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Government should not play around with public funds

The Executive arm of the government might have thought it was flying high when it decided, behind the back of 107 Members of Parliament (MPs) in the 193-member House, to reward 86 legislators who frustrated the will of the people by voting against electoral reforms bills in December last year.

But, then, it has come tumbling down, for the truth has a way of making those who climb higher through the ant-hill of corruption, selfishness and corruptions stumble. We say corruption because, surely, the funds were meant to be an inducement to those who betrayed the will of the people so that, perhaps, they can strike the innocent Malawian again— should the Executive arm of the government try, again, to play with people’s lives.

There is no justification for the regrettable behaviour of the Executive. In sidelining other duly elected representatives of the people, the Executive was sidelining constituents the legislators represent, which blatant disregard for the Constitutionally sanctioned right to development.

Even though those responsible for this shameful act are justifying the folly, on the ground that the financial resources were budgeted for, this should not be the case, especially after the sidelined MPs have denied any knowledge of the consultations that were instituted to arrive at the figure of K3.4 billion which the 86 MPs were to share as loot.

Surely, this was a bad day for democracy, which promotes the tenets of transparency and accountability.

Surprisingly, the same government that can boast of having K3.4 billion it does not know what to do with was last year failing to fund the Malawi Electoral Commission so that it could organise by-elections in Lilongwe City South East Constituency, in tandem with a Supreme Court of Appeal order for a rerun after noting irregularities in the parliamentary race on May 20 2014.

Moving forward, the issue should not end at the Executive’s change of mind. It must enlighten us by telling us, honestly and honourably, its intention for allocating public resources to a selected few who betrayed public trust.

MPs should also remember their role in society, and front the national good at the expense of self-serving interests. This should be a turning point and MPs Should be vigilant to check against abuse of public resources in this way.

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