Malawi CSOs give Chakwera govt poor scorecard: ‘Entrenching corruption and impunity instead of taming it’

Civil society organizations (CSOs) and actors under the banner of National Advocacy Platform (NAP) has given President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse Alliance administration a poor rating, accusing the leadership  of entrenchingthe same governance shortfalls it promised to address at the height of the campaign for the June 23, 2020, Fresh Presidential Election.

Kondowe: Tonse government has let corruption and bad governance to flourish unabated
Kondowe highlighting shortfalls of the Tonse Alliance government–Photos by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times.
A cross-section of the journalists who attended the press conference in Lilongwe.
Barbra Banda: Tonse government is taking too long or doing little to address social-economic challenges facing its people.

The CSOs have observed that there is continued lack of accountability and transparency in management of public resources/financial accountability, heightening corruption and fraud and mis-procurements and abuse of public resources.

NAP chairperson Benedicto Kondowe made the sentiments during a press briefing held in Lilongwe on Tuesday. The briefing was organized to give out its stand on the performance of the Tonse government for the 245 days it has been in power.

During the briefing, Kondowe was flanked by NAP executive members Leon Matanda, Barbara Banda of NGO-GCN, Stellabella Chikombole of Public Affairs Committee (PAC), Desmond Mhango of the Centre for Youth and Children Affairs (CEYCA) and Edward Chileka-Banda of Citizen Alliance.

They said while it is a common knowledge that majority of Malawians voted for President Lazarus Chakwera and his Second-in-Command, Saulosi Chilima on the promise they made to end corruption and bad governance, it is clear that the Tonse government has let corruption and bad governance to flourish unabated.

They cited citing the recent K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds saga, unresolved reports of fraud at NOCMA, Crossroads Hotel saga, and bribe reports involving Ministry of Mines officials.

The NAP members stressed that these examples point to the very open fact that corruption has remained intact and could even be worsening under the new administration.

“It is commendable that the President has taken action on the Covid-19 corruption scandal by suspending controlling officers and ordering a financial inquest. However, it is also worrisome that some traits of selective justice continue to nurtured. Ministers and other senior controllers have not been cautioned yet.

“While the government is seen to be taking tough stance against corruption suspects, fraud cases involving those connected to the administration including Ministers and advisors tend to be avoided with no explanations given. The financial and control systems remain weak and porous,” said Kondowe.

He said Malawians have also noted with concerns a repeat and continuation of negative governance trends within the eight-months period of the Tonse Administration, which he said must be checked and corrected immediately.

“Citizens and civil society organizations have, for long, openly expressed their aspirations and expectations for incoming administrations including the Tonse Administration. NAP issued a Communique in June 2020 and submitted a CSO Grand Petition 2020 to the new administration through the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) as advisory note to inform the administration’s priorities and make it aware of outstanding governance and human rights issues that need redress. More CSOs and citizen groups continue to raise concerns and make submissions to the government.

“However, it appears the Tonse Administration is too pre-occupied to engage the civil society (CSOs and Citizens) on continued frustrations and disappointments over challenges facing of many Malawians who have craved for change for so long,” narrated Kondowe.

On the other hand, Barbara Banda stated that the increased protests and demonstrations many CSOs and citizen groups continue to hold point to one thing:  government is taking too long or doing little to address social-economic challenges facing its people.

She said of greater concerns to the civil society and citizens at large are the negative signals and outstanding threats to democracy that have continued to this date, 245 days into the new administration, contrary to the general expectations from the people over the new administration.

Banda also wondered why it was taking the Tonse government ages to clear a corrupt culture within the public sector and rest the button.

“Reports of corrupt practices and numerous reversals of tenders is evidence that the administration is taking its time to act decisively on rebuilding the accountability systems,” she said.

There are troubling signs that the Tonse Alliance administration –  ushered into office through the court-ordered Fresh Presidential Election held on June 23 2020, is on course to betray the trust of Malawians.

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#ThisistheGovernmentofthepeople
#ThisistheGovernmentofthepeople
5 months ago

Welcome to Malawi. Where CSOs expect the gvt to wear a bullet proof vest, incorruptible in nature. Accountability and transparency, words that refuse to leave the mouthpiece of CSOs. And yet non of them are fully accountable and transparent with their finances. You mean the the TA promised to end corruption. And you really took that word for word. I can see why you are frustrated now. Because, God forbid, you can’t end corruption. You can only reduce it to some level. Ask accountants about internal controls. They will tell you. And, before I go, all those allegations. Man it… Read more »

#ThisistheGovernmentofthepeople
#ThisistheGovernmentofthepeople
5 months ago

Welcome to Malawi.

Justice for all
Justice for all
5 months ago

I knew it from the beginning the he chosen his cabinet and advisers plus his office nothing won’t change chakwera he has failed from the start we will wait but not long we will go into the street again

braveheart
5 months ago

Malawians must learn a lesson biggest Hypocrite in this world ndi m’busa amadyela/amabela dzina la Mlengi, ndimunthu opanda mantha ndi kuba.ndiye inu mukavotere zimenezo?! Enjoy the show! Ndi m’busa wanuyo!

Novahiwa Mnansi
5 months ago
Reply to  braveheart

You never pointed out real mistakes made by inept and thieving dpp administration therefore you are not competent to comment now!

braveheart
5 months ago

Ever heard of freedom of speech?who are you to stop a person from exercising freedom of speech in a democracy? Typical MCP dictatorship tendacy.. shame!

Gwede Mantashe
Gwede Mantashe
5 months ago

Dzikoli akulamula ndi Priminiter Nkaka

Mdala
Mdala
5 months ago

I had my doubts from the beginning with their election promises this Tonse Alliance made! My only hope was, that through sanity in financial managment of public spending and recovery of stolen public money, this changes would and could made be possible! After 250 days of TA in power we face unfortunately the same looting, like nothing have changed! Hardly anything has been recovered from the previous regime, which sombody called “Prince of Thieves”! The economy is still the same lame duck and no industrialization at all took place! The management of the pandemic, especially the financial, is even worse!… Read more »

Peace
5 months ago

Kleptomania. Its a deadly condition. Its in church, its in your home, its in government. Its everywhere. Yes, Malawi has been possessed by this demon kleptomania. God save Malawi.
Solution: covid 3.0 where are you? These potbellys wont stop stealing.

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
5 months ago

Nanunso ma csos or whatever you call yourselves. What scores did you give to old evil MCP, mbavas UDF and stinking/evil/mbava DPP?

Jah~Guide
Jah~Guide
5 months ago

The problem is that they made promises “they are indebted” & we’re waiting patiently with pain in the heart.

Mwini muzi
Mwini muzi
5 months ago
Reply to  Jah~Guide

They thought politics is all about lying. Those promises will haunt them till end in 2025 and by 2022 with nothing changed, game over!. They will find it impossible to use COVID for an excuse.

Atokwene
Atokwene
5 months ago

We voted clueless chakwera and hateful chilima into government. Ofcourse they came into power through the backdoor and everyone knows this . It is not surprising therefore to see them running away from their own promises . Malawians don’t be cheated kuti water and electricity connctions can be reduced . Never. Ife amene tili Kuno ku Escom timawauza bwana Chilima kuti it’s not possible to reduce connectivity fees because it will paralyze the two companies . Kusamva kwao kuja lero kwaonekera. He doesn’t have powers to dictate on how Escom and water boards should operate . Soon Escom will raise… Read more »

Zayadhino
Zayadhino
5 months ago
Reply to  Atokwene

I don’t know why much is being made about water and electricity connection fees: We spend much more on school fees, fuel, motor vehicle repairs, funerals, hospital bills etc etc. For me the most disappointing aspects of the Tonse Govt’s unfulfilled promises is the lack of fight against corruption. DPP appointees stole from Govt and parastatals as if there was no tomorrow. Indeed in the first two months of this administration there was a flurry of arrests – but now just a handful of cases are being pursued. Those whole stole under the DPP regime, and those who are stealing… Read more »

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