We are all guilty of Cashgate

While financial forensic experts, anti-corruption officers and the police are busy hunting down Cashgate suspects, leaving most of us observing from a distance and going about our daily routines as innocent souls, the philosophical verdict condemns us all to many years behind bars for letting Cashgate happen before our eyes.cash

Albert Einstein, a well-known sage and physicist once said:  “If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.”

Indeed, at the heart of the crisis which our nation is currently grappling with, is the gross complicity demonstrated at all levels which saw billions of kwachas finding its way outside the system to few individuals who did not render any meaningful service to government.

‘Complicity’ is akin to silence, inaction, support, omission and hypocrisy to name just a few.

As Georgio Agamben, another philosopher, once remarked: “Today’s man has become blind not to his capacities but to his incapacities, not to what he can do but to what he cannot.”

Each one of us should pause and reflect as to what we failed to do when Cashgate was happening (or we are failing to do to stop ‘sub-Cashgates’ happening in our institutions as we speak).

We are blind to our inaction. There is massive inaction over pertinent issues in our society right now which jeopardises our economy, environment and security, to name a few. It is high time we started taking to task those who do nothing, keep quiet and pretend that all is well when in actual fact they heard, saw, felt or read in reports passing through their own desks that something was not right somewhere.

For instance, the control measures in our financial system are too numerous to mention. Starting from how contracts are solicited and awarded, preparation and cashing of cheques, monitoring and evaluation, auditing and much more.

Sometimes I ask myself how all those good accountants in government offices prepared cheques of huge sums of money without supporting documents, and why nobody bothered to alert somebody whose job is to follow up on such anomalies?

All signatories in various departments signed and countersigned the checks when they knew no service was being offered. The banks honoured huge sums of cash in unbelievable time frames without verifying them, yet a poor person like me takes over an hour to cash a check of K500 000 because of multi-level verification of such a cheque?

Monitoring and evaluation officers saw no need to raise an alarm and it had to take the shooting of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo for Cashgate to come to the fore? Were they (monitoring and evaluation specialists) really working? Do we have auditors in the system or were they on sabbatical leave somewhere?

And finally, were the politicians really keeping tabs of how their technocrats were channelling finances to various planned programmes?

What I see is that everybody was there but nobody spoke, condemned, reported or took any action to save public funds in his capacity and within his available means. I find gross complicity in our society and a laissez faire attitude of not getting concerned when something wrong is happening. That takes me to the issue of morality to say that as a nation we have thrown our morals to the dogs.

We are too blind to our incapacities and cannot point a finger at someone whose actions have potential to put the whole nation on fire. That is why we aid illegal immigrants to do whatever they want to do in this country, do not report thieves in our communities to police, are selling prime land at give-away prices to foreigners and are betraying Mother Malawi in so many ways, all for money.

As a nation, we must confront the evil spirit of complicity. We are wherever we are for a purpose and must stop all the bad things happening near us. When a crisis hits, as has happened with Cashgate, it is not fair to let or expect the financial pundits, politicians and law makers alone to come up with solutions that will prevent Cashgate from happening again.

The solution lies with us all to rethink how—through omission, oversight and a general lapse in alertness —we condone the plunder of public resources and unexplained enrichment by some of our compatriots.

 

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chemwali chimwene
Guest

this article leaves a lot to be deisred. only few malawians knew what was happening. the majority of us NAY. people are in the villages kulima masamba and accuse them of being guilty, please spare the majority in your guilty umbrella.

chaiwone wawo
Guest

i AGREE WE ARE ALL GUILTY. THE WRITER HAS MENTIONED A NUMBER OF THINGS THAT WE ALL DO. FOR EXAMPLE AS A GOOD PERSON YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO GET ALARMED HOW EVEN YOUR BROTHER OR NEIGHBOUR GETS VERY RICH WITHIN A SPACE OF SHORT TIME GIVEN WE KNOW THEIR ECONOMIC ACTIVITY, WE ARE SUPPOSED TO DO WHATEVER LITTLE IT CAN BE TO QUESTION SUCH THINGS AND WHERE APPROPRIATE ALERT THE AUTHORITIES. INSTEAD WE JUST LOOK OR IN EXTREME CASES BENEFIT FROM IT.

Piche Yakiti
Guest
For a start is Benison Linje a Malawian? Has he observed our political landscape since HKB time to date? I will tell you two things: (1)Much as an individual would be aware of the rot happening in Government,it becomes difficult to spill the beans cos of fear of reprisals or sometimes an individual could be silenced by awards that come in different forms….who doesnt want to get rich by the way????? Integrity is a term that exists in the dictionary not on the ground mind you..i dont want a long write up on this.(2) Politicians in Malawi are too powerful… Read more »
Saini
Guest

we are not guilty some of us individuals had no knowledge of such massive activity taking place underground until a gun shot of director of budget in government and
persident JB speaking at a rally that was an eye opener.So we are not guilty but you knew something and kept quite just tell us what you know

kusyeje
Guest
Akulu akulu mukumabisa bwanji nkhani yeni yeni ya cashgate. Cashgate was an organised crime by the governing Parties ruling getting first hand instructions from the head of state him or herself to be funding their party for the daily running of their members kuti adzioneka olamula kupedza bwino. Inu mukuona ngati Lutepo amanama. All civil servance organised themselves not just to be handing over all the money that the governing party asked them to loot but keep part of it. Then this keeping part of the instructed looted money civil servance started paying themself using same method that’s why they… Read more »
upile kulekangana
Guest

We are not guilty of cashgate. Iweyo just confess ur sins. Thanks to JB who revealed it

Nachipanti
Guest

Foresure the author is another cashgater. The money he stole is finished and he wants to plead guilty. Ingokadzipelekani kuti mukaulule a nzanu otherwise we are not guilty with you…

dadaboma
Guest
To say “all are guilty of complicit” is wrong. May be the author of the article knew that people were stealing and did nothing because he was a beneficiary. But the majority of Malawians did not know cashgate existed. It had to take the former president Dr Joyce Banda to reveal that there was cashgate – otherwise most Malawians did not know. And it was JB who was determined to end this satanic act. But Bingu was informed of the existence of cashgate by the former RB governor Perks Ligoya through a memo to Bingu in 2010. But Bingu simply… Read more »
mmihavani
Guest

You are guilty alone not with us. Thats stupid.

Odala Ochibwe
Guest

Kaya Zanu Izo

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