Until the Malawian society, the Malawian political cadet, the Malawian civil servant, and the Malawian law enforcement framework realise that it is their birthright to hold public officials to account on how they spend the public purse, Malawi as a country will continue on what currently seems to be a certain road to ruin.
It boggles the mind how one can continue to give blind support a party and a government constantly in the news for looting corruption and unprecedented abuse of power.
I would have thought that in this so-called democratic dispensation the cadet and the party loyalist’s first and foremost priority would be to ensure that his party was upholding the rule of law and good governance. I would have thought that the thinking cadet and party loyalist would be the first to rebuke the president for bad governance and point out to the president the dangers of allowing certain individuals- cabinet ministers, party officials, close aides- to go about accumulating corrupt wealth with impunity and total disregard for the law.
But let us look at what we have here:
First there is George Chaponda. George Chaponda is a senior cabinet minister in Mutharika’s administration. He is also the subject of many corruption scandals currently in the media. According to published records online and elsewhere, Chaponda has been implicated, along with other top officials in the Mutharika administration, in a corruption scandal concerning the procurement of maize from Brazil.
To my knowledge so far, no official investigation has been opened about this matter and neither President Mutharika nor anyone in his administration has made any comment on the government’s position on this allegation. Chaponda has also been implicated in a corrupt plan with Mota-Engil, a Malawi government contractor, to finance his political ambitions. There has been no investigation opened, nor any comment from Peter Mutharika or his administration. Chaponda was implicated in serious allegations of trying to subvert the constitutional order and subject the Vice President in an unconstitutional impeachment challenge. The matter was not investigated.
Now some may say that these are merely allegations and Peter Mutharika is right to ignore them because there is no evidence that George Chaponda has broken the law in any of these allegations.
First of all, let me remind you that Chaponda is guilty of failing to declare his assets. A matter for which up to now, he has managed, one way or another to obstruct justice from taking its course on him. To be sure, there is a very simple reason why we have whole government institutions dealing with investigations of corruption and the conduct of public officials. That reason is simply that there is no smoke without fire. The bottom line here is that this George Chaponda heads the list of names of Peter Mutharika’s untouchables. These are individuals about whom our so-called leader is helpless to do anything about their corruption and impunity.
Then there is Richard Makondi, DPP strongman, former car salesman and alleged crook. When you think of Richard Makondi and the DPP, you’d do well to also think of Oswald Lutepo in the PP administration.
If the judicial records are anything to go by, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has developed cold feet and is afraid to arrest Makondi despite an arrest warrant being issued by the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court in Criminal Case file number 351 of 2016.
In 2015, the ACB investigated Makondi–a former Toyota Malawi national sales manager–alongside former MDF Commander General Henry Odillo (retired), Lieutenant General Clement Kafuwa (retired) andtwo others on their involvement in a deal where MDF bought about 35 vehicles from Toyota Malawi worth K895 million, which the bureau claims were overvalued and did not have the specifications agreed in the contract.
In stead of demanding that the investigation come to its conclusion, and speaking on the current situation of Makondi in the ruling DPP, President Peter Mutharika has opted to remain silent, and people in his administration have been allowed to intimidate the investigators and the prosecutors, giving Makondi the impunity and the audacity to start suing newspapers for reporting his disgusting behavior.
Further down the list, you will find Edward Sawerengera, Chaponda’s accomplice in the brazil maize scam, and you will find Presidential aide Ben Phiri, who in spite of inexplicably building compounds of posh houses- 28 of them- in expensive Lilongwe locations, is still not being asked to explain what the sources of his income are. Mind you, this Ben Phiri, and his supporters will try to convince you that his income comes from his private enterprises.
More bull crap!
If this guy was an entrepreneur, why did it take him so much waiting to be in government for his businesses to suddenly pick up? If you believe that rubbish, there is ample place for you at Zomba mental hospital!
The bottom line is that as a nation and as a society, we are sitting phwiii while crooks and leeches are fattening themselves on our taxes without a whimper, and getting surprised when our home district hospitals are operating without funding, and wondering why our relatives are dying when we pay taxes – through the nose – in town.I suppose this is probablyalright for some cadets as long as the so-called rich throw then a bone here and a breadcrumb there every now and again. As a country though, the joke is on us.
How can we continue to dream of a better Malawi when we are too detached to do something about these serious realities?
As for you Mutharika untouchables, I just want to assure you one thing: Your day of reckoning is coming.
- Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of the Nyasa Times.