Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa should issue an immediate public apology for lying with a straight face that government has handed over to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) footage of meetings between former president Joyce Banda and Cashgate suspect Oswald Lutepo that implied the two were discussing something sinister bordering on corruption or fraud.
Or else the minister should tell Malawians who he gave this footage to in ACB and how the pictures were taken after revelations that CCTV cameras in State residences packed up long time ago.
The ACB hierarchy has been emphatic that it knows nothing about the CCTV footage handover and Joyce Banda’s office has been forced to make a revelation that all State residences do not have working CCTV.
The office even went further to lend credence to all this by saying the fact that the CCTV does not work is the reason the nation does not know the last moment of former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika in 2012 because even then the cameras had ground to a halt.
So far Nankhumwa has said nothing on this. Of late the newspapers have been awash with government statements signed by Nankhumwa dealing with all sorts of public matters but he has conveniently avoided the CCTV issue.
The question is: Why? Is it because Nankhumwa knows he was lying through his teeth.
Even my four-year-old toddler and his dog know that nothing is going for the Peter Mutharika administration at the moment. It is mired in trouble after trouble, all emanating from a rotten economy hard hit from lack of dollars as the result of donors pulling out their aid.
Then you have inbuilt incompetence of the people surrounding the President coupled with his own lack of hands-on-action leading to the public losing trust.
Put in the mix the inconsistencies in salary review policy resulting in mass action everywhere.
Worse still, this is then exacerbated by this newspaper’s revelations that while the line from government is that it has no money to appease the striking public sector workers, the Executive gave itself and the MPs hefty increases.
All in all, this is a government in panic mode and they will make panic decisions leading to panic mistakes.
Yet it is no excuse for Malawians to be lied to by their elected officials in this government because we do not deserve it.
Is it not time for this government to govern and leave Joyce Banda alone? I do not think she is the problem for Malawians at the moment. Our problem is a tanking economy and it is where we need solutions and not attempts to divert our attention using Banda or Lutepo.
It won’t wash.
Come out clean, Dr Chakwera
President Peter Mutharika and his deputy Saulos Chilima have come out clean that they will not take the hefty salary increases they have been given until the economy improves.
Questions linger on who played what role in this saga, but the two have been loud and clear, they will not get the money.
But the same cannot be said of leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera. He woke up from his deep slumber this week and said the right things, even calling the President a hypocrite.
Good job and that is what Malawians expect from the leader of opposition.
But, excuse me, Chakwera is also a beneficiary of the pay increases.
His new pay, just like of a minister, is now pegged at K1 608 000 from K600 000 per month, representing a rise of over 100 percent.
He will also have fuel coupons of 1 000 litres per month and K350 000 as housing allowance.
He did not say he will follow the example of the President and his deputy to forgo this money at least for now.
But let Chakwera know that at this difficult hour Malawians do not want eloquent evasiveness. They would rather want to know who is ready to suffer with them.
The leader of opposition must come out clean. It is that simple. n