The story of a scheduled Anti-Corruption Day event being cancelled because President Peter Mutharika had a busy schedule is pathetic. It’s sad for two reasons; firstly delegates pocketed allowances, travelled to an event that was later cancelled last minute. Money and time wasted.
Secondly, no one should be allowed to move around with the office. It doesn’t matter how good one is at the job even if you are an expert, always delegate.
I remember during my week of induction at Nation Publications Limited (NPL) I was told in clear terms to never take my job with me but always delegate whenever I am going away.
It’s a shame that an office like that of the president could not check the president’s diary well in advance. The last minute cancellation shows lack of proper planning by the office of the president and the president himself.
Our president has lately been attending even events that do not need such high office’s presence, events that need to simply delegate a PS or a junior officer.
An event of such importance should have been postponed just because the president was not around. It is not possible for our president to attend each and every event in the land. We know there is a temptation to appease his political and party zealots and to be seen to be doing something.
If my memory doesn’t betray me, Mutharika did promise us that he will stay in his office and avoid gallivanting. But that’s not what we have seen lately. Mr. President it’s possible to run this country while seated in your office at Capital Hill. Yes, once in a while you may want to be with the people but don’t make it a habit because such habits drain government coffers.
There are those who feel uncomfortable when they delegate because they feel if the person they delegated might do a better job than them. Well, that’s actually good because we are not in those positions for a lifetime.
The ACB function just like many of the events that the president graces—be it opening of a school block etc, should have been delegated to a PS from the responsible ministry.
As for ACB, it was not necessary to cancel the event. Yes you needed to show the people of Malawi and the world that there is political will in the fight against corruption, but it’s just that political will, it doesn’t do much. We have had political will since time immemorial and it has done nothing really. Cashgate is proof that political will without proper systems in place and actions yields nothing.
Next time there is an event, please do Mr. President, delegate. We do not want to be a caught in situation where we cannot do anything simply because the president is not around. n