Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Cash Gate 'Jig Saw'
We, the NGO community, Business captains, Labour movements and Media fraternity under the auspices of SCO grand coalition and building in December 2013 CSO Kalikuti consensus which mandated CONGOMA Chairperson to assemble a team of CSO Leaders to lead the CSO advocacy on Cash Gate, within the spirit of the Coalition, would like to provide its voice on recent developments on the issue as follows:
The Civil Society are concerned with the following:
1. Delayed release of the forensic audit report while ironically the Report seems to be with IMF already to the surprise and alienation of Malawians. Parliament has equally been sidelined to debate these issues and we wonder for whose benefit was the audit report, who is in-charge of this country, why excluding our governance institutions and the people of Malawi?
Is this democracy? Continued rhetoric and empty choruses by the Government, of fighting corruption when, there is clear shielding and preferential treatment of Cash Gate suspects. This lack of genuine political will to decisively root out corruption is the biggest cause of rampant corruption in the country.
2. Continued suffering of ordinary Malawians by among other things non- abated drug and supplies stock outs in public hospitals that have become the order of the day and rising prices of goods and services on account of cash gate, while the leadership is busy crowding out Civil Servants by distributing maize to rural masses, instead of sitting in the office to work out a working strategy to alleviate the suffering of Malawians.
3. Unimpressive start of Cash Gate cases in Courts marred by slow pace of the cases when the nation was told there will be special measures to speed up the cases. At the pace we are going it will take years before the truth is known. This is a raw deal to Malawians who, as we fear, will go to the polls on 20 May 2014 without knowing who is who in this looting of public funds and may end up entrusting the same leaders who are actually at the centre of Cash Gate without any eventual and consequent recourse.
In view of the above, we appeal that:
1. Forensic audit report should without failure be released by 14th of February 2014 and should be made public.
2. The State President in consultation with the Speaker should convene Parliament before 24th February 2014 and be given time to discuss the report thoroughly and agree on the way forward.
3. The Courts should be seen to be moving with speed on cash gate cases and not adjourn cases for long periods of time under the guise of fair trial which is unfair to the majority of Malawians.
The issue of cash gate has negatively affected most Malawians and as Civil Society, within our mandates, have a duty to inform Malawians and empower them to make their Government accountable. The power to decide the future of this country lies is in the hands of Malawians.
We also call upon all public Officers handling the cash gate cases in various portfolios that they should refrain from being influenced, enticed, corrupted or induced in any way to do contrary to their job codes because the truth and the law will catch up with them sooner than later.
A better and corrupt free Malawi is possible
Signed on behalf of all members of the Grand Coalition by :
Voice Mhone-Chairperson, CONGOMA
Steven Duwa-Chaiperson, MESN
Anthony Kasunda - Chairperson, NAMISA
Ronald Mbewe-Vice president, MCTU