In 2011, then President Bingu wa Mutharika did not see July 20 coming. His aides hastily and ill-advisedly organised a public lecture, at his house, on the same day that thousands of Malawians in the three cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu went on the streets to protests rampant governance abuse and shortage of essential services in the country.
On July 20, 2011, everyone had an axe to grind with the government of the day. If a commuter travelling from Area 25 to town in Lilongwe was not affected by the fuel shortages directly, the skyrocketing minibus fares and prices of ordinary goods drove them to the venue of the demonstrations.
A vendor who could no longer do business due to the shortage of goods in wholesale shops took advantage of a disorganized public control Police and went on a looting rampage.
These recent examples demonstrate a Malawian citizen who can only take pressure for so long, a Malawian who is a dynamite waiting for a single fuse to detonate.
As millions of this country’s citizens continue to wallow in poverty, going to hospitals which do not have essential services and schools which do not have basic needs like desks and chalk, it is absolutely insensitive and evil for certain individuals to revel in attempting to take ill-gotten money from these Malawians.
Among these individuals is Pioneer Investments Ltd which after getting caught attempting to fleece the citizens of K566 million in a dubious interest claim, in a just as dubious contract with the Malawi Police Service has dared to take the K145 million which prosecuting agencies had identified as proceeds of crime.
These are the same proceeds of crime that President Peter Mutharika claimed to have no knowledge of and Anti-Corruption Bureau declared he did not personally benefit from.
It was Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party which returned the K145 million, allegedly a gift from a suspected shady businessman.
ACB and Financial Intelligence Authority woke up on Monday to a court order obtained last week Thursday which cleared that K145 million should not be withheld from Pioneer Investments.
In a seemingly mafia move that the country’s legal industry has mastered at playing, the order was not served on ACB and FIA until Pioneer Investments had moved the K145 million from the account where it was held and the institutions were non the wiser.
As if this is not enough, the DPP government honoured a K3 billion claim that Mulli Brothers Ltd made many years ago, without justification and of course Mulli wants interest on that paid claim given to him. A whopping K82 billion!
Before maizegate and the mess that characterized the maize purhcases of 2015 by the public grain trader could leave the mouths of Malawians, Transglobe, which the court declared was not in the wrong, wants K30 billion for loss of business.
These business people are taking Malawians for granted, people known the world over for their warm hearts and mistaken for docility.
Malawians seeming docility can only last for so long, Kamuzu Banda finally realized it as did Bingu in recent times.
Cashgate, that inept thieving of taxpayers money at Capital Hill should really have been the last straw and the administration of Peoples Party and Joyce Banda was appropriately punished at the polls and driven into oblivion, to the sad extent that few paid attention to their party convention this week.
Malawians are watching and they will keep a keen eye on how these court cases will proceed. Malawians will not trust offices that lead to this mess to sort it out. These offices are the judiciary, ACB and most especially the Attorney General who continues to hold a position in the DPP as we speak.
Never wait until the patience of this country’s citizens are tested to limits, they already endure poverty and disease, they cannot endure individuals stealing from them with their eyes wide open. n