Malawi at 50: Prof Chijere blames recycled politicians for ‘cashgate’ culture

Malawi, University of Malawi’s professor Wiseman Chijere Chirwa has pointed out that Malawi which is about to celebrate 50 years of independence this July, is till at crossroads with recycled politicians busy in wrongful self-enrichment at the expense of the ordinary impoverished people.

Chijere-Chirwa was speaking during an all-inclusive stakeholders conference organised by the Public Affairs Committee  (PAC) in Blantyre where he made a presentation titled ‘Malawi at 50: Are we a Developmental State?’.

“The cashgate scandal is a clear testimony that Malawi, as a nation, is failing to safeguard its resources envelope.

Professor Chijere Chirwa:  Stamp out recycled politicians
Professor Chijere Chirwa: Stamp out recycled politicians

“The country is faced with recycled politicians who have no clear vision for the country; they misguided the former presidents, and they are the very same people misleading the incumbent president,” said Chirwa.

According to him, the southern African nation don’t know where it is going, rampant corruption is making poor people more poorer and public resources like health and education have weakened.

Malawi lost more  than K13 billion  according to an audit, which was conducted by Baker Tilly International, a British company, between April and September last year through fraud, theft or unethical actions.

The findings of the forensic audit were on Monday released by the government, which is grappling with a scandal – dubbed “cash-gate” – that has tarnished the presidency of Joyce Banda and caused western donors to suspend much-needed aid to the country

Norwegian Ambassador, Asbjorn Eidhammer speaking at the same PAC conference observed that during President Bingu wa Mutharika’s first term in office remarkable progress in terms of increase in food production, poverty reduction andaccess health services was made in the country.

“The future looked bright. But in the course of a year or two after elections in 2009, Malawians found themselves heading for a new crisis. Human rights were under stress, and the death of 20 mostly young lives on 20 July 2011 shocked the whole country.

“We all know how it ended. But the achievements from this period will not be lost. And I am convinced that future leadership and police will see to it that 20 July does not happen again,” he said.

The Norwegian Ambassador went on to describe the infamous cashgate scandals as a “new political crisis’, and a ‘crisis in confidence of partners and population”.

“Similar looting has hardly seen in countries we would naturally compare with. Whoever is behind it, the Government in power must take responsibility,” said Eidhammer.

He advised the delegates to the two-day conference to provide solutions to the many challenges including corruption for the better of the country.

“We need to get as much clarity as we can in what has happened, and to see the guilty brought to book. We can all contribute to put a stop to the sense of impunity which must have been there, and make sure that similar fraud does not happen again,” he said.

The conference is the third in a series from the two which were held in March and October 2012 under themes ‘Time to Reclaim Our Destiny’ and Time to Restore Democratic and Economic Governance’, respectively.

This time around theme is ‘Malawi at Crossroads: Enhancing Transformative Leadership Through Holding Leaders and Ourselves Accountable’.

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