Over the years, corruption has terribly eaten through the fabric of our nation, frustrating development to embarrassing levels.
Our leaders have persistently admitted that something strong needs to be done to root out this cancer which clearly pervades every corner of society.
In this generation, the potential coming in of Ombudsman Martha Chizuma at the helm of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) seemed to herald a new era where the corrupt would fall.
She has shown her mettle at an office which used to exist without a purpose—as if there was clear strategy and terms of reference for the work of its holder.
Chizuma has breathed fresh air into the Office of the Ombudsman because of her no-nonsense stand when it comes to raking various ills in government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
So the corrupt have been afraid of her. They are still afraid and would use every possible means to frustrate her rise to the ACB top job.
Her appointment by President Lazarus Chakwera, after she had successfully convinced a panel of interviewers that she would competently and professionally work at ACB, was seen as a first important step in the earnest fight against corruption.
But there were dark forces already lurking around waiting for an opportunity to disturb the fight against corruption.
While, it is a fact that members of the Public Appointments Committee (Pac) of Parliament have powers to approve or reject a presidential appointee, there are clear cases where a rejection is suspect.
Everyone in this country knows fighting corruption is not an easy task and that it requires someone with a strong resolve such as Chizuma. But here are members of Parliament (MPs), who should be happy that they have power to put in place someone who can do the job.
Instead, they irrationally shot down an appointment which, in fact, had the people’s support.
Such dark forces against fighting corruption should be clearly checked. We cannot keep on moving in circles even when an opportunity to make things right has been presented to us.
Well, some people feel it does not necessarily follow that Chizuma would perform spectacularly as ACB Director-General just because she does that as the Ombudsman.
But, at least she is tried and tested.
Moreover, the high expectations from the public are what would also inspire her to work hard and prove worrywarts wrong.
Those who are up in arms following Pac’s rejection of Chizuma are absolutely exercising their right and no one should prevent them from doing so.
They are tired of the rampant corruption and had hope that an end to the cancer was on its way. Then Pac came in and just messed up everything. It was unexpected.
But then, politicians have their own ways of doing things and Chizuma’s rejection had nothing to do with competence or merit. It was simply some people wrongly flexing their muscles.
But not all is lost. Since it has come out clear that there still are some MPs who want the fight against corruption to be serious and are eager to have Chizuma’s rejection by Pac reviewed, there is hope the people’s choice will be respected.
Malawi can be redeemed from the pangs of corruption, but experience has shown the corrupt viciously fight back—using any necessary means.
It becomes even more difficult if the corrupt have power to change the course of the fight.
They will even give a very suitable candidate very depressing marks just to satisfy their agendas.
Hearing about the grading that happened for Chizuma, it is clear that some MPs went to that room with premeditated scores and did not care about anything else.
It is really sad that such a thing should happen.