Malawi’s opposition United Democratic Front leader, Atupele Muluzi, who is also the party’s 2014 presidential candidate on Tuesday took the infamous cashgate corruption scandal to the people when he conducted a whistle top tour in Thyolo district.
Typical of civilized issue-based campaign , Atupele spent less time defining his opponent and more time spelling out how he would handle the job if given the mandate to rule the country after May 20 elections.
The UDF leader addressed rallies at Bvumbwe Trading Centre, Ntambanyama and Nansato ground.
He took his time to explain in the layman’s language the meaning of ‘cashgate’ and what impact it has for the lives of ordinary Malawians.
“All these economic problems you are facing today are as a result of the cashgate. Public funds meant for drugs in public hospitals were stolen and government is failing to explain how such money was siphoned from the public coffers. Is that normal?” he queried.
Judging from the chants from crowds of young men and women that attended the whistle stops, government and the ruling Peoples Party have a lot of work to do to exonerate the party and its leadership from the looting.
According to the forensic audit findings by the British account firm, politicians and business tycoons connived with civil servants to infiltrate the government finance management system. They used to delete all the transactions after encashing the pilfered money.
“We have seen funds transferred between unrelated companies, individuals withdrawing funds from unconcerned organisations and inflated prices paid to companies with limited or no trading history,” reads the report.
According to the report, some companies were registered as recently as May 2013 but immediately started transacting with government in deals worth millions of dollars. Some companies were found to be paid for goods and services not even rendered to government.
The UDF leader as he started to talk of presidential jet, the crowds roared “anaba! ” [they embezzled]. The feeling from the people is already there that money realised from the sale cannot be traced.
Atupele aid the aircraft was a property of all people of Malawi and said proceeds from its sale must be handled with “the utmost openness, transparency and accountability”.
He pointed out that accountability and transparency are critical building blocks of a culture of respect of human rights and good governance, and are the fundamental basis for meaningfully combating corruption and abuse of power.
On the issue of hand outs the UDF leader told the rallies that they are free to receive any hand-outs given by those using public funds to buy items which they are distributing to ordinary Malawians with the view of buying their votes.
He however warned that the hand-outs should never influence their political choices.
“You can receive whatever they give you but don’t vote for them because they think you are ignorant. Receive, but don’t tell what you’re going to vote for,” he said.
Atupele asked the people to vote for UDF arguing that is the only way to get out of economic misery which they have been subjected to by the Joyce Banda administration.
“We must change the way we govern and the way we are governed. We need new and progressive leadership which is prepared to serve our nation without selfishness. We must guard against opportunistic politicians, who are not there to serve [but to loot and self-enrichment],” said Atupele.
He said while every leader now is chorusing on transformational leadership, the people should sieve “the genuine transformational leadership or recycling leadership.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :