Malawi is sleepwalking into a failed state as the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) an arm of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), has noted that instead of transformational leadership, the country is still experiencing “the same way of governance styles.”
In a statement released on Tuesday, CCJP said Malawi is “slowly becoming a nation full of anxiety” and a nation that is becoming “entrenched into poverty”.
The church governance watchdog pointed out that Malawi is “slowly forgetting peace, a nation that is growing impatient and is slowly sliding into disrespecting the sanctity of human life and a nation whose citizens are gradually emerging unpatriotic to the national values and needs.”
Right to decent life compromised
CCJP stated that there are continued reports in many Government departments and public health facilities of low funding and supply of necessary resources to affect service delivery.
“For example, as a result of low or no funding at all, many district hospitals have scaled down their operations, their ambulance services grounded, their medical supplies drastically reduced to few essential drugs, provision of meals to patients reduced to only one meal per day from three,” reads the statement.
CCJP urges authorities to locate where the main problem is.
“If it is inefficiencies in different line ministries and departments, capacity building processes must be embarked on soon; if it is negligence from responsible officers, authorities must take drastic measures to sort out this negligence. This is because the right to health, development and a possibility of a descent life for many Malawians are hugely getting compromised,” it said.
CCJP observed that that there are misplaced priorities by the government where it is spending money for less important issues.
It gave a specific example being a banquet which was organised by President Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe for lawmakers – dubbed Mapwevupwevu – to celebrate the passing of the national budget as signal of “misplaced priorities.”
The opposition boycotted the banquet.
“Such bad signals in the face of growing poverty and frustrations among people continue to be a sad trend in Malawi,” the Catholic Church pointed out.
‘Cooked’ Macroeconomic Indicators
CCJP has also lashed at government for “cooking” up economic figure to paint a picture as if there is growth while people continue to be impoverished.
“There are growing levels of poverty, desperation, hunger and shrinking public service delivery that are untimely and quality compromised,” noted CCJP.
The influential Catholic church called on leaders to give the nation the “right information “ so that diversified strategies can be explored to improve the lives of the majority poor Malawians.
“The right economic indicators would also assist in seeking international collaboration for Government to have the needed capacity to fulfill its roles,” stated the church.
CCJP has also pointed out that Malawi is currently gripped with “saddening experiences of sustained insecurity.”
The church said it is more worrisome, in some instances, that some police officers, who were supposed to be law enforcers, have joined hands with criminals terrorizing the society in an unprecedented manner.
CCJP also expressed wary with vigilante justice where some communities have started taking laws into their own hands as they are torching and killing suspects due to perceived non responsiveness of our security and justice systems.
“We are also worried that this menace will chase and scare away prospective foreign investors whilst Government has been embarking on a serious drive to attract the much needed investors, a positive initiative for our country.”
The church called for a multi-sectoral approach that Malawi Police must lead in seeking better ways of combating crime as it will not be possible for our Police to successfully combat this high level of crime alone.
CCJP applauded government for facilitating the procurement, installation and utilization of the new system at the Road Traffic offices but observed that the “bottlenecks” that all people seeking road traffic services are facing are worrisome and frustrating.
It said government should sort out the problem of delays and unnecessary long queues.
“We think if the software is the problem, the installers must come in faster; if the workers are not capacitated, capacity building processes should be embarked on soon and if its workers’ sabotage of the system let the authorities deal with such malpractice once and for all.”
Meanwhile, CCJP is asking the Peter Mutharika administration to deal with developmental challenges Malawi is facing other than focusing on petty politics.
The church also urges political parties and people of goodwill to focus on development initiatives and leave retrogressive politics of campaigning when it’s not time for elections.
The Catholic Church said government should “honestly” lead Malawi through consensus building and create an enabling economic and political environment for the transformation of the nation.
“We further urge Government to thoroughly consult on national policies for the betterment of who those policies will serve,” said the statement.
An appeal has also been made to donors to resume direct aid to Malawi “as not to do so is slowly aiding Malawi into a deathbed.”
Malawi lost up to 40 percent of the budget support it was receiving from foreign donors after the European Union, the World Bank and the United Kingdom decided to suspend aid pending the results of the government investigation into the alleged corruption scandal, popularly known as “Cashgate.”
The donors have said they won’t resume until the “cashgate” puzzle has been resolved and until it has established better financial and management systems.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :