Archive

Tag Archives: Cashgate

IN THE midst of all this terrible mess described as ‘cashgate’, one word has persistently escaped our public discourse – Integrity. It is, of course, “the condition of being unified, unimpaired, or sound in construction”, as one dictionary puts it. Another version simply implies “internal consistency or lack of corruption”.

Malawi can be a very frustrating country to live in or to be associated with. It has become quite inevitable that there is a need to pause, nay, stop everything and simply go back to the drawing board and ‘find’ this nation again. Going forward (but actually going backwards) as we are doing and sweeping things under the proverbial carpet – as it were – will only do us greater harm and compromise future generations. Read More

REGARDLESS of what happens to President Joyce Banda in May 2014, she will go down in Malawi’s historical record as a president for whom lightning struck twice. The first time was on Saturday 7th April when she was suddenly and unexpectedly thrust onto the stage as the fourth president of the Republic of Malawi. The second was on Friday 13th September when the Malawi government’s Budget Director, Paul Mphwiyo, was shot and seriously wounded, prising open secrets of massive plunder of government cash that has been going on for years. Read More

THIS CASE will not continue. There is no case here. They just want keep me for some time. By the way, tag me on Facebook the pictures you are taking.” – Former minister of Justice, Ralph Kasambara, speaking to journalists after being charged with attempted murder.

Quote via: Zodiak Online Facebook page.

WITH OVER a month and a half now gone since the government financial scandal hash-tagged #cashgate erupted, are we closer to understanding the underlying causes why it happened? We can classify the reasons why this happened from simplest to most complex. Going by the earliest statements that were offered in September, the simplest explanation can be caricatured as “IFMIS made me do it.” It came from commentators whose first explanation was that the Integrated Financial Management Information System was faulty.
The most complex explanation thus far as to why cashgate happened has been that we may have transitioned from one-party rule into multiparty rule without having dealt with the question as to the kind of public service ethos the new dispensation would require. Read More

THE so-called Capital Hill cashgate scandal might not have reached – as yet – the magnitude of the financial disaster that occurred on Wall Street, leading to the global financial crisis. However, by our own standards as a nation – and we have very low standards – this is a massively big occurrence.

Apart from the ‘breaking’ stories of what latest arrest has been made, an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) press statement and so on, the earth in Malawi is not exactly moving, is it? Quite clearly, Malawians are excited about this latest scandal and this has been sufficient fodder for discussions in minibuses, pubs and even churches. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter are in near explosion.

In the doom and gloom of this latest scandal, which is national problem to deal with, there are several opportunities for how Malawi can be made to function better and serve the interests of the people as it is wont to do. I say this is a national problem because its not a PP, DPP, UDF or even MCP thing. Recent attempts to pin the financial scandal on specific political parties that have been in power crucially misses the point, masks the depth of the scandal and prevents tangible reforms from taking place.

Understandably, there will be people who wish to score political mileage out of this whole scandal. That is expected but it is very unfortunate, given the fact that most of the politicians currently occupying positions of power in the present government have been part of previous regimes, which are probably complicit in this scandal as well. Malawians must not lose sight of this fact.

Hence, it is important that the public protects itself from being misled by officialdom. The media in Malawi are the ones that are most likely to become complicit – wittingly or unwittingly – in the conveyance of such officialdom, regurgitating press statements and only relying on government officials for comment and sometimes analysis. We all know how underfunded investigative journalism is in our country’s newsrooms.

Finally, the demand for reforms in the public sector should be underpinned by the introduction of a new value system, a system that inspires integrity, honesty and great love for Malawi. If we entrust people who actually love Malawi more than themselves and their pockets to run this country, we will be headed for somewhere great.

To get to this point, however, we will need to redefine ourselves as a nation. Who are we? What are our individual responsibilities towards the country?

“And part of that redefining,” a friend wrote on Facebook recently, “will need to include an acknowledgement of the responsibilities of those of us who have benefited from communal resources to go to school and to learn these new forms of governance. That privilege hasn’t been extended to our brothers and sisters in the unschooled classes. And, we have told them that traditional knowledge is forbidden; we are going with the new, imported systems. We have, in effect, arrested the development of indigenous knowledge. We can’t shun our responsibility now. We have to blame ourselves, not the multitudes deprived of this alienating knowledge.”

Malawi must live!

Contribution by @LeviKabwato

– thoughts@thinkingmalawi.com

@ThinkingMalawi