A fox and a monkey were travelling together on the same road.
As they journeyed, they passed through a cemetery full of monuments. “All these monuments which you see,” said the monkey, “are erected in honour of my ancestors, who were in their day freedmen and citizens of great renown.”
The fox replied: “You have chosen a most appropriate subject for your falsehoods, as I am sure none of your ancestors will be able to contradict you.”
A false tale often betrays itself.
So it exciting to hear that president Bakili Muluzi’s K1.7 billion corruption case is set for a speedy trial in the High Court which wants to wrap up hearing of the case within two weeks
Lest it is forgotten, Muluzi was arrested on 26 February 2009 and initially charged with 86 counts of corruption and abuse of office. He is being accused of allegedly diverting $11 million (K1.7 billion at the then exchange rate) of donor money into his personal account.
The said money, among others, came from the Republic of Taiwan, the Kingdom of Morocco and Libya.
But the former president’s case has now taken about 10 years due to numerous adjournments mainly attributed to Muluzi’s illness and objections from the defence.
That is not all.
Muluzi being a person who seems to really fail to retire from politics, there has been a lot of rumours and activities surrounding his case which Muluzi, if he has conscience, should be happy to see it reach its logical conclusion.
For example, recently it was reported that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government is set to drop the corruption case against the former president.
Speculation, of course, cannot form a basis for any specific action, but examples abound of rumours about Muluzi, which eventually turned into truth.
Therefore, majority treated the buzz with caution.
More so because, of late, the gentleman, with some ‘blue patches’ all over his body, has been busy in the political arena.
Majority thought the government, regardless of the recent intimacy between DPP and United Democratic Front, must not interfere with the case, but allow justice to run its course.
Abusing government resources, chronicle deficit in democratic governance, rampant corruption that operates to undermine nation building are some of the problems Malawians are facing.
As the country fights corruption, presumably it should too seek to create societies that are as morally sound, pure and chaste as possible.
Surely, in Malawi, one important factor that leads to the spread and entrenchment of corruption, is the existence for a political and social system that is not only unjust but clearly morally and
politically illegitimate, and considered as such by the overwhelming majority of the people.
So for any government to drop Muluzi’s corruption case and/or further dragging it would send or sends bad signals not only to politicians and the citizenry but donors who are currently withholding support due to the inadequacies of the government’s financial management system
which led to Cashgate – the free plunder of public resources at Capital Hill by some unscrupulous government officials and businesspeople.
Cognisance of the devastating impact Cashgate has already had on the country, it is incumbent upon the DPP government to rise above petty politics and the Judiciary to be a model as it has promised to be and conclude Muluzi’s case as soon as yesterday.
After all Muluzi is on record having said the corruption charges levelled against him were politically motivated.
Anyone would love to see him speedily go through with the prosecution and let the tale betray itself if it is a cook-up. So would Muluzi.n