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CCJP faults Tonse government

Gospel Kazako

Boniface Chibwana

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) has accused the Tonse Alliance-led administration of losing direction, citing corruption and nepotism as signs of rot.

The governance arm of the Catholic Church highlights recent appointments to foreign missions and the mismanagement of K6.2 billion meant for Covid response as some of the worrying indicators.

In a statement released yesterday, CCJP National Coordinator Boniface Chibwana further notes that intraparty conflicts in the Tonse Alliance are effectively fuelling the current regime to continue losing touch with socio-economic realities.

“It is deplorable and disturbing that tendencies of nepotism in public appointments continue to thrive despite detestation from many quarters within the society. This iniquity only worsens social inequalities while debilitating against merit and the equalisation of opportunities for inclusive development.

“Corruption in government procurement processes continues to worsen with rent-seeking behaviour flourishing as the politically connected are reported to be benefitting from such corrupt acts. While CCJP applauds and welcomes the new leadership at the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), we observe that continued politicisation of public procurement and political interference in public service provision bodies will render the ACB ineffective,” the statement reads.

However, CCJP indicates that not everything is lost, citing organised management of Covid funds, provision of timely information on Covid vaccines, testing and case management as indicators that the government is still committed to promoting the cause of the citizenry.

Meanwhile, Information Minister Gospel Kazako has said they, too, share the pain and discomfort that comes with what he described as a recalibration process.

Kazako said the suffering would not be permanent as they are building a Malawi that is solid and sustainable.

“On corruption, we are the most serious government to fight corruption head-on. That’s why we are abundantly funding the ACB and strengthening its capacity that is driven by independence in its delivery. It is being distant from truth to accuse the government of not combating corruption,” he said.

On nepotism, Kazako said they believed that some of the accusations were driven by misplaced perceptions.

“We are creating a Malawi that knows no tribe or region and we avoid feeding the spirit of nepotism by engaging in the discussions because doing so is a psychological mechanism that fertilises the very nepotism we hate.

“On unfulfilled promises, CCJP should be reminded that we have a five-year mandate to deliver our promises. We have just done 13 months. We cannot fulfil everything in one year; that’s being unrealistic. Those that designed a five-year term knew very well that adequate time is required to deliver. We will deliver; make no mistake about it,” he said.

On intraparty fighting in the Tonse Alliance, Kazako said they were learning it from CCJP that such was the case.

Political analyst Wonderful Mkhutche echoed CCJP’s sentiments.

“We have seen how Covid-gate was handled; as if it never happened. This is just an example of how talk is running a different way to action. The leadership needs to do more; otherwise, it is losing touch with the masses,” he said.

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