It is your call, Mr President


President Peter Mutharika can say whatever he wants to say on corruption, like he did during the remembrance of freedom fighter John Chilembwe on Monday.
He can decide to listen to gossip from those that surround him that corruption is everywhere—Public Service, Judiciary, media and Legislature when that does not make it right Mutharika can talk about a “malicious and irresponsible” editor or some newspaper which goes on forever about corruption yet the vice will not end up going away just like that.
Our leader can shamelessly proclaim to the world that he does not think corruption is getting worse and then continue to blame the media of politicizing and exaggerating it in order to discredit him.
Yet this will never be a lasting solution to this cancer and it will not disappear just like that.
What will make it disappear is his decisive action because it is his call.
The Monday rants simply show he is missing the point and his close minders have relied on gossip to protect their positions by guiding him to the wrong direction where he will continue to be in denial about corruption and be the laughing stock of everyone who cares about this country.
The President does not pay tax and lives at the State House. He can, therefore, not appreciate what corruption is doing to us.
Perhaps this is the reason he does not see the highest form of injustice that honest and hardworking Malawians are subjected to, as they pay high amount of taxes, almost at gunpoint, only for the money to be stolen at Capital Hill or abused by thieves in his government.
In case the President does not know this, I will tell him.
The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) is brutal and does not compromise.
MRA arrests citizens, and it kills some of them, just to get the tax.
This happened a couple of months ago at Limbe Market when an innocent man went to his early grave after a scuffle with an armed policeman who was in the company of officials from the tax body looking for unpaid duty on a minibus.
MRA closes companies just to collect tax, with no mercy or consideration for the many Malawians that earn a living through working for such firms.
This fact is made worse by the politicisation of MRA as the same Mutharika government uses the tax body to go after its critics using tax payment as a pretext for such high handed actions.
In the end, we pay tax under duress and it only ends up getting stolen by government agents instead of being used to look after us.
Malawians only employed one person in May 2014 to come to their rescue and it is the President.
Sadly, instead of coming on the side of Malawians to deal with the problem, the President thinks spreading around the blame and getting angry at some editor or newspaper in public utterances is the way to go.
Does the fact that there is corruption in all sectors make it right? Shouldn’t that be the call to duty by the President to stamp his authority and root it out once and for all to protect taxpayers?
Should Mutharika really go on and on to defend his ministers when Malawians have not seen any resolution about cases contained in the 13 files that the National Audit Office handed over to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)? If it does not contain the name of any single minister, should the President not wait until the matter is resolved in the courts?
Instead of ranting at the media, Mutharika should be updating Malawians on the fight against corruption.
Where are we, for example, on the K577 billion scam under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) watch which was reduced to K236 billion?
Audit report after audit report, survey after survey, say corruption is getting worse, yet the President is disputing it.
How does Mutharika expect Malawians to think he is right when, for example, a whopping
K1 billion of poor people’s money was blown at the Ministry of Health on bogus allowances that were paid even to messengers as night allowances for attending a workshop?
Does the President know what K1 billion can do to a hospital such as Queen Elizabeth Central, where sanitation facilities used by poor people are in a sorry and disgusting state?
If this is how the President will govern this country-by spreading round the blame on corruption without having a robust plan to curb it so that poor people’s money is protected — then we, as Malawians, have absolutely no right to blame anybody who calls us stupid and that we are a shithole country.
We cannot take Donald Trump to task because we have not earned it. Only countries such as Botswana can stand up to Trump for showering abuses at them because they have sorted out their country and it is bristling with progress.
They are not beggars and they have earned a right to be respected. That is why they can afford to summon a US ambassador after Trump’s rants because they do not want anybody to mess with them.
This starts with getting systems right and it includes curbing corruption so that every tambala that taxpayers cough under the utmost duress go to the intended use, not in the pockets of thieves in government.
Sadly, the President is encouraging it by living in denial about corruption and yet it is his call to stop the heartless abuse of public funds.

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