There is an adage, which says: ‘If all else fails, lower your standards’. As it has already been noticed, President Lazarus Chakwera’s government under the Tonse Alliance does not believe in lowering standards at all. Instead, they look for possible solutions to raise the standards.
It is undeniable that during Mutharika’s era, standards of everything went down. If one visited Malawi during Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s era and he happens to come again during Peter Mutharika’s time, definitely he would fail to believe it is the same country as far as standards of life and doing things are concerned. Kamuzu’s policies were based on high discipline in doing things and in the end he achieved high standards.
At the moment, Vice-President Saulos Chilima has already met heads of parastatals and other CEOs in the Central and Southern regions. To start with, those people who came late, after the 9am scheduled time for starting the meeting, were deemed late and not allowed in. This was to show that it was another era of high standards and it had to start with time keeping.
Days of coming to a meeting late just because you are a CEO are over. This is a warning to all ministers and officials, including civil servants who have a tendency of going to work late and knocking off two hours before time.
Work ethics have really gone down. To find an officer in his office is almost impossible. Most government offices are left to messengers who always have a holding reply, saying that officials have gone to the field, which might not be so. This usually happens in government offices and can even force someone to think that it is institutionalised.
To say the truth, most operations during Mutharika’s time were at the lowest ebb. Since Chakwera came to power a month ago, his government has already discovered that DPP cadets and some musicians were allegedly on government pay roll, receiving hefty salaries which were far much more than what a graduate receives in government. This is very unfair. It was like anything goes with Mutharika.
No sensible leader can think of running a party with tax payers’ money while depriving people of development.
In fact, the civil service had a problem with ghost workers. Even after head counts in a bid to clean up the pay roll, surprisingly ghost workers still remained. It, therefore, goes without saying that it was the DPP cadets and other dubious people receiving a government salary were some of the ghost workers.
The low standards of operations during Mutharika’s leadership seem to have been a deliberate policy to enslave Malawians. In fact, the alleged billions of kwacha stolen without any one being taken to book makes one wonder what type of leadership Mutharika offered. As it were, most of the financial abuses were alleged to have been done by people close to the President, who were self-made untouchable.
These people have houses and cars that most Malawians can only dream about. Saying that Mutharika did not know about this level of financial abuse would be a lie, because some of the people are his right-hand people and, in fact, the media covered a lot about this so-called very rich people who should have been dismissed a long time ago. Due to this level of stealing, so much money has been lost while denying Malawians meaningful infrastructural development and not just mere foundation stones that Mutharika left planted here and there.
Malawians have great expectations that Chakwera and Chilima will use the rule of law to raise the standards by dealing with corruption, stealing and other bad practices.