By IOMMIE CHIWALO
The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), has penned President Lazarus Chakwera to act swiftly on pressing issues affecting Malawians.
In a letter forwarded to Presidential office and seen by this publication, the epistle signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa also cites the presidential trip as not only expensive but also poor timing since it was happening at the time when the economy was on its knees, due to numerous challenges.
Among other challenges, Namiwa has pointed out forex, fuel, electricity as well as drugs and medical supplies crisis, a situation that is warranting Malawians to embrace the spirit of holding their leaders accountable for their actions and inactions.
Above observations by Economic think tanks who are rating Malawi economy poorly, Namiwa has also reminded Chakwera about high unemployment levels.
“On Saturday October 1, 2022, Malawians were reminded of avoidable stampede that led to injuries of several job seeking young people a few days before the court sanctioned June 23, 2020 Fresh Presidential Elections (FPE) in the four major referral hospitals of Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Blantyre and Zomba when the Ministry of Health during the previous regime announced walk-in-interviews,” reads part of the letter.
He recalled that such bitter memories resurfaced yet again as thousands of young energetic but unemployed Malawians stormed the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) to learn value addition skills from a private citizen in an effort to escape the dehumanizing poverty that is worsening each and every passing day.
“Your Excellency, without mincing words, these are the would-be beneficiaries of the one million jobs which your administration promised to make available within the first year of your administration, which has now remained a broken campaign promise. Not even closer to servant leadership,” leads the letter.
Chakwera has since been asked to rise to the occasion and start from fixing the broken system as promised during campaign period.
“As a man of God, CDEDI refuses to accept that you have turned to governing the country through manipulation and outright cheap propaganda that paints a rosy picture of the country in the eyes of the international community, when in actual sense the situation is dire on the ground,” says Namiwa.
He has also challenged President Chakwera to run a transparent and accountable government with less talk and more action whose fruits should be there for everyone to see.
In the letter Namiwa has exposed excess baggage is denting Chakwera’s wish to cut a clean sheet in the eyes of the international community in as far as issues of good governance, rule of law, the fight against corruption and public reforms is concerned.
For instance he has cited the decision by President Chakwera to sit on the Public Reforms Report that was done to review the public sector performance as an example of failed leadership.
He said Malawians are waiting for nothing but action, saying the major crisis Malawians currently facing is that of leadership.
The CDEDI Boss has expressed worry over indecisiveness on the use of the very much needed forex for Chakwera’s trip to the USA, could have stirred the dying private sector to produce and contribute revenue in the form of taxes.
“As if that is not enough, you travelled to the US with the Minister of Natural resources, Hon. Eisenhower Mkaka, MP who according to the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) is under probe and no one knows why you are still keeping him in your cabinet, when you fired the former ministers of lands Kenzie Msukwa, Labour, Ken Kandondo and Energy Newton Kambala the moment the bureau confirmed the trio were being investigated,” says Namiwa in the letter.
The letter has also accused the President for paying a blind eye to revelations that senior government officials and a cabinet member namely the Minister of Mines Albert Mbawala, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Dr. Steve Kayuni, the Accountant General Jean Mnyenyembe, and the IFIMS Director Felix Zagwazatha Sato are reportedly implicated in unjustifiable allowance claims.
Meanwhile there is less happening in investigations and prosecutions of corruption related cases despite reported abuses.
Malawians are still in the dark to know how the MWK30 billion Covid funds were used.