The arrest of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo seems to have excited Malawians who are looking forward to how the government of APM will solve the Cashgate mystery.
Mphwiyo, everybody knows, is the main actor in the Cashgate film. To quote former president JB, “it is only Mphwiyo who can tell us the truth.” Yes, that’s what JB once said.
Mphwiyo, one of the famous names in Malawi now, was seen as the saint of the scandal, especially after he was shot outside his home on that fateful September 13, 2013 night.
JB praised him as a graft buster, who was on the verge of revealing a corruption ring in the government. He was to be the main chief witness.
But things have turned around and Mphwiyo is on the receiving end. We leave it to the courts to sort out the whole mess and decide who is really fooling who and who has to go to jail. They say a person is innocent until proven guilty.
But with a few characters thrown into the Cashgate saga—including former justice minister Ralph Kasambara, former PP official Hophmally Makande, former deputy police chief Nelson Bhopani, new assets director Tukula and lawyer Michael Chioko- Malawians are assured of continued comedy that may as well come straight out of a John Grisham novel.
But wait a minute. This is now what I foresee: The Cashgate scandal will be APM’s political yardstick. His political career may as well hang on how his admin effectively and decisively deals with Cashgate.
Donors and Malawians are angry. They are demanding answers. Simple answers on how some Malawians could lose their moral campus and mercilessly plunder government coffers.
I welcome the initiative by the Germans to provide us with billions of kwachas for a forensic audit of government ministries and departments from 2009. Yes, from 2009 when former president Bingu wa Mutharika, a brother to APM, was in power. B wa M suddenly died in 2012.
For the sake of records, after his death, JB, who was then vice president although in bad books with B wa M, became president until May this year en he lost to APM.
So, this means, APM will have to take a bold decision to allow a truthful audit of the 2009 to 2013 period. Even though his brother could be found in the wrong, APM will have to take that bold decision to try his brother post-humously.
If this is done, APM will be the people’s man and will be assured of a second victory in 2019, if the political landscape will not change.
If APM does not do what Malawians expect him to do, he can as well start packing.
APM can open four universities before 2019; he can open the Mombera University in Mzimba to please Northerners who are adamant about introducing a federal system of government, or worse still, secession of the North.
APM can splash money to anybody he wants; APM can give free fertiliser to all Malawians; APM can built roads paved with terrazzo all over Malawi; APM can do everything to please his fellow Lomwe’s; APM can bring back donors to bankroll the budget and APM can trim his cabinet to ten people.
APM can do all the political magic, but if he can’t sort out Cashgate, he will be a political lame-duck.
You have been warned, APM. Like Big Brother, Malawians are watching 24/7 and 365.
APM, remember what JB said: “It is only Mphwiyo who can tell us the truth.”