Our indefatigable leader of delegation, Madame Professor Dr Joyce Befu, MEGA-1, has directed that we do two things today. And who are we to turndown her executive order?
Our first assignment is to remind President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Xi Jinping of China that we have not yet received the expected urgent response to our letter requesting their respective countries to assist us by donating a combined vaccine package of Spunik V and SinoPharm. We urgently need 40 million doses of vaccines to cover our entire nation, from the presidency down to us, the common people regardless of religion, age and gender.
When the vaccines come, the first people to be jabbed shall be the controlling officers handling Covid-19 funds, particularly members of the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma). We don’t want them to die before they account for every hipini of the money allocated to their department.
We, Malawians, are sick of hearing the same story acted out by different players. We are tired of being classified among the most corrupt in the world. Tired. Bakili Muluzi’s government privatised USD11 million (approximately MK8.3 billion); Bingu’s government carted away tractors and maize shellers worth MK27 million; sold a whole profitmaking state commercial bank to its own party member; Joyce Banda’s government lost $32 million (approximately MK24.0 billion) through a looting spree appropriately called Cashgate, Members of Peter Mutharika’s government are still answering cementgate charges. The exact amount of the money stolen is yet to be known.
As soon as we thought the official stealing was behind us, Dodma, a department in the Office of the President and Cabinet, cannot account for the Covid-19 resources it was entrusted with.
In the past, corruption cases have been largely kid-gloved with thieves being merely cautioned and transferred between luxurious posts. But, we, Malawians, are actively chasing for our money. We want our money. Twataka pesa zetu. Titofuna makobodi athu. Ndalama zithu tikuzikhumba. On a besoin de notre argent.
We want detailed expenditure reports, the guilty arrested, prosecuted and, most importantly, all the money refunded. If need be, the forfeiture Act of 1966 should be activated and invoked.
Shockingly it seems politicians do not learn from past events. It’s people that are carried over from one thieving regime to the next that are largely responsible for the financial mess we are in today. This is the money they use to fund their corrupt political parties and leaders. Why new or different blood is oft sidelined only Mbona of Khulubvi knows.
So, when Sputnik V and SinoPharm vaccines come into Malawi we will ensure that not even one dose is diverted to a private hospital or personal refrigerator. Every drop from every vaccine canister will be accounted for.
With this assurance we trust presidents Putin and Xi will allay their fears and urgently ship the much-needed covid-19 vaccines into Malawi.
Our second assignment is to agree with and emphasise the request made by Malawi’s professional doctors involved in COVID-19 research.
A research paper by Marc Cohen indicates that nasal steam therapy, particularly when used with eucalyptus oil or salt helps reduce the coronavirus load before terroristic virus gets to the lungs where it causes havoc and chocks the breathing system. Others claim this does not work. So our local medical research scientists need to be funded to trial this possible therapy.
Ivermectin has reportedly been prescribed as a possible Covid-19 cure and prevention drug in some states of India and in South Africa. Studies conducted in Australia, Bangladesh, and India indicate that the drug works to reduce Covid-19 related deaths.
On their own, Malawians are hunting for possible prevention and cure methods, herbs, and drugs and already sales of Ivermectin are soaring in the major cities.
Both the Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Board and the professional doctors have advised the public not to abuse the drug until and unless local trials indicate it works to control and cure Covid-19.
Therefore, the K1.0 billion meant for buying and distributing masks to Malawians should be diverted to trials of Ivermectin and other possible Covid preventive and cure therapies.