The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has rebuked Malawians for being passive while leaders are plundering resources meant for the building and development of the nation.
CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa says he is worried with the lukewarm approach the masses have taken against growing executive impunity, arrogance, looting, plunder, abuse and outright theft of public funds, when most essential services are literally collapsing and the cost of living is increasingly going beyond reach of the majority.
“CDEDI is dismayed to note that the citizenry seems to be used to leaders, who are callously tossing them around like objects, apparently taking advantage of their timid behaviour,” says Namiwa in a scathing statement the human rights watchdog issued on Friday.
He adds, “What is particularly disturbing is the Malawians’ discovery that President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera is typically a serpent in the grass, a leader who loves doing things behind the back of his people, but portrays himself as a caring leader in the eyes of the public, and as fate would have it, some Malawians are busy clapping hands for such mediocrity.”
Namiwa says he expected well-meaning Malawians to get angry with the instruction State President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera gave to the Treasury to increase his salary from MK5 million to MK10 million, with arrears from July, 2020, at a time the people who put him in power are grappling with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and our poorly paid civil servants are crying for a salary hike.
He says he also expected Malawians to go wild having learnt that after being criticised for entrusting his daughter with a foreign mission appointment, President Chakwera has included his daughter on an official trip to the United Kingdom where he is allegedly ‘going to be a Guest of Honour at a wedding in London of one of his family members’.
“President Chakwera’s administration, publicly told Malawians that government had scaled down the budget for the 2021 Independence Day celebrations–from MK240 million, to MK46 million–and yet CDEDI has discovered that government still went ahead and spent MK238 million. To date, no expenditure report on the same has been made public as promised.
“Until today, the President has not followed the Covid-19 K6.2 billion abuse to its logical conclusion, and neither has his government explained the whereabouts of the MK17.5 billion Covid-19 funds, and yet government is shamefully failing to procure even a single dose of the much needed Covid-19 vaccine,” narrates Namiwa.
CDEDI has challenged President Chakwera to cancel the UK trip since Malawians have uncovered the “shameful scheme of an attempt to dupe the citizenry”.
“On the other hand, we would like to implore all Malawians to wake up from their deep slumber and stand up against this executive impunity. The President must be forced to cancel the UK trip, or else, let us all go and join him on the trip at airport. A stitch in time, as they say, saves nine (Amalawi, muvi woyang’anira, suchedwa kulowa m’maso),” emphasizes Namiwa.