Leave Goodall alone: Some CSOs merely seeking relevance over K4 billion ‘payout’

Some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country are planning to organize nation-wide demonstrations aimed at forcing the resignation of Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe for allegedly orchestrating the ‘K4 billion payout’ to Members of Parliament (MP).

Gondwe: K4 billion has not been paid out

The CSOs led by Gift Trapence and the usual suspects of Timothy Mtambo, Charles Kajoloweka, Billy Mayaya and Robert Phiri, among others, have decided to pin down the whole issue on Goodall Gondwe. They don’t mind the fact that despite initial inconsistencies, the issue was debated and rectified by Parliament. It is not the first time these CSOs have demanded the resignation of Goodall Gondwe.

It must be noted, however, that there is no single MP who has received any money or part of the K4 billion in form of cash. This money will be channeled to each of the 193 constituencies in this county as Constituency Development Fund (CDF) through the Ministry of Local Government, and will go directly as payment to suppliers of materials that are used for various development projects in constituencies such as cement, steel or timber. It is not some high personal largesse into anyone’s pocket.

It must also be noted that K4 billion has not been disbursed yet to MPs; it is more of an issue that was debated and agreed upon by Parliament. It is a matter that is only awaiting the implementation of a collective decision. In this case a collective decision of Members of Parliament from government as well as opposition, including the Leader of Opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, Lazarus Chakwera.

His (Chakwera) constituency is also among the constituencies to benefit from that money. If MPs had thought this channel of development was unnecessary and that it was wrongly constituted, they could not have accepted and approved the disbursement. They had the time and power to reject the money, and no-one was going to make a fuss about it. The mere fact that they approved the disbursement underlines consensus between government and opposition, which may also imply that the issue is important hence drawing common ground from both sides of the isle.

It is, therefore, illogical for CSOs in this country to organize whole demonstrations against a collective decision on which government and opposition are finding common ground, and one that represent a concerted view of the majority. For what benefit is the march being organized and for who? If CSOs claim to represent the people, MPs also represent the people, and MPs went a step further of being elected by the people they represent, it is not clear who elected the concerned leaders of CSOs. Now who are the CSOs representing, and which civil society is which?

The CSOs have obviously gone a notch too far and the way they are doing it is as though MPs, led by Goodall Gondwe, sat down one Sunday morning and decided to share a cool K4 billion cash from treasury amongst themselves to deepen their pockets. The alarm that CSOs are raising is just disproportionately high relative to the issue on the ground and very unnecessary.

In fact, the CSOs are to blame for misrepresenting this issue to the public as some kind of a cash heist resulting in many people thinking MPs have just shared and gone away with the ‘cash’.

Most Malawians are aware that a majority of the so-called CSOs are just briefcase organizations that are furiously struggling for relevance. As such they are always sniffing for ‘activity’ regardless of significance as long as they find something to write to their donors on ‘activities done so far’ to unlock more aid. This is not about Malawians or the ‘civil’ as they are trying to make the world believe. It is very much about filling their own pockets and a struggle for survival.

CSOs in Malawi should begin to develop a habit of consulting the people first before making abhorrent decisions that also often end up being an embarrassment to themselves. Most Malawians do not think these CSOs consulted the people on this one, because this money is for development, which will directly benefit the people. And how would they have presented the issue to the people? “Government has given you money for development, and we want to stop it because it was badly given?”

Typical of revolutions around the world, it is the people; the masses who own demonstrations because they are passionate about the collective concerns. It is not about making office decisions based on vested personal interests. If anything, the so-called CSOs should start lobbying for a transparent framework of disbursing such funds to ensure they go to intended projects and beneficiaries.

CSOs must also start thinking about better and effective ways of lobbying government than the tried and failed method of demonstrations. They have tried it before and so far it is only often the usual ‘hype and fade’ and on to another demonstration cycle with the same methods and the same people.

How are CSOs hoping to get different results this time when they keep repeating the same things? Why should CSOs want to go out of their way to make Goodall Gondwe the fall guy of an issue that is not of his making? Why have they decided to pick on Goodall? Is he the soft spot?

Goodall is obviously old and will most likely retire from service soon, but we have to give it to him; he has been of valuable service to this country and his performance has always been above average. He is the one largely credited for the stellar economic performance of the late Bingu wa Mutharika era, when this country registered annual GDP growth of about 7-8% second only to Qatar.

His performance under President Professor Peter Mutharika is also star-rated, and it is only fair that we give him the respect that he deserves. Goodall must be allowed to end his song on a high note when that time comes, not the embarrassment that these CSOs are spoiling to cultivate

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wids
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wids

the true does not need to be defended. if Goodall was sincere with this allocation, this could not have gone this far. we have heard different versions of the same story from him about the source of this money. the issue of development is neither here nor there but what Malawians want is sincerity. if goodall had any morals left in him the best he would have done was just to offer an apology and indicate that the issue will be sent back to parliament for retabling. He loses nothing by just apologizing for overlooking some details and underestimating our… Read more »

Toka
Guest
Toka

Wongani Chiuta a DPP diehard. U think we don’t know

Chilungamo
Guest
Chilungamo

It’s because of irresponsible journalism like this that we have a now country sliding deep into poverty by each passing day. This is neither child’s play nor an opportunity for a mediocre journalist to make himself relevant!
Look, Goodall intentions for the K4 billion scam was malicious, ill-timed, and immoral. Unless wina ndi crook, it’s inappropriate to allocate such huge sums of money for unplanned activities ati za EXPERIMENT???
MASANJE ndi budget in the world’s most poorest country? My FOOT!
Who is seeking undue relevance here?
SHAME on ALL THIEVES!!!

Concerned nyasa
Guest
Concerned nyasa

@ Chilungamo What can I say ?, I trust that this sycophant called Wongani would read this well structured comment. Surely it pains so much when one tries to play on our emotions on such grave issues. The problems with this Wongani thing and DPP in general is that they are so much into thievery and abuse of public resources such that they look at this as a minor issue. Please Wongani what Goodall and Nankumwa did was not a trivia . It was a grave act of criminality that no sane person would stand in the sun to defend.… Read more »

Telon
Guest

Yes you can rate Goodal Gondwe as a star performer at your own lack of information about how evil this man is. First it was the Kutengule issue where Goodal opened an account only known to him and Kutengule. Second it was the 2005 Fisp, MSB bank, David Whitehead, issuing Forex License to Chaponda, involved in Margate now the 4 billion Kwacha. This man is a core thief hiding under having worked for the world bank.

JOSEPH CHAGOMELANA
Guest

VUTO NDILOTI MMALAWI MUNACHULUKA MBUZI ZOKHAZOKHA,MAKAMAKA TRIPANCE AND KAJOLOWEKA NDICHIFUKWA CHAKE AMAGONANA AMUNA OKHAOKHA KAAMBA KOSOWA UMUNTHU NANGA TANGOGANIZANI BUDGET INAPANGIDWA PASS NDI APHUNGU MA CEO AKULIMBANA NDI GONDWE IS THAT MAKING SENCE?SHOULD WE SAY THESE GYZ R DRIVING MALAWI TO A BETTER FUTURE? AND IS IT FAIR FOR A TRUE MALAWIAN TO SUPORT THESE IDIOTS?LUCKY ENOUGH POTI NDIMAKHALA KUNJA BUT ONE DAY IWILL B THERE TO DELATE THOSE IDIOTS AND STUPIDTY WILL B BURRIED FOR EVER.

Lusubilo
Guest
Lusubilo

If anything, this article seems more like a personal defense of Goodall Gondwe and am attack on CSOs than a fairly balanced news story. Very poor journalism as th article feels emotion fueled by the writer.

Likoma
Guest
Likoma

Wongani You are such a pathetic person. Bluntly put Wongani you are just being stupid seriously. You can’t be doing politics on issues of budget which is basically a product of our hard earned money that we pay to government in form of tax. No : you are being careless here. We can’t leave Goodall and Nankumwa alone on this. This was not money realised from blue night for a God sake. Imagine that poor woman in the village who has to give part of her hard earned 1000 to government in form of vat or tax in general and… Read more »

Aalex
Guest
Aalex

This article sounds childish, emmotional, probably written by some Guy very close to our old man “supposed to be enjoying his money with his grand children somewhere in Mzimba today”, or one of the firemen in the DPP “wozimitsa moto”. People are stealing in the name of the most sacred, Jesus Christ. This authour is trying to brainwash us. Probably if he, convinsingly explained why, without approval from the natinal assembly, government decided to give the money to selected MPs, coincidentally, almost all MPs that voted against the elections reform bills. It is good that this transaction was revealed. Our… Read more »

Angoni apaphata
Guest
Angoni apaphata

Sniffing for action….. Ok. Is it wrong if they sniff for action? I thought they are actually called activists? So they are actually doing their job…… These leaders should go. We need a new generation. Bribing people to write nonsense defending them instead of just doing the right thing. Tifwenge pera.

Mwananyanian
Guest
Mwananyanian

Minister Gondwe seems to be a victim of his own successes. He’s professionally disciplined, diligent and even efficient.
And there is not even a shred of evidence that corruption is involved in this money.
No surprise here that these CSOs are simply singing out loud the music conducted by their funding agencies overseas; or to put it more appropriately, the funding organisations overseas are pulling the strings of these CSOs as if they were puppets.
Bwana Gondwe, stay put! You still have much to contribute to this country.

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