The whole idea for having “Reforms” in government is to correct the systems in government as well as its agent such as parastatals to the benefit of all the people of Malawi. As it were, the Reform programme is run and controlled by the Vice-President, Dr Saulos Chilima who has left no one in doubt about his willingness to bring success. So far, he has been holding meetings with various stakeholders of parastatals including Water Boards, Escom, councils and has left no stone unturned. In addition to giving advice, he has registering his dissatisfaction with their performance, including poor service delivery. He wants things to change. Even if parastatals can even split hairs denying that there is no corruption in their organisations, but it is already common knowledge that most of them are a hub of corruption.
In fact, parastatals are expected to make money and help government. If Malawi is to grow, there is need to follow reforms to the letter. The same must be with the Constitution and any other rules and regulations. It must be said that laws are made to guide people of Malawi. For them to be meaningful they must be followed by all, including the Head of State. This is why it is commonly known that no one is above the law. It is unfortunate that former president Peter Mutharika sometimes seemed to show that he was above the law mostly when it came to retirement of some top officials. Sometimes he would overlook the boards that made the initial recommendations for his consideration. Recently, Mutharika and his SPC Lloyd Muhara made a big mistake by retiring Chief Justice Nyirenda who was 63 years old and had two years to go before his retirement age of 65 years. In making this decision, Mutharika overlooked the fact that recommendations had to come from Judicial Service Commission. To avoid future presidents making the same mistake, HRDC and Law Society took Mutharika and Muhara to court. The end result was they were both fined K69 million. What is puzzling here is why did the SPC Muhara being a judge himself not bothered to advise Mutharika who is also a lawyer?
The worrisome thing is that if the leadership is not ready to follow the laws the people will follow suit.
Meanwhile, lack of audit in various departments and agencies made government lose a lot of money in what was known as Cashgate. People would wonder how such huge sums of money would be stolen without the culprits being caught. It all boiled down to lack of a proper audit system. One can only hope that with the reforms, government will institute an audit in government departments and its agencies. Every office should be audited. In the past, some of the offices such as State House were reportedly refusing to be audited. This probably is the reason there was allegedly massive corruption and stealing during Mutharika’s era.
Therefore, President and Vice-President should make sure there is timely auditing in offices. There should be no complaint that there is no money for such an exercise because government would lose more if there is no auditing.
Lastly, it is up to every Malawian to follow the laws instead of wasting time challenging them. No one has power to challenge the laws. If he does, the punishment is big which devalues him.