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Vuwa Kaunda’s mishap speaks volumes

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The misfortune that has befallen President Peter Mutharika’s Adviser on National Unity, Symon Vuwa Kaunda, when he became a victim to tricksters who use mobile phones to steal money from unsuspecting Malawians reveals something about how political patronage is destroying this country.

We have established that Kaunda was tricked into depositing money totalling K1.6 million into the account of people who claimed to have been allocating land to him on instructions from the President.

These tricksters have been attempting to steal from several Malawians and some of the targets have actually fallen victim.

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But we did not expect Kaunda to be one of the few unlucky souls. First, Kaunda should not be ignorant as far as issues of land allocation and acquisition are concerned in this country. He has been a Cabinet minister in different portfolios, including being minister of Information and government spokesperson.

He should have been well versed in government business. Kaunda ought to have known that government transactions follow specific procedures and land offers over a telephone call is surely none of them.

But by going to the extent of calling the President to thank him for the offers shows that some Malawians get preferential treatment based on political connections. It also shows that the President can sometimes make some orders for his henchmen to get ahead of the queue at the expense of honest Malawians who are not connected to the political elite.

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The tricksters, being what they are, studied the way political patronage plays out in this country and they exploited the same.

While we sympathise with Kaunda for the loss, we wish to state that the incident is a wake-up call to our politicians to stop abusing the systems for their personal benefit. Kaunda’s mishap should also serve as an alert to Malawians to always follow laid-down procedures in their transactions.

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