CCJP riddles government
All eight Catholic Commissions for Justice and Peace (CCJP) in the country have described President Peter Mutharika’s government as failing to come up with strategies that would bail Malawians from socio- economic ills they are experiencing.
The commissions have accused Mutharika’s government of cooking up macroeconomic indicators which do not translate into reality on the ground. They further punch holes into Mutharika’s banquet to celebrate the passing of the national budget describing it as a sign of misplaced priorities when many government departments are getting reduced funding allocations.
The commissions further fault cooperating partners for being stubborn and sticking to suspension of their support to government at the expense of poor Malawians. The commissions have not spared political parties saying they continue politicking when elections are gone.
The eight commissions met on July 27 2015 at Catholic Secretariat in Lilongwe where at the end of their meeting, issued a statement titled “A Quest for a Better and Decent Malawi” which highlights 10 key concerns which are bringing misery to Malawians. The statement is signed by all the commissions plus CCJP’s national office. These are Chikwawa, Blantyre, Zomba, Mangochi, Dedza, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Karonga dioceses.
CCJP national secretary Chris Chisoni confirmed the statement and said it was in the best interest of Malawians and duty bearers who are supposed to play their rightful roles to alleviate the suffering of the common man. Malawian bishops have endorsed the statement.
The major concerns in the statement where government is not doing well are : shrinking or total lack of financing for public service delivery; misplaced priorities; “cooked” up government macro-economic indicators; introduction of new systems in public service delivery institutions such as the Road Traffic and Safety Directorate; national insecurity; continued national food shortages and failure to utilise God given natural resources.
Other concerns are contemporary donors’ position on the Malawi Government versus the socio-economic rights of Malawian citizens, continued tensions and conflicts in Local Governance systems and structures, Malawi’s failure to move forward after the May 20 2014 tripartite elections and the continued politicking by all political parties at the expense of national development.
“Having affirmed our understanding of the basics for our nation to attain socio-economic and political transformation we, the CCJP Secretaries, seek also to highlight our painful realisation that our society is not yet what we all desire.
“While the plight of lessened financial disbursements from many government ministries are heightening, spending money for less important issues, a specific example being a banquet to celebrate the passing of the national budget is signal of misplaced priorities. Such bad signals in the face of growing poverty and frustrations among people continue to be a sad trend in Malawi,” reads the statement in part.
On the “cooked” government macro-economic indicators, the commissions argue: “The micro-economic indicators on the ground can not in any way prove the hopeful government macro–economic indicators. There are growing levels of poverty, desperation, hunger and shrinking public service delivery that are untimely and quality compromised.
“As such, we suggest that it is high time our leaders gave the nation the right information so that diversified strategies can be explored to improve the lives of the majority poor Malawians. The right economic indicators would also assist in seeking international collaboration for government to have the needed capacity to fulfill its roles” the statement reads.
CCJP has recommended that there be serious talks between government and development and cooperating partners to reconsider their position on donor support to Malawi because “we believe our development and cooperating partners are in Malawi for the betterment of the rural and urban poor people of Malawi who have been heavily affected by their decision to stop budgetary support”.
Government is also urged to sort out the mess at the Road Traffic and Safety Directorate Services to stop the suffering of Malawians who queue for days to get traffic documents.
CCJP has also bemoaned the lack of transformational leadership in the country although parties promised to adopt the concept after elections.
“We sadly note the very same old ways of doing things across political parties. We note the same way of governance styles across the divide. Sadly, we still encounter dwindling spirit of patriotism, lack of commitment to honestly build a better and happy nation. Yet, as we waste this precious time to transform mother Malawi, we are cursing the present and the future generations who will live and continue to wallow in poverty,” reads the statement.
CCJP has since urged government, political parties, faith and traditional leaders, CSOs and faith based organisation leaders and all people of good will to build a nation that is honest, that loves peace, that is united, that is hard working and that values life.
Government is also urged to lead Malawi through consensus building and create an enabling economic and political environment for the transformation of mother Malawi. It is further urged to thoroughly consult on national policies for the betterment of who those policies will serve.
Government spokesperson Kondwani Nankhumwa said yesterday that he would give a better comment after reading the statement.
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