When they wanted to cheat us into voting for them, President Lazarus Chakwera and his vice Saulos Chilima told us that ending corruption would be their priority. They made a lot of noise about this and made us believe that things could be better than before in this country. At that time, we were being slaughtered by the merciless Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and we thought there couldn’t be worse. Little did we know that the new boys on the block were in it to finish us.
Today, corruption may be said to be worse than it was during the reign of Peter Mutharika. Apart from the nepotism that these leaders practice without shame, money has been missing from our coffers and nobody seems to be answerable. When some people stole money meant for the fight against Covid, the President came on national television, guns blazing, promising to deal with them. At that time, he was just new to the throne and we were still under the illusion that his words meant something. Months down the line, his words drowned in our misery and nobody faced any consequences for that crime.
And from there, the corrupt knew that the talk about ending corruption was but jokes, and the stealing began.
So, when we heard that K30 billion (or is it K750 million?) meant for fertiliSer was misallocated, we were not surprised. Anybody working under the watch of Chakwera and Chilima cannot be afraid to steal because the big men are toothless.
These are leaders who simply talk about doing things that they never do. We have rotten apples at every level in the civil service and this administration has failed to tame them. Thieves of public funds are now walking around with pomp, knowing that it is business as usual in Malawi. What is worse is that the supporters of our two leaders are busy fighting amongst themselves and showing off to each other to brag about who is eating more while Malawians are languishing in a burning furnace.
It would have at least been better if our President and his vice showed that they cared about what is happening in this country. We have such huge sums of money stolen foolishly like that, and these two men have said nothing about it. Nobody has been fired or resigned, and yet we say we are here to fight corruption. What kind of leadership do we have in this country? Are we sure that we are so docile that anyone can get away with anything on our watch? What is it that our leaders fear in thieves so much that they can’t apprehend them or hold them accountable? Elsewhere, where leaders have common sense, this nonsense cannot happen.
To add salt to the wound, all these scandals are happening at a time the country is in huge crises. We have no electricity and we are rationing petrol and diesel.
The energy crisis is so deep that people are now wasting their productive hours queuing for fuel in our cities. The explanation for this is that the country has no forex, but we have not heard anything from the people we voted for on the ballot.
They have chosen to remain silent and conduct business as usual. While people cannot do their businesses because there is no fuel, the President is busy touring the country commissioning this or that small building. He has the fuel. His friends have the fuel. Why should he care? This is the new Malawi and it is becoming suffocating by each passing day.
Those close to the powers-that-be should tell them that we cannot live like this forever. Just two or so years ago, people took to the streets to boot out Mutharika and his cronies, not because they hated them, but because they had had enough of the mediocrity.
We expected better from the Tonse Alliance but the regime seems to be worse than what we loathed in the DPP. This administration is not only mediocre – it is also careless in how it handles things that matter. The lives of millions of Malawians are being taken for granted, and this must be stopped. We deserve way much better than what we are getting from this experimental government.