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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Mutharika must set an example on accountability

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If we were to isolate the catch phrase in President Peter Mutharika’s speech to Parliament Friday, then it is going to be ‘ Everyone is responsible to someone’.

Which is why, we are very much in agreement with observations the President made on the need for public institutions and officers to be held accountable, by regularly undergoing scrutiny, through checks and balances provided by those mandated.

We are inclined to agree more with the President when he asked as to who is then holding Parliament, or indeed the legislators accountable, when stories about development funds abuse keep popping up now and again.

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But just like the good book tells us that one has to first of all remove the log in one’s eye before removing a speck in a friend’s eye, Mutharika must set the example by cracking the whip on those that have been messing up his government’s image through rampant acts of corruption and fraud in his own government.

A case in point is the recent scandal surrounding the planned purchase of diesel generators by Escom, which now we understand is being handled by its sister company Egenco.

Even after the Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera put it bluntly that some of the President’s aides were busy rooting for some firms to be handed the contract, to the point of manipulating the Chief Secretary to government on the issue, we have seen very little action from Mutharika in as far as disciplining the officers or indeed releasing them to face justice is concerned.

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The President himself has not been straight on the matter with the Malawian people and there have been promises he has made to Malawians which he has not kept.

The President has been touting diesel generators as the panacea that will bring light into people’s homes. The question he has not answered to Malawians until now is who is bringing the generators and at what cost? Were the tenders redone after the first botched attempt due to political interference from the State House operatives?

Now we hear the generators will be airlifted from India. Who is procuring them? Is it the same contractor who pulled out the same day the President was talking about the generators? What about the cost to the Malawian families who will have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for the escalating costs of running the generators?

Simply put, the Malawi leader has not a good example by cleaning the rot that is in his government, if the message being driven across about strengthening transparency and accountability is to be taken seriously.

Mutharika has to set an example if the lesser mortals will have to take him seriously. He is accountable to Malawians.

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