Name is accountability


There is a huge storm surrounding the use of K6.2 billion that government released to aid the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic

Because there are suspicions that the money could have ended up in people’s pockets, either legally through payment of allowances or illegally through theft, hell has rightly broken loose.

The people of Malawi are demanding their pound of flesh from those that were entrusted with the money.


Rightly reading the mood of the populace, President Lazarus Chakwera on Sunday said his government would fire from their job any controlling officer found to have abused the K6.2 billion that the Treasury released for Covid-19 response interventions.

The President did not stop there. He gave controlling officers of clusters that received the money 48 hours to account for it or face the consequences.

I am the least surprised with the citizens’ relentless march towards the efficient use of public resources because the name is accountability.


Malawians are tired of reports that their tax has been stolen hence the insistence that the money government is using towards Covid-19 is accounted for to the last tambala.

Look, even before the Tonse Alliance came to power in June last year, suspicions were rife that the deadly disease, which must be defeated at all cost, would be a passport for self- enrichment to some evil minded charlatans.

Ombudsman Martha Chizuma hit the nail on the head when she released a report that actually said the money was not efficiently used and, in fact, she directed that some of it must be returned to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs.

The reality is that Malawians of the 21st Century will settle for nothing less than total accountability and transparency for their tax kwachas which they pay into the national kitty under the most duress and sometimes even with violence from Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) officials.

This top level demand for accountability and interest from citizens should not come as a surprise because it is essentially the effect of a private citizens’ initiative that is raising millions of Kwacha from Malawians but it is utterly accountable for every tambala they have collected so far.

The question Malawians are asking is: Why is it difficult for those in government to do what others are doing to account for every tax kwacha they are entrusted with?

Is it complicated in government due to bureaucracy and is that in line with the 21st Century way of governing Malawi?

Is this not the excuse that thieves in government have used over the years to skin poor Malawians alive— bureaucracy?

At the end of the day, those stealing money in government are being unfair on Chakwera, who has shown throughout this saga that he means well.

It is those who are stealing that are forcing people to say Malawians are donating massively every day to the private initiative because they have lost trust in government.

Though one gets the reasoning behind such outrageous claim, this is not an indication that there should not be government in the first place.

That is why the President applauded non-State actors that have contributed K2.2 billion to the Covid-19 fight, arguing individuals, companies and organisations had responded warmly to his declaration of a State of National Disaster last month.

As others are saying, we are in this thing, fighting this angel of death, together and there is no need to get excited with our large mouths to start disparaging others.

We simply need the might of government to defeat Covid-19 together with the citizens’ efforts.

The key issue is to demand accountability as we are doing and make sure that every penny, even from government, must go to the Covid-19 wards in hospitals throughout the country and not in people’s pockets through unjustified meetings and allowances.

We, as Malawians, must demand that the President makes good of his threat to inflict dire consequences on controlling officers in government ministries and departments who might be found to have abused any Covid-19 money, including the K6.2 billion disbursed last year.

Not only this. Even those that chewed Covid-19 money from the Democratic Progressive Party administration as captured in the Ombudsman’s report must also account for every tambala they misappropriated.

That is why the move by Director of Public Prosecutions Steven Kayuni to write Inspector General of Police George Kainja to study the Ombudsman’s report with a view to prosecute those that stole Covid-19 money is the way to go.

It will teach other thieves in government that this time, there is a new sheriff in town and he means business.

In the final analysis, the President must remember he has inherited a public service replete with public servants that have divided loyalty or no loyalty at all to him.

These are the ones to watch because they will derail everything and may even attempt to sabotage the system.

Unfortunately, the buck stops with the President and he is the one Malawians will ultimately hold to account and may even punish come 2025 by not voting for him if they see that he has not delivered at a time they needed him to, on account of those he is keeping in the system when he knows they are sabotaging it, even on matters of use of public resources.

Chakwera must know he is not governing dunderheads or dunces but intelligent Malawians in the 21st century who will stop at nothing but demand what is duly theirs.

The name is accountability.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Show More

Related Articles

Check Also

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker