Familiarization tours by ministers turning into avenues of soliciting bribes 

This tradition by Cabinet Ministers to always begin exigency of their office by familiarization tours is steadily becoming a political wound we must hastily dress.

The past month has seen a trail of ministers touring every corner of the country, visiting sites and individuals—all in the name of familiarization tours.

We have even noted, with deep regret, fleets of vehicles, all trailing behind a minister visiting a borehole.  A story is told of 57 vehicles, just a weekend ago, trailing behind two ministers on a familiarization tour.

Is this the direction we should be taking as a nation?

Perhaps, as Nyasa Times, we are naïve to the terms of reference for our Cabinet Ministers; however, we are not green to point out that certain traditions hardly add value to our political settlement.

Come to think of it: What, specifically, is it that these ministers are trying to familiarize themselves with?

Truth be told, these ministries have been there since time immemorial. There are records of everything that was being done and it is common sense that one doesn’t need these familiarization tours but just to sit in the office and go through the files.

Further, each and every ministry has a robust structure in place, well manned by technocrats with enviable institutional memory.

Ministers don’t need to be embarrassing themselves, staggering around the country in the name of familiarization tours. They just need briefings from these technocrats.

Which is why, we feel these familiarizations tours are not just cost-ineffective—draining millions from the already stuffed national purse; they are, to us, an avenue by our ministers to solicit bribes from some executives.

They are not necessarily familiarization tours aimed to help the minister get a practical understanding of his/her ministry operates; rather, ministers use these trips to personally familiarize themselves with prospective campaign funders and, also, business associates.

That is why, if you note, most ministers go to Asian industries and plants. Why? These are key campaign funders for politicians.

It is our submission; therefore, that government needs to stop these familiarization tours. We submit that a special school of government needs to be put in place to help orient our ministers into exigencies of their office.

Otherwise, as earlier underlined, this tradition by Cabinet Ministers to always begin exigency of their office by familiarization tours is a toxic political avenue for corruption.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Sharing is caring!

Follow us in Twitter
16 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mafikizolo
Mafikizolo
1 year ago

This practice has always been a problem with Malawian. While the issue of allowances has undoubtedly been a major motivating factor over the years, my own take is that this time around, the problem has been made worse by the need to be seen to be working. The 5 months probationary period announced by the new President a few weeks ago sent a chill down the spines of most ministers, and to them , the most effective response is to be gallivanting around the country and be seen on TV giving interviews to the media while in the field. Who… Read more »

Tutu
1 year ago

True. It’s an allowance racket

WaWa 4
WaWa 4
1 year ago

Abida Mia, comes to mind.

Chautaamalanga
1 year ago

These Ministers must be stopped from such useless trips.I would even suggest that they seek clearance from OPC before they proceed on such. What are they familiarizing themselves with.

After five months, lets also get details which Minister has wasted more government funds through such useless trips, drawn more allowances and consumed more fuel.If a certain bar is exceeded, sack the Minister.

APM akulira
APM akulira
1 year ago

Can Mia sit down in an office?

BigMan
BigMan
1 year ago

Malawians, stop being useless time wasters. Nothing wrong with new ministers familiarizing themselves with different key projects or issues at the beginning of their terms. The other day you were up in arms about flowers in a particular boardroom at OPC?

Stop being mediocre, start challenging serious things like policy etc…

Tommy
Tommy
1 year ago
Reply to  BigMan

57 vehicles is just 2 much… if HE is reducing to 10, how about a mere Minister?

Mwene
Mwene
1 year ago

Very True. They are unnecessary and not cost effective, a tradition that must be stopped!!!!

Msadane
Msadane
1 year ago

The editorial raises an important issue regarding structure, purpose and value of familiarisation tours by whoever undertakes them. My experience in government and elsewhere is that periodic but regular physical appreciation of situations on the ground by managers is indispensable, management by walking around, and must be used as part of monitoring implementation of programmes. Desk top reviews play an important part only when there is a structured regular reporting system in place. Furthermore, some implementation managers may not always report what is on the ground, they may wish to report in order to portray themselves in good light and… Read more »

Chilungamo
Chilungamo
1 year ago
Reply to  Msadane

Not in the manner the ministers are doing. Move when there is need to do so.

Mtambo mtambo
Mtambo mtambo
1 year ago

fact

Mbanje Legalised
Mbanje Legalised
1 year ago

They must emulate the approach by the VP

Read previous post:
First Lady opens up: Born-again Christian, met Chakwera during Scom meetings in college

First Lady Monica Chakwera has spoken for the first time with the media narrating her inspirational story of a typical...

Close