The thief, as will become apparent, was a special type of thief. This thief was an artist of theft. Other thieves merely stole everything that was not nailed down, but this thief stole the nails as well.” – Terry Pratchett, Sourcery
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As a woman, I am an advocate of justice, natural justice. As a mother, I am a strong advocate of the theory that justice is part of the natural law in line with the principles of one of the ancient English philosophers John Locke. As a wife and a feminist, I believe that justice must be a bitch like Karma, let what goes around come around.
In life, I have never been a fan of mathematics but that does not mean I don’t like them. I just don’t like figures. They piss me off. And for that reason, I have never dated an accountant or anybody who deals with numbers. But there is one theorem, or whatever they call it, that I really love in mathematics. It is to do with equations. The theorem which says: “What should be done to one side of an equation must also be done to the other side of the equation.”
In mathematics, however, they say a proof is an inferential argument for a mathematical statement. In the argument, other previously established statements such as theorems can be used. In principle, a proof can be traced back to self-evident or assumed statements, known as axioms along with accepted rules of inference.
Traditionally, in mathematics, I was told at a tender age that on one hand, axioms may be treated as conditions that must be met before the statement applies while on the other hand proofs are but examples of exhaustive deductive reasoning or inductive reasoning and are distinguished from empirical arguments or non-exhaustive inductive reasoning or if you want, call it reasonable expectation.
I am of the view, with my bad mathematics that a proof must demonstrate that a statement is always true – occasionally by listing all possible cases and showing that it holds in each, rather than enumerate many confirmatory cases.
An unproven proposition that is believed to be true is known as a conjecture. But we will not be concentrating on conjectures here for we have all the proofs.
Does anyone remember the issue to do with a Malawi Housing Corporation house in Nyambadwe?
Was there any justice done to that issue that involved impunity theft? Search me in my bra!
To hell with mathematics. I hate them like I hate honourable and executive thieves. Let us talk about justice. Yes, natural justice.
Justice, in my considered view, involves the system of consequences that naturally derives from any action or choice. Justice is similar to the laws of physics: they operate in the same way as the Third of Newton’s laws of Motion which requires that for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction.
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Justice, requires according to individuals or groups, what they actually deserve, merit, or are entitled to. Justice, on this account, is a universal and absolute concept: laws, principles, religions, etc., merely attempts to codify that concept – if you a do a crime, be prepared to do the time. Simple!
Thieves, executive, honourable or petty, still they are thieves, and they must all do their time according to their crime. It is nonsensical in my opinion to let someone get away with criminal acts simply because he or she is an executive or honourable man or woman.
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The Malawi Police procurement deal is one of the so many tender-shielded thefts that the DPP has used. Several syphoning strategies were designed and used, ranging from non-delivery of services, partial performance of the contract, to inflated charges. From the use of newly registered companies to the use of pre-existing ones.
In this particular report that implicates the President, a pre-existing company, Pioneer Investments of Zameer Karim, was used as a syphoning tool. This is not to say the owners of Pioneer Investments did not benefit. They are partakers of the loot.
Elements of corruption design are clear and plenty in the ACB report. The report reveals that on 10th February 2015, Mr Innocent Bottoman on behalf of the Malawi Police wrote CDH Investment Bank and made an undertaking to remit MK 970,284,000.00 for Pioneer Investment to CHD bank in regards to ration packs contract that had not been advertised and awarded yet.
The report has recorded that it was on 2nd June 2015 that the Internal Procurement Committee (IPC) at Malawi Police Service (MPS) held a meeting to procure ration packs consisting: (i) corned beef, (ii) tinned fish (iii) energy biscuit (iv) energy drink.
While on 10th February and 16 July 2015, the Malawi Police recommended the company to the bank for the award of the loan, the contract was advertised months after this recommendation and awarded on 4th August 2015. How does that become possible?
Clearly, the company was already chosen before the idea of the contract came about. Apparently, what pre-existed was the stealing of money and the procurement of the said rations was a designed laundry machine with which to clean the money.
When the Police IPC wrote Office of Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) seeking no objection to use restricted tender method in which the companies – (i) ZS Investments (ii) Magic Wholesalers (iii) Pioneer Investment (iv) Lilongwe General Dealers and (v) Star Traders – were listed, it is clear that the other companies were simply listed to cover the corruption scheme behind.
These Pioneer Investments deliberately marked its budget to the lowest simply to secure a justifiable pick because it is in the rule to consider the lowest bidder where all other things (e.g. capacity and reputation) are constant.
All this is nothing but ‘pioneering evil.’
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While all would be made to believe that this company was picked on the basis that it offered the lowest charge among the rest of the bidders, it is now clear that this was a fooling mechanism.
How come only 6 days after the signing of the contract, the Pioneer Investments claimed the increase of the contract amount with 20% citing depreciation of the Kwacha against the US Dollar? How come despite the fact that within that period (from the 4th to the 6th August) the Kwacha depreciation was only 1.6%, the Police Director of Finance approved the request?
According to public procurement law in Malawi, under Regulation 132 and 155 as read together with Public Procurement Act, price adjustment can only be effected if there is a just cause and it must be approved by IPC of the procuring entity and the office of ODPP.
How come the Director of Finance, Mr Bottoman, on his own without approval of MPS IPC and ODPP, approved the 20% upwards price adjustments?
Ladies and gentlemen, as the ACB report puts it in clear terms, the adjustment was from MK 2,327,087,500.00 to MK 2 793,087,500.00, giving a total difference of MK 466,000,000.00.
This figure of MK466 million represents the visible loot that was distributed among several players in this scheme.
Very disturbing to all this is the fact that the whole State President was involved in this loot.
The report has revealed how the President benefited. A day after Pioneer Investments was paid the contract sum of over MK2.7 billion, the company’s owner, Zameer Karim issued a Cheque from Pioneer Investment account to National Bank worth MK145, 000,000.00 and instructed the bank to deposit the said amount Progressive Party into Democratic (DPP) Account domiciled at Standard Bank.
Its account number is 014003192200 and the ACB Investigations with the bank reveal that President Mutharika is the sole signatory of this particular account. What? How? Why?
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That, alone, explains it all why so many letters of no objections were issued pertaining to this tender. The instructions were coming from ‘above’. The President, who is essentially the caller of shots, had stakes. And here comes a law that affords him immunity from criminal prosecution.
With the whole State President concentrating his energies and tactics on looting public money, we indeed come to a frustrating conclusion that a devastating Landslide has befallen Malawi. A landslide that has demolished the country’s economy.
A tornado of theft operations championed by the President himself with his political party gurus as disciples in the mission. Are we together?
Giving full credence to the saying that birds of the same feathers flock together, a list of both small and big thieves are contesting for positions at the DPP Convention.
Small thieves like David Kanyenda who is a lawyer and is currently under police bail for stealing client’s money is bidding for a position too. Big time implicated thieves like George Chaponda are in the forefront.
They have christened their agenda “a landslide operation”. A landslide agenda on our economy. Thieves are seeking a licence to continue looting.
I now understand how the President’s immunity clause has perpetuated ‘nasty and clandestine criminal endeavours’ by the President and his cronies. With Section 91 (2) in place, Malawi will remain a State captured by thieves because the Prince of Thieves will fear no prosecution.
I verily believe in the theory of natural justice and equality. No thief is too big or too small to be subjected to justice. Before the law, let us all be equal. No criminal should depart from this equality to enjoy some protection than other criminals.
A theory of justice, a political philosophy and ethics per John Rawls strives to solve the problem of distributive justice by utilising a variant of the familiar device of the socio-economic contractual obligation which recognises justice as nothing but justice.
The principles of justice, in my considered view, is that together, justice and equality dictate that society should be structured so that the greatest possible amount of liberty is given to its members, limited only by the notion that the liberty of any one member shall not infringe upon that of any other member.
firstly, stealing public money is a high-level injustice and inequality, more so when that public money is stolen by those who are supposed to protect us all from the thieves. It is unfair. Callista Mutharika, the former first lady said it. “Alamu wanga azungulilidwa ndi mbava, si izi nanga lero?”
Secondly, inequalities – either social or economic – are only to be allowed if the worst off will be better off than they might be under an equal distribution.
Finally, if there is such a beneficial inequality, this inequality should not make it harder for those without resources to occupy positions of power – for instance, public office. Let us not give honour to thieves and crucify the innocent.
If you do the crime, let you do the time. It doesn’t matter, who you are for no thief is too big for justice.
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