Malawians must walk out of the mess: Analysis of the pastoral letter

By Burnett Munthali

Among others, the pastoral letter calls on Malawians to cooperate with God to get out of the mess brought by the Tonse Alliance government. In other words, Malawians can get out of this mess by voting out the Tonse.

The former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) accused the Tonse Alliance government for messing up the country’s economy in 2023 which worsened the suffering of Malawians.

Government controlling officers (COs) habitually disregard the law that guides public expenditure, creating massive financial mess in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), an analysis of a report by the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament established.

Techno Brain Global FZ-LLC broke its silence on the Malawi passport system mess, saying it made its assessment and submitted practical suggestions to Malawi Government, but is yet to get feedback. This is one of the problem the church has highlighted that this government doesn’t listen. It doesn’t take advice or takes too long to act on issues.

AIP had been in a mess every since Tonse Alliance took over; government has been certifying hunger over the years.

Government has failed to end hunger in this country regardless of the huge amounts of money poor Malawians are paying through taxes.

The bishops have also raised concerns on corruption fight, their ‘fruitless’ engagements with the President, nepotism and corruption and partisanship in the judiciary.

Investigative journalist Gregory Gondwe, who exposed the Malawian government’s planned purchase of 32 armored vehicles from a company implicated in corruption, is in hiding, fearing arrest by the military.

In a story published Monday, Gregory Gondwe, who works with Platform for Investigative Journalism, quoted unnamed military officials saying the Malawi Defense Force paid a firm associated with businessman Zuneth Sattar millions of dollars for military equipment.

According to Rick Dzida, one of the great writers and analysts, he says in one of his articles that there is too much political interference in the running of ACB. One wonders why it has taken ages for ACB to come up with a formal statement over bribery allegations against the Secretary General of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Eisenhower Mkaka. This smacks of selective justice. Many Malawians are still mesmerized as to why ACB decided to drop down charges for State residences Chief, Prince Kapondamgaga.

In 2022, Malawi Anti-Corruption Bureau arrested Vice President Saulos Chilima. The director general’s statement accused Chilima of receiving money and gifts related to government-awarded contracts to two companies tied to Zuneth Sattar, a Malawi-born British businessman under investigation for alleged corruption in both the United Kingdom and Malawi.

In a national address in late June, President Lazarus Chakwera stripped Chilima of his vice-presidential duties pending investigation of the allegations about Sattar-linked government contracts. During the same address, Chakwera fired the police inspector general and suspended a number of public officials named in the report.

Finally, regardless of the Tonse Alliance’s efforts to bribe voters or silence the critics and opposition through arrests, intimidation, propaganda or violence, its leaders will struggle to attract support at the next election in 2025 and defeat is certain. In addition to the corruption allegations, the already fragile economy has been worsened by incompetence, lack of experience, direction, precision and speed when implementing very important government programs. Escalating commodity prices have made life meaningless for many Malawians worsened by corruption. Protests broke out over the rising cost of living although they have died down due to government’s and MCP intimidation intolerance but the people’s disappointment and anger still remains evident in their speeches and unsuspecting silence. Probably, the voting day is the day they are all waiting for when the people’s vote will speak out.

According to leaders of Tonse Alliance, they got power, the job was done and started relaxing and partying. But this isn’t what the electorate wanted.

‘The Tonse Alliance administration made several promises on the economic situation at the material time. Then came the devaluation of the kwacha, the war in Ukraine, the two cyclones and skyrocketing inflationary pressures both within and outside the country. All these mean that the promises can no longer be fulfilled besides they haven’t even started any of the Hi-5 concepts. All promises are nowhere to be seen but on paper and the people of Malawi feel cheated.