Cathedral silence reigned in Bingu International Conference Centre’s auditorium when Vice- President, Saulos Chilima, took the gathering down the memory lane of Blantyre’s Ndirande Township’s Jack Bandawe—christened Nachipanti—to draw parallel to current violence against people with albinism.
“In 2010, when the judge was making a ruling on Nachipanti’s case, he said and I quote, ‘you are worse than a dog’. So I would like to tell all those perpetrating violence and discrimination against people with albinism that you are worse than the devil and may you be cursed,” Chilima said.
He said Malawi does not need more problems that are man-made as the country has enough natural disasters it is grappling with.
The Veep made the remarks when he officially launched the third Malawi Institute of Procurement and Supply (Mips) Act which came into effect on Wednesday, June 1, 2016.
A brutal wave of violence is sweeping through the sub-Saharan Africa region targeting people with albinism whose body parts are believed to be sold for rituals.
In Malawi, this sharp rise in the brutal murders has shocked not only the nation but the international world as well.
Amnesty International, for example, is in the country and scheduled to launch a report on killings and abductions of people with albinism in Malawi on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.
Amnesty says at least 18 people with albinism are known to have been killed in Malawi since November 2014 but the human rights body believes that the number could be higher.
On Mips Act, Chilima commended procurement professionals for having their own legislation and mother body like other professional bodies such as the Malawi Law Society (MLS) and Medical Council of Malawi.
“However, let me hasten to say that it is one thing to have a piece of legislation in place and yet entirely another to fully enforce implementation in order to achieve its aims and objects. This means that the leadership of the institute and its members have a role to play to ensure smooth execution of the Act,” he said.
He urged Mips to allow the Act to be part of the new solutions in ensuring that there is a transparent and credible procurement process in both the public sector and the private sector.
“It is also pleasing to note that the Act has created a robust disciplinary mechanism for its members. Those that will not abide by their professional ethics will be dealt with according to these instruments. This is very important because one of the problems we have as a country is that we are too lenient to each other.
“Let us fire and arrest people who are on the wrong side of the law. And as they say, charity begins at home, the Office of the Director of Public Procurement should take lead in ensuring that members are adhering to professionalism and operating by the rules and guidelines of the Act which we are launching today,” Chilima said.
Speaking earlier, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, said the most important thing Malawi must aspire is to put measures that will transform the country.
Gondwe said the country must ensure that after it lives, never again should it suffer an embarrassment such as Cashgate.
“The government has amended or is in the process of amending the Audit Act. Together with the Mips Act, they will ensure that Malawians assume the mindset that will see public resources are intended for the country’s development not for the individual,” he said.
African Development Bank and the World Bank have been very instrumental in the birth of Mips as a professional body and development of the third Act.