During the last presidential election campaign, both President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice-President Saulos Chilima, promised to deal with all the fraud and to bring to book every one involved. Indeed after four months of being in power, a number of cases of people suspected of abuse of taxpayers’ money have been arrested and taken to court. It has been seen that most of the suspects are from the previous government under Mutharika. Hence, they conclude that the cases are politically motivated. Those people who say this deliberately forget that it was very obvious during the Mutharika era that its members were protected by the government and DPP. Hence there could be rumours of fraud the government would not bother to investigate and arrest the culprits. This is unlike the Tonse government which is all out to correct even the standing cases. Fortunately enough Malawi being democratic, those arrested have to defend themselves in the courts of law.
The least people would expect their government to do would be to see that it does not protect fraudsters. This has been done in the past and the results have been promotion of stealing and corruption which has affected progress. People who like joining ruling parties should do it in good faith of promoting development and not to be defended in doing the wrong things. People must be reminded that the Chakwera government wants to follow the rule of law.
One can appeal to government to make sure case trials are speeded up. Furthermore, there should not be any sympathy especially with cases which have over delayed and the suspects look old etc.
When President Chakwera was leader of opposition in Parliament he once read a long list of outstanding cases which he termed as gates for example the tractor gate and many more. As it were the majority of the cases were done during Mutharika who seemed not willing to sort them out. Meanwhile, both Chakwera and Chilima have no choice because sorting out past frauds is part of clearing the rubble so they say in order to start from a new page. Naturally, Malawians are looking forward to the conclusion of all past financial abuse cases some of which might pay back the stolen tax payers’ money. So far, Tonse Alliance government has made some in roads in concluding fraud cases. Recently, a magistrate court in Mzimba found Rev Mzomera Ngwira, who was an MP during Mutharika’s time, guilty of abusing Constituency Development Fund. He was therefore sentenced to 48 months imprisonment with hard labour. This is a wake-up call to all Malawians and it has indeed sent shovers to the people who are yet to be tried. The Rev Mzomera Ngwira might have thought that he was off the hook since the abuse was done some time back.
The Mzomera’s case is also a warning to politicians who are usually short sighted and think that belonging to a ruling party or government in power is a protection for abuse of power or a licence not to follow the laws and regulations. Time comes when you are no longer in power and you are asked to explain all the wrongs that you have done. Malawi is a small poor country and when one gets excessively rich, he is suspected to be converting public resources into personal fortunes. In the presence of government reforms people will easily be found.
In fact, it is very obvious that if Malawi had continued to be impoverished by greedy leadership very soon the country would have been history. Let everyone know that time is up for fraudsters.