Due to greed, some people get involved in get-rich-quick schemes. Strange enough such people are necessarily not poor, but have the desire to look the richest among the poor.
Some of the getting rich schemes are through corruption and stealing in government, which is assumed to have more available money and other resources.
Despite Malawi being a very poor country, organised thieves, right within the government, find ways and means to steal from it.
At some point, recently, Malawi was said to be the second poorest country in the world, and without doubt it has been impoverished by the so-called big shots who own up to 50-plus houses and cars. It shows no empathy to have such riches in a country where the majority of citizens do not know where their next meal would come from. In most cases the source of such riches is not disclosed, but it is acquired in the shortest imagined period.
In Malawi, the well-known get-rich schemes are mostly two—
Corruption and stealing from the Malawi economy. Imagine, people usually complain about poorly-constructed public infrastructure. Though the contractors are to blame, the main fault are Malawians who seem to ask for some payment under the carpet for the contract to be signed. Then the contractors do a poor cheap job in order to recoup their money. A year later, the government has to look for money to re-do the job. What is surprising is that Malawi has many qualified civil engineers to check the contractors so that the country is not short-changed. This corruption with multinational companies doing business in the country is a way of getting rich quickly at the expense of our poor country.
In the same vein of joining schemes of getting rich quick, even some leaders who are supposed to be exemplary are being reported in the media to have either been grabbing land from government or buying government houses at give-away prices. This is broad-day light theft. The thing to note is that some leaders are blinded with power and even assume that they will remain in power forever, and be protected. They forget that once out of power, all their misdeeds will backfire and expose them big time.
Meanwhile, the liquor scandal in the Malawi High Commission in South Africa has shown that get-rich-quick schemes cannot be freely done in some foreign countries. Honestly speaking, this scandal has embarrassed us all Malawians.
The staff involved should have known that a diplomatic card is not a licence for doing business. In fact, it is a classified document and can be used to buy few items for personal use. Unfortunately, the Malawian envoys were reported to use the diplomatic card to buy countless bottles of liquor from duty-free shops to sell at cheaper prices.
In short, they were helping South Africans to evade tax while making that country’s government lose money. This stealing scheme has backfired and all staff have been deported. Their excuse that envoys from other countries were also doing the same does not hold water at all. One can only hope that the Tonse Alliance administration will reprimand these liquor thieves to deter future envoys from doing the same.
This liquor scandal is a wake-up call for Malawi to ensure that people going to embassies must first be inducted so as to know what foreign service is all about. Corruption and stealing will always backfire because one cannot remain a thief or a corrupt person forever.