President Peter Mutharika denial that corruption is growing in his address during this year’s commemoration of John Chilembwe Day at Providence Industrial Mission (PIM) in Chiradzulu has received criticism from prominent newspaper columnists, saying such a stand is self-indulgent to say the least.
Mutharika, while conceding corruption is an evil,, claiming that slowly, his government is taming this evil by strengthening the Anti-Corruption Bureau, National Audit and all graft busting institutions, he said the vice is being politicised and according to him it t is not true that corruption is growing in this country but has been growing is the perception of corruption.
Writing on his column in Weekend Nation, Moses Michael-Phiri wrote: “We on the streets feel that corruption perception is actually worse because corruption perception scares investors. No investor in their right mind would want to invest in a country where the system is perceived to be corrupt from top to bottom.”
The columnist pointed out that denying that corruption is growing is self-indulgent to say the least.
“Malawi is a leaking bucket. The sheer size of the Cashgate scandal, both in terms of the amount of K24 billion and the wide number of people involved, showed how deeply rooted the problem is.
“The involvement of the country’s political class in the scandal is in stark contradiction to their penchant for standing on political campaign podiums promising to fight corruption with all their might,” his column reads.
In Malawi News, Editor-in-chief George Kasakula took to his ‘Hitting the Nail’ column to rap Mutharika.
Kasakula wrote that the President can decide to listen to gossip from those that surround him that corruption is everywhere—Public Service, Judiciary, media and Legislature when that does not make it right Mutharika can talk about a “malicious and irresponsible” editor or some newspaper which goes on forever about corruption yet the vice will not end up going away just like that.
“Our leader can shamelessly proclaim to the world that he does not think corruption is getting worse and then continue to blame the media of politicizing and exaggerating it in order to discredit him. Yet this will never be a lasting solution to this cancer and it will not disappear just like that. What will make it disappear is his decisive action because it is his call,” wrote Kasakula.
He argued that President Mutharika does not pay tax and lives at the State House, therefore, he cannot appreciate what corruption is doing to citizens.
“Perhaps this is the reason he does not see the highest form of injustice that honest and hardworking Malawians are subjected to, as they pay high amount of taxes, almost at gunpoint, only for the money to be stolen at Capital Hill or abused by thieves in his government,” he wrote.
According to Kasakula, if the President will govern this country-by spreading round the blame on corruption without having a robust plan to curb it so that poor people’s money is protected — then Malawians, have absolutely no right to blame anybody “who calls us stupid and that we are a shithole country.”
Sadly, he pointed out that the President is encouraging it by living in denial about corruption and yet it is his call to stop the heartless abuse of public funds.
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