The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) has launched a scathing attack on government, accusing it of having misplaced priorities, ‘cooking’ macroeconomic indicators as well as failing to adequately finance the public service and ensure security for the citizenry.
In a statement released on Monday on Contemporary Socio-Economic and Political Context, CCJP argues that Malawi is slowly becoming a nation full of anxiety, becoming entrenched into poverty, and apart from forgetting peace, it is slowly sliding into disrespecting the sanctity of human life.
CCJP cited the banquet which President Peter Mutharika organised for Members of Parliament after passing the 2015/2016 fiscal budget as signal of government’s misplaced priorities.
On micro-economic indicators, CCJP said growing levels of poverty, desperation, hunger and shrinking public service delivery that are untimely and compromise on quality contradict ‘hopeful’ government macro–economic indicators.
“As such, we suggest that it is high time our leaders gave the nation the right information so that diversified strategies can be explored to improve the lives of the majority poor Malawians. The right economic indicators would also assist in seeking international collaboration for government to have the needed capacity to fulfil its roles,” reads the statement in part.
With some police officers terrorising the society and communities killing suspects, the Catholic arm feared the menace will scare away prospective foreign investors, rendering useless efforts that Capital Hill has put in place to attract more foreign direct investments.
On food security, CCJP has urged government, development and cooperating partners to seriously adopt and finance irrigation farming.
In May, the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services-DRTSS rolled out the Malawi Traffic Information System-MTIS to curbing corruption and improving efficiency in acquiring a driving license, but has the system has been faulted for being ‘too slow’.
While applauding government for facilitating the procurement, installation and utilization of the MITS, CCJP has described the bottlenecks that people seeking road traffic services are facing as worrisome and frustrating.
“We think, if the software is the problem, the installers must come in faster; if the workers are not capacitated, capacity building processes should be embarked on soon and if its workers’ sabotage of the system let the authorities deal with such malpractice once and for all,” it said.
In relation to the cashgate, CCJP has urged government to swiftly clean up and strengthen its financial management and social accountability systems to stop the corrupt tendencies that saw billions of kwacha stolen from public coffers, forcing donors to withdraw their direct budgetary support.
“We recommend that serious talks have to emerge between the Government and development and cooperating partners for sustainable development of Malawi.
“We believe our development and cooperating partners are in Malawi for the betterment of the rural and urban poor people of Malawi who have been heavily affected by their decision to stop budgetary support,” adds the statement.
Meanwhile, CCJP has urged political parties, Civil Society Organisations, media, faith community and the public to build a better and happy nation by being loyal, obedient, united and disciplined to Malawi’s socio-economic transformation agenda.
CCJP has also pleaded with donor partners to resume direct aid to Malawi.