Atupele tells JB: Stop business as usual mode on cashgate

Leader of Malawi’s opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) has asked government to stop trivializing the cashgate scandal as it is a grave issue to every Malawian including development partners.

The youthful leader said the fact that government appears to be in a ‘business as usual’ mode despite the matter being a grave issue for Malawians suggests that it perceives the crisis as not exceptional.

Muluzi has said that until now Malawians are still in the dark as to what really happened for government lo lose billions of kwachas.

“There has been no clear articulation of the problem from the president and cabinet. Malawians today are still in the dark as to what exactly happened, therefore, we do not know what it is we are trying fixing,” Muluzi said.

Atupele Muluzi: Cashgate is a serious scandal
Atupele Muluzi: Cashgate is a serious scandal

He added: “I also am struck by the inconsistencies in explaining the origins of the crisis. First we are told that this administration only got to know about the scale of the problem in the past few months.

“Then we are told that the problem started as far back as 2001. I believe that there is a grand public relations exercise to exonerate the administration from the crisis.”

The 35-year-old presidential aspirant wondered why government was yet to provide a clear articulation of the problem “and for leadership as a collective, to take responsibility for addressing the crisis.”

Muluzi said the Joyce Banda administration had not demonstrated a clear action plan, which government could be held accountable for, that addresses the crisis with both technocratic and political actions.

He said Malawians were still waiting for a revised budget that reflects expenditure cuts, savings and measures to cushion ordinary citizens from effects of budgetary re-alignments, in light of a declining revenue base.

“There is also no clear outline of the consequences of this crisis on the economic status of the country (in the medium and long term); as this has implications on the new government that will be ushered in power after May 2014,” the paper quotes Muluzi, a former economic planning and development minister in the Banda’s admin. .

Although the timing of the crisis is challenging, Muluzi observed, it provides Malawians with an opportunity for deep reflection as the country draws nearer to the upcoming May 2014 elections:

As you know, ‘Making the public purse work for all Malawians’ was one of the important areas of debate at our November 2013 UDF Policy Conference.

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