Let interests of Malawians prevail
News that civil society organisations (CSOs) have accepted a request by Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe for a round-table discussion over suspicious K4 billion payout intended for Members of Parliament is pleasinng.
But the news must be taking with caution.
Goodall asked for the dialogue in a letter on Monday following pressure from the rights activists on President Peter Mutharika to fire the Finance Minister alongside Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa.
This follows the Malawi News revelation of Gondwe’s role in a scandal considered the Finance Minister’s huge betrayal to Malawians as an entrusted keeper for the public purse.
Malawi News of February 24 to March 2 2018 reported that the government had allocated K40 million each to 86 Members of Parliament, most of whom voted against the Electoral Reforms (Amendment) Bills.
CSOs have, rightly, not relented in their quest to Gondwe and Nankhumwa fired for adulterating one of the lynchpins of a democracy.
In Gondwe’s act, Malawians have borne the much agonising testimony to failure by the current administration to control its own machinery.
Yet the Constitution clearly stipulates that public power is conferred on trust by the citizenry and that it must be exercised solely to protect and promote the interests of the citizenry.
Gondwe also knows that he cannot dip his hands in the public’s cookie jar without coherent explanation.
There is simply no way , one would think, the seasoned Finance Minister preside over the shambles which was allocation of public finances to activities aimed at the furtherance of partisan interests.
But he did.
Reading from this script, it would appear the meeting between Gondwe and the CSOs is neither here nor there.
But in the interest of giving a chance to dialogue, let the round table take place as planned.
The guiding code, however, as stipulated by the CSOs, should be the interests of Malawians must prevail at the meeting.
Otherwise, Malawi ought to do away with the shameful tag it has worn in recent years – of being popular for abusing government funds.
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