Is President Peter Mutharika really in control of all processes involved in running the affairs of the State?
He, to me, appears to be a passenger, just a passenger of a State caravan well captured and selfishly driven by private interests of the powerful few connected to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Let me explain.
Since he came to power, we, in the media, have unearthed, with facts not hearsays, untold rot in the State he is heading, which border on the scale of corruption and abuse of power by the people close to him.
I cannot even begin to count here—the President knows it all. However, the fresh revelations from the never-ending Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) saga this week got me off the hook.
I know we are all sick and tired of the whole MSB saga.
We know how this Mutharika-led government, for reasons best known to itself, forced all of us, the honest taxpayers, to service credits that some privileged few got from MSB. Immensely painful, like adding salt to a fresh wound, is that the same government is tactically, by not acting, caressing MSB debtors with carrots. Not even a penny, we read, has been collected from MSB debtors.
We also know, of course, that this bank was sold—which, anyway, some of us easily had to let go. But, and this is where it pains the worst, none, apart from Mutharika and few others, knows how the money from MSB sale proceeds has been used or, if still there, it is being used. We are, like housemates in Big Brother house, just in the dark of what is happening.
We also know—from The Nation’s revelations this week—that MSB top management lied to the public regarding the real financial position of the publicly owned bank prior to the sale. One, they allegedly concealed a loss of around K1.2 billion; and two, they allegedly understated Mulli Brothers Group’s loan balance by at least K3.5 billion.
All these MSB facts, and I know more will emerge, point to one thing, a small group of technocrats, I am sure they were acting on orders from above, messed up MSB—of course, we all know this.
In fact, we also know that some people in the Cabinet, today, were behind the MSB mess. We know!
But what we do not know, however, is the reason the Mutharika-led government has chosen to wine and dine with those we know messed up MSB and, at the same time, punishing taxpayers to pay for the mess.
In ideal nature of the State, as we know it, its head, the President, could have been on the front, purging from the system everybody who took part in messing up MSB.
If the President has power to order the arrest of a poor Eric Aniva in Nsanje, why is he failing to demand the same for people who, one, lied to the public about MSB; two, those that gave irrational credits; and three, those that know they owe MSB, but they are not paying back?
President Mutharika government’s inaction on this points to a potent symbol of a Head of State effectively failing to be in control of the processes of running the affairs of the State.
It is not just the MSB saga where Mutharika is showing such signs.
We have ministers in his Cabinet who owe Malawians unpaid millions for the Chikangawa Forest Reserve plunder. Do you think we don’t know?
We have heads of government agencies answering heinous Cashgate offences and some involved in apparent cases of abuse of power, but they continue to get rewarded. Do you think we do not know?
We have ministers named in disturbing deals that amount to corruption and abuse of office yet they still enjoy the comfort of being subsidised by tax-payers. Do you think we do not know?
We have big business tenders always going to a circle of certain privileged few, which amounts to nepotism and discrimination, yet nothing is being is done. Do you think we do not know?
There is just too much that Malawians know where President Mutharika is visibly failing to be in control of processes involved in running State affairs for the benefit of the people—all Malawians without regard to tribe and politics.
These issues, I guess, are a litmus test for the President to prove against arguments that the State has been captured by a group of few people who are advancing their narrow, selfish and private interest.
He need to begin by punishing all those involved in the MSB plunder. If he still plays coy, as he always does, I have bad news for you my fellow, hardworking and tax-paying Malawians: We are well captured, our State is in the hands of the few.