Malawians have expressed dismay with the state of Bwaila Covid-19 Testing Centre in Lilongwe as there reports of misappropriation from the K17 billion latest funding on the on the Covid-19 pandemic fight while the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) is under fire to explain the K6.2 billion expenditure of the previous funding.
Journalist Idriss Ali Nassah first pressed Dodma on detailed expenditure reports on coronavirus activities before Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) joined the calls.
And the public perception now it that social activist Onjezani Kenani and the Citizens fundraising initiative is transparent and accountable and hence more trustworthy than the government.
Malawians are almost unanimously refusing to trust the Lazarus Chakwera administration with nay money and are happily channelling their humble contributions to the Kenani led citizen’s initiative.
“There is no way to sugar-coat this; this is an alarming indictment of the Chakwera administration. It is an unambiguous charge that Chakwera and his administration have lost the confidence of those that voted it into power,” writes columnist Allan Ntata in the Sunday Times newspaper.
During one of his weekly updates, on Sunday, January 17, President Lazarus Chakwera told the nation that his government had released K6.2 billion to the COVID-19 Taskforce.
According to the President, part of the money was used as following:
- K60 million on planning meetings;
- K535 facilitating the return of Malawians from South Africa;
- K185 million on public awareness on media platforms;
- K580 million on border patrols;
- K72 million to support victims of gender-based violence during the pandemic with materials and cash transfers;
- K100 million to disinfect schools;
- K50 million to monitor and enforce COVID-19 protocols in the workplace;
- K50 million on mapping where to put isolation centers.
But Dodma has announced Malawians for their failure to account for the resources through giving Malawians a detailed account on how they have spent the resources.
Social commentator Lyson Sibande writing on Facebook pointed out that there are well-meaning and competent public and political officers in government who could work and perform like Onjezani Kenani but the system chokes them.
“You don’t beat the system. The system beats you. That’s why you have some good and able men who get into political offices and fail to bring the desired change because it’s only when they are inside the system that they discover you can’t just change anything.
“Tradition is hard to break. Bureaucracies and political influences are traditions that are hard to break. But if we want to see many Onjezani Kenanis in our public and political services for an efficient, transparent and accountable government then we must first desire a change in some customary administrative procedures and political traditions that ruling parties get trapped into once they are in power,” reads Sibande’s post.
He continued saying: “In elementary science, liquid always takes the shape of the container. Unless you change the shape of the container, any liquid you put into it will always take the same shape. I believe that’s what happens with governments. You can change leaderships and ruling parties. But they will all behave the same unless you change the system. “
Chakwera declared a State of National Disaster and appealed for help amid escalating Covid-19 cases in the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :