The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) has condemned the Tonse Alliance government for failure to tame nepotism, corruption and empower Malawians to achieve social-economic gains.
However, the government has accused the Catholic Church-owned body which promotes human rights and justice of being “unrealistic” and “driven by misplaced perception.”
In a statement issued on Sunday as Tonse Alliance administration is rounding up 14 months in power, CCJP has urged government to “show decisive leadership and come up with public policies that will favour the poor.”
“It is deplorable and disturbing that tendencies of nepotism in public appointments continue to thrive despite detestation from many quarters within the society. This iniquity only worsens social inequalities,” the statement reads in part.
The nepotism condemnation comes as some people connected with President Lazarus Chakwera, his vice Saulos Chilima and former president Joyce Banda, all key players in the Tonse Alliance, have been given diplomatic posts.
On corruption, CCJP says in the statement signed by its national coordinator Boniface Chibwana: “Corruption in government procurement processes continues to worsen with rent-seeking behaviour flourishing as the politically connected are reported to be benefiting from such corrupt acts.
“While CCJP applauds and welcomes the new leadership at the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), we observe that continued politicisation of public procurement and political interference in public service provision bodies will render the ACB ineffective.”
In response, Minister of Information Gospel Kazako on Sunday said CCJP is confused because the Tonse Alliance is taking the country in a new direction.
“When a ship changes direction, those who were used to the previous direction get confused of the new direction even after being informed. Malawi is undergoing a new recalibration phase where progressive systems are being put in place.
“This is shocking to some of the people we are governing, CCJP inclusive. We therefore understand the language of their whistle and we can only request them to stand with us in this time of reconstructing our nation,” he said.
Kazako also touted the Tonse Alliance government as the “most serious government to fight corruption head on.”
“That’s why we abundantly fund the ACB and strengthen its capacity that is driven by independence in its delivery. It is being distant from truth to accuse government of not combating corruption,” he said.
On nepotism, the minister responded: “We believe some of the accusations are just driven by misplaced perception. We are creating a Malawi that knows no tribe or region and we avoid feeding the spirit of nepotism by engaging in the discussions because doing so is actually a psychological mechanism that fertilises the very nepotism we hate.”
CCJP also called on the Tonse Alliance to “begin delivering on its promises to avoid losing people’s trust and confidence. Mere speeches and podium declarations will take this country nowhere.”
On this, Kazako responded: “We can’t fulfill everything in one year. That’s unrealistic. Those that designed a five-year-term knew very well that adequate time is required to deliver.”