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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

OPC must lead by example

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Malawi will continue to remain a warm heart, smiling in the way of approaching ruthless poverty, if political thought does not transform.

Apparently, with an anticipated increase in wisdom, at 53 since independence, Malawi should be able to take stock of its life, solve its problems and improve its cognitive performance.

Perhaps politically, Malawi is where we need to be in the process towards gaining competence in living a democratic status but colossal economic and social letdowns dwarf the accomplishments.

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Malawi has in recent years become popular for abusing government funds. Revelations of Cashgate four years ago were an epitome of the trend.

It was quite chilling to hear that over K24 billion was lost in the systematic looting of public funds at Capital Hill.

When arrests on the people involved started, many a Malawian was not only interested in seeing justice prevailing but also the nation sealing all loopholes and drawing lessons from the saga.

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It is the wish of every Malawian not to see a repeat of Cashgate in whatever form.

Governments come and go but failure to do the right thing points at the huge problem about our country, problems aggravated by politicians who benefit from the chaos.

As such, it is worrying to learn that Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Legal Affairs, Privileges and Public Appointments cluster yesterday pressed officials from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) to explain why they indicated the funding of unforeseen activities not budgeted for as one of the challenges that have partly crippled operations of the office in the current financial year.

Making a presentation on the performance of the OPC’s current budget and the outline for the next fiscal year, Principal Secretary responsible for Administration Cliff Chiunda said the office spent funds on the Bingu National Stadium stampede, the Area 18 water contamination saga and the funeral of Gwanda Chakuamba’s wife, among other activities.

Unfortunately, as pointed out by the MPs, the current financial blueprint had the Unforeseen Expenditure Vote which was revised to K11.8 billion from K1.8 billion.

And the revised allocation was thought to have resulted from the cited crises.

But it is chaos such as failure to account for what was put in black and white that has left the country stuck in the jaws of abject poverty and created a bipolar nation where barely one percent of the population earns a meaningful living.

OPC should lead by example by being detailed on its policies and plans for it to be seen to be serious on accountability and transparency.

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