beneficiary. But the majority of Malawians did not know cashgate existed. It had to take the former president Dr Joyce Banda to reveal that there was cashgate – otherwise most Malawians did not know. And it was JB who was determined to end this satanic act. But Bingu was informed of the existence of cashgate by the former RB governor Perks Ligoya through a memo to Bingu in 2010. But Bingu simply said “ndamva” and did nothing either to reveal the act or stop it. It is people like Bingu and other DPP stalwarts and their accomplices that the author of the above article should be addressing, not “all Malawians”, and certainly not Dr JB. I think the author of the article was one of the cashgaters along the lines of Lutepo, Kasambara, Manondo, etc and wants to smear everyone to confuse the situation so that we should be saying “all of us have participated in the looting or theft of govt money” instead of pursuing the real cashgaters. Do not underestimate our anger; we can vent it on you if you play childish games with the issue that has so badly affected our lives.

  9. mmihavani says:

    You are guilty alone not with us. Thats stupid.

  10. Odala Ochibwe says:

    Kaya Zanu Izo

  11. Bambo Atadala says:

    osh Malawi should come b4 GoD.

  12. wangalusa says:

    To avoid the guilt of complicity, I question the integrity of MERA decision makers on keeping the fuel prices where they are when worlwide fuel prices are going down. Should we assume that those surrounding MERA are the owners of fuel service stations and want to maximise profits? Can’t some NGOs call for fuel boycott?

  13. wangalusa says:

    To avoid the guilt of complicity I question the integrity of MERA decision makers on keeping the fuel prices where they are when everywhere fuel prices are going down. Should we assume that those surrounding MERA are the owners of fuel service stations? Can’t some NGOs call for fuel boycott?

  14. Only the Truth says:

    The article is not very far from the truth. Take our complicity in corruption, for instance. How many times have you, as an individual, given ‘ya Fanta’ to a traffic police officer when they genuinely found a fault with your driving or your vehicle on the road? How many times have you seen with your own eyes a conductor or a driver of a minibus that you are travelling in ‘shaking hands’ with police when they are stopped? How many ‘ziwombas’ or ‘othamangathamanga’ do you know in town whose real occupation is illegal, but you chose silence? Some of us even know individuals whose sole occupation is selling stolen vehicles from RSA and we call them ‘big man’, don’t we? That’s what the author is talking about, he has only used cashgate as an example.

    Even with cashgate, I believe most people hate it just because they did not benefit from it. Ask the girlfriends who benefitted with cars and houses if they really hate cashgate. Even the armed robbers are known by somebody who chose to remain quite. And that’s where I agree with a suggestion floated by someone that the Police should have a way of getting anonymous tips from the general population because some people are afraid to say these things in person for fear of consequences if the suspect knows the one who tipped the police.

  15. Mercy Gogoda says:

    The article is straight forward. All he is trying to highlight is that when the Joyce’s of this world were busy engaged in building their own mini-empires, touring the breadth/width of mother earth, distributing government resources, selling public property etc nobody rose up to point out such unconstitutional dealing of resources and overnight amassing of property; hence the guilt encompassing everyone. To day those who plundered the money are not with us here in order for them to feel the pinch together with everybody but instead are living in luxury abroad enjoying the proceeds. When the funds start to diminish we will see them coming home only to tell us that they were living in hotels by the courtesy of wellwishers. In developed countries citizens will inform the police every time they notice a strange occurrence, but in Malawi your neighbor will just comment “Koma a neighbor anga ayamba kudya bwino masiku amenewa moti ana awo akuphunzira ku America/UK etc, akumanga chinyumba ku 43, agula magalimoto atatu nthawi imodzi blah blah blah” and to day you want to deny responsibility?

  16. mbuya says:


  17. Den says:

    Plz spare us of your trash. How do you know people in capital hill are stealing when you do not know their operation system and procedures. When they have decided to guard this information jealously to avoid spying eyes of reason. How do you know they want to steal with all government beureacracy? Mukamalemba muziganiza

  18. fathi slshehaab says:

    in my view the artivle is right generally..but hoe this sll sarys frn ruling party chaps wantung to rause cash.
    mcp did it yru cards udf dud it tru naderf or se if govt entinturs etv dpp did it tru cintracts to suppotters or mwa and got heft 93b pp was st ig agisn perfected it vis ifmis which by the wsy started with dpp and says its only an audit wurry zoona 92b a godwall. Yes ee r all guilyy vos ee eordhip ruling patty..oncd ee stop over toning ruling pafty ee r more than halfway solbving theft of publuc funds…no std letrrs ti ssk fof cash ti Nac by anybody…mwaonatu mmene zidaysmbira..noe its evelish!!
    koms utukwsna syi anvonensni maganixo ani basi…letz all go in ur little cornrr and pray fof deliverance..amen!

  19. Alufeyo says:

    Most of you are ignorant. The banks are not guilty of anything. The cheques were not fake but genuine. The govt told banks to honour all govt cheques. Mind you there is an MOU which came into force in 2009. Why did govt stop CCAs and opt for open ended encashment of cheques. This started in 2009 only that in 2012 to 2013 people got greedy and wanted to get rich quickly. Stealing shall always take place throughout the world but it should never be institutionalised.

  20. Mafikizolo says:

    This is utter nonsense . It is obvious the author was trying to sound philosophical but I’m afraid to say it hasn’t worked . And he chose a wrong subject . Does he know how angry ordinary, law – abiding Malawians are about Cashgate? And he has the audacity to say such citizens should also be painted with same brush as the Lutepo’s, Kasambara’s and Mphwiyo’s? I repeat : Utter nonsense .

  21. Chalemetsa says:

    Really. Those who preach and prophesy should feel VERY guilty of this saga. Those who call themselves “representatives of God on earth” when administering oaths and passing judgement. Not the masses out there. The fact is they are VERY angry. Write about their anger and expectation.

  22. Monica says:

    Strike nth awo yozenga milandu ya cashgate ili nkhata? Majaji ones awadyesa ndalama sakukonda a malawi ,Yet they are also highly payed poeple I command That all judges APHEDWE!!2015

  23. iweyo says:

    What a great article and I see the truth has already hit a sore point for some readers. We all knew a Mphiyo or Sithole amongst us, they bought us drinks, made big donations at Church, or invited us to host family functions at their elaborate houses, but nobody spoke up. Stealing public money became a norm because we as society accepted it, we did not make cash gaters feel like outcasts but rather cow towed to them so we could get a piece of the pie, and that’s not philosophy but common sense should tell you that you’re guilty!

  24. Zansete says:

    Chimenecho ndie chibwana ndalama munaba ndinu ife tikhudzidwa bwanji? Ufiti,kapena chamba?

  25. Mtungah says:

    I can see how myopic you are. Probably you are a Lhomwe: not afraid of stealing anything from anybody and make it yours. I think you needed to entitle it as ‘All Of Us Lhomwes Are Guilty Of Cashgate’. Zopusa. Nanu a nyasa kumaona zoika.

  26. mtila zomba says:

    Am afraid to say this, nyasa times is involved in cashgate.nyasa is another beneficiary.just wait you will see

  27. Mswachi says:

    This just tells you how much Politicians were into this; Politicians are the most feared beasts in Malawi especially when they are connected to the ruling party. Many good intentioned Malawians including high ranked Civil Servants fear reprisals. Unless we develop a courageous spirit then nothing will be done.

  28. Spare the entire Malawi from your philosophically myopic blame game you idiot!

  29. ahoy says:

    Nonsense article.

  30. Nyapapi says:

    Stupid article!

    Ngati unadya iweyo zako zimenezo ukapsya kumamba wekha ife zisatikhuze!

  31. Ife2 kuyankhula mo2mbwa ayi. Why blaming everyone? Is that what u call philosophy? Nonsense!!!

  32. civil servant wolira says:

    Stop making fun of us.Mumanga nyumba within a month including mpanda as if you won a lottery on the same meagre salaries enafe kumaoneka ngati zitsiru.Munthu wolandira k50,000 pamwezi building a k50 million kwacha house.Is there any sense in this?Very few people benefitted from this corrupt system.I don’t why their properties are not forfeited and return the money back to govt than having long useless winding cases by the corrupt ACB.I hate this country!!!!There is so much greed in Malawi.People like kumagwadilidwa nditichuma takuba.Very useless country.

  33. Not anjenjenjeman says:

    All of us guilty! seriously? No. Whilst you are able to single out few institutions in your write up like the connected banks, the signatories, the gullible suppliers and those employed with a duty to guard but chose to sleep on job or deliberately look away, you still come to the assertion we are all guilty really? This is carelessness. We are truly facing the consequences together but please spare innocent people from the share of guilty burden. Leave that to the, as we now know Lutepo, senzani, Sithole and their families. If you took part , we did’nt and if you wished to confess, just do the way Lutepo did, alone.

  34. mkonda amalawi says:

    Has anybody from above taken any advice from an ordinary Malawians.How many things do ordinary people get ignored in Malawi.We have a corrupt judicial that survives on these stolen money.They will make long winding cases until Malawians forgets about everything.The mphwiyos and others have been looting govt coffers yet the clueless woman has been applauding him as a nosense budget director until when his friends pumped him some lead metals into his mouth after he became greedy not to equally their lootings.Stop blaming the ordinary people for the looting.When the new govt comes you place all the crooks in the strategic points to cover your evil ways and you expect a nobody to do something and yet you claim Malawi to be a God loving country while you cannot love each other.Stop blaming the ordinary Malawians.You know the whole truth and nonsenu munadya za cashgate you will never have peace.Mulungu simunthu.Mwazunza mtundu wa Amalawi ndipo Mulungu akukanthani.Malawians are in dire poverty because of your greediness.

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