‘Maintaining Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace’ – Eph 4 vs 3
Press Statement: For Immediate Release
Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) is a fellowship of 25 Protestant Member Churches and 20 para-church affiliates which is committed, faithful, transparent, accountable and financially sustainable in the advancement of God’s mission, transforming humanity after the image of Christ, promoting holistic human development and fostering communities in the communion of peace, justice and love.
THE Malawi Council of Churches would like to express total shock and surprise at the manner public servants have ripped and continue to rip off government coffers, which has demonstrated a lack of fiscal control on the part of government, and the Finance Ministry in particular.
The Council finds that such gross abuse of public funds does not only deny God’s people the opportunity to take part and enjoy His resources with equity and without bias.
The Malawi Council of Churches also bemoan the fact that it has taken government long to start to be seen to uproot the vice, notably recognising that a lot of people have been denied progress in their day to day livelihoods such as in the health, education, agriculture (food security) and other sectors. Due to this unwelcome development, Malawians have met with inadequate and lack of quality service delivery on the expense of a few civil servants who have connived with some politicians. The Council wonders if members of the banks and private sectors have not taken part in this rip off.
However, the Council takes this opportunity to commend the government and leadership of the country for taking the first steps in addressing this serious matter, and by providing a conducive environment for a rejuvenated fight into graft, by way of:-
Dismissing and hiring in a new cabinet
Ensuring that the arms of the law, i.e. the Malawi Police Service, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, and the Fiscal Investigations Unit, among others, engage in serious and meaningful discharge of their duties such as:-
Investigating the scandal further at public and private sector platforms.
The Council is aware that Malawians are angry and are expecting that more will be done following this scandal. The Council is also confident that government will take the peoples’ concerns at heart and ensure that all the culprits are apprehended and brought to book.
More dilly-dallying in catching and prosecuting the so-called ‘big fish’ implicated in the fiscal scandal will only further cost the citizenry more in terms of democratic and economic strides and continue to corrode the confidence the people have in the leadership. That is the only way the Rule of Law must be adhered to at all times.
Malawi Council of Churches emphasizes that exhaustive and sober conduct of fiscal investigations throughout the processes be employed in dealing with this scandal. As the Church, we are anxious that billions of tax payers and donor money have already been lost and may continue to be stolen if nothing tangible is done.
Our Stand and Call
The Malawi Council of Churches therefore strongly calls upon the leadership, and all other stakeholders that the plans to develop a comprehensive roadmap towards dealing with this financial scandal be a concerted effort. Government must be seen to act to register serious approach to the concerns of Malawians and the donor community, and must not stop at the current arrests, but must apprehend all that are implicated following extensive investigations.
Delay by government in addressing this matter can lead to more loss of public funds and loss of trust of the people in the leadership and the entire fiscal establishment. Government should be made aware that such looting over the years has had negative impact on Malawians, especially rural masses that are the hardest hit as they are more dependent on public services. This kind of looting is also in conflict with the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) which was established rather to transform the economic livelihoods of the people.
The Council also calls upon the Police, ACB and FIU to hasten efforts to arrest the situation as this has the potential to prevent the objectives of socio-economic development and set austerity measures. All stakeholders and the citizens of Malawi must place more interest in the way government runs its business by joining hands in bringing to light any malpractices. The Council therefore wishes to thank those courageous and law upholding citizens for blowing the whistle in this scandal.
The Malawi Council of Churches therefore urges all Member Churches and Malawians at large to continue to pray towards the maintenance of the national economy, and takes this opportunity to emphasize that the dismissing and hiring of the new cabinet has been with anticipation that the appointed ministers are of high integrity and are God fearing as already expressed by some of our Member Churches.
Finally the Malawi Council of Churches categorically emphasizes that the Christian Church is in support of the comprehensive fiscal audit and other corrective measures, including apprehension of all culprits involved so as a sure means of restoring the confidence of the people.
God bless Malawi.
Rev. Alex MAULANA, Chairperson
Rev. Dr. Osborne Lukiel JODA-MBEWE, General Secretary
Executive Board Secretariat
Dated: 18th October 2013