The Tonse Alliance administration of President Lazarus Chakwera has come under heavy fire from the influential Catholic Church’s Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) over what it says are unfulfilled promises and other ‘mis-governance’ issues.
In a strongly-worded statement issued on August 8, 2021 and signed by CCJP’s National Coordinator, Boniface Chibwana, CCJP says it is “deplorable and disturbing” that tendencies of nepotism in public appointments continue to thrive despite detestation from many quarters within the society.
“This inequity, it says, only worsens social inequalities “while debilitating against merit and the equalisation of opportunities for inclusive development”.
“Corruption in government procurement processes continues to worsen with rent-seeking behaviour flourishing as the politically connected are reported to be benefiting from such corrupt acts. While CCJP applauds and welcomes the new leadership at the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), we observe that continued politicisation of public procurement and political interference in public service provision bodies will render the ACB ineffective.
“The Tonse (Alliance) Government is losing touch with the collective agenda to elevate the socio-economic welfare of Malawians and to improve the quality of governance which many people embraced. Instead, there are incessant wrangles among the Tonse Government political partners; all of them fuelled by greed, nepotism and partisan interests spread across the Alliance.
“Intra-party contestations and conflicts are manifested in differing politically motivated policy positions and hate speech among the respective political supporters or followers. Deplorably, this is affecting the running of public affairs amid continued socio-economic hardships facing the majority of the people amid COVID-19 pandemic,” reads the statement in part.
According to the Commission, poor handling of public interest issues is also accentuated by unclear government direction on supporting small scale businesses and the informal economic sector. Put simply, it notes, there seems to be no policy direction and as a result, many people are losing trust in the Tonse Alliance Government.
The statement captioned “Tonse Government, Fading Hope Amid Governance Lapses: Where is the Political Promise?”, reads that the outcome of the Fresh Presidential election (June 23, 2020) brought renewed hope to the majority of Malawians who expected an improvement in the style of governance characterised by a focus on the common good.
However, it says that recent phenomena point otherwise as it is clear that the Tonse Government has lost direction to realise the political promise with which the new regime gained public trust and confidence. The hope of many Malawians – especially the youth – is fading, states CCJP.
On a positive note, the Catholic Commission observes that although the governance picture looks gloomy, there has been improved and organised management of the Covid-19 pandemic by the Tonse Government.
“It is our hope that strides in health information, testing, vaccination and caring for patients will be sustained and enhanced,” reads the statement,” it says.
CCJP says “in view of the prevailing concerns and undesirable situation”, it is calling the Tonse Government to show decisive leadership and come up with public policies that will favour the poor of the poorest in this country.
“The Tonse Government should begin delivering on its promises to avoid losing people’s trust and confidence. Mere speeches and podium declarations will take this country nowhere. The national political leadership should desist from nepotistic public appointment tendencies and cronyism.
“The ACB should effectively investigate all alleged corrupt acts connected to patrons and political associates of the new regime without any political interference. Public institutions should be allowed to effectively operate with no politicisation.
“The Tonse Government partners should rise above sheer partisan motives and start delivering in pursuit of the common good. Unnecessary wrangles within the Alliance should be stopped. It is an insult to Malawians for Alliance partners to be arguing about who actually ‘won’ the Fresh Presidential election while most Malawians are sinking deeper and deeper into abject poverty and worsening level of unemployment,” says CCJP.
In conclusion, CCJP says the Tonse Government should practically demonstrate its concrete plans to support small scale businesses and the informal economic sector as poor socioeconomic conditions haunt many people.
Government Spokesperson and Minister of Information Gospel Kazako was reportedly locked in a meeting when Nyasa Times wanted to seek government reaction to CCJP observations.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :