Augment the Argument by Cosmas Steven Mvula
Is selfishness curable? What exactly do politicians take us for when year-in year-out they rip-off what belongs to us without an ounce of mercy? The report from the office of the ombudsman on Covid-19 has it that funds were misallocated to personal account on budget fictional budget lines.
As reported by Malawi news dated 28th November to 6th December the country’s Ombudsman has described as misplaced priorities some interventions in the national Covid-19 response plan and has since ordered some public officials to return Covid-19 allowances they pocketed by December 20 2020.
The report has noted grave irregularities in the management of Covid-19 funds when other officers received allowances for days they did not work for which is an aging problem in our civil service.
With a picture this paper has also reminded us of the leaked conversation of the Ex-Minister of Health Jappie Mhango and Ex-Minister of Information Mark Bottomani in which they were confiding on how they will share Covid-19 funds on a briefing though unbeknownst to them the microphones were on.
Mind you, this transpired at a time when Malawians were suffering to fend for basic needs but the politician cared less of the miserly the ordinary Malawian went through.
As it stands, a nation, we cried (and we still do) to the onset of the Covid-19 in Malawi but it seems a handful of people jubilate to the onset of the pandemic for a fortune it brought along with it. They don’t care about the impact the pandemic has brought to many people. This makes me guess that when the DPP-led government wanted to effect the lockdown they knew that they won’t be affected in any way because they already had pocketed enough for their survival.
Shockingly even is the fact that the stealing of Covid-19 funds occurred when Malawi had very few Covid-19 scanning machines in our borders and isolation centres. This raises questions of the degree of seriousness we have as a country in terms of health management and development as a whole.
As a matter of principle, when the president announced a state of emergency in Malawi it was imperative that he too takes a bold step in making sure that every penny allocated to Covid-19 fight is accounted for and used to its budgeted purpose. But Alas! He chose to snore on the couch at the expense of the lives and plight of Malawians. His actions and of the ministers and other government officers raises the question “Is selfishness curable?”
How could they stoop so low when schools were closed for seven months, vehicle capacities reduced affecting more Malawians in the process, Covid-19 prevention measures imposed in all government offices, shops and private company offices purportedly to suppress the spread of the pandemic and playing the good Samaritan whilst milking us mercilessly. Isn’t this inhumane behavior that will drag Malawi to annihilation if left unchecked?
Lest we forget, the economy of individual Malawians has faced a beating because of the restrictions in imports and exports and movement of the citizens that was effected all over the world but the DPP-led government seemed not to care at all and focused on taking their unsubstantiated share of the Covid-19 funds. Isn’t this selfishness of gargantuan proportions?
As a nation, we seem to fail to learn from our mistakes at the expense of development. We’re comfortable with our shoddy deeds ushering aside the crooked mindset we’re passing across to our youths. Mind you, our actions today are shaping the integrity of our grandchildren.