Any government service in Malawi can only be rendered perfectly through corrupt means and kickbacks. You cannot get a Malawi passport in Malawi without bribing an officer, you cannot renew or get a new driving license without bribing a traffic official, you cannot get an ambulance to ferry a sick citizen without giving out a bribe. You cannot receive any government service for free without officials or government servants pocketing something in return.
Out of this poor citizens that have no extra income to fatten corrupt civil servants are at the losing end. Passports or driving licenses that are applied within the set standards of amount do not come out or get approved. Even seeking for directions in Malawi the provider will have to be given something in return. Taking a photo of any product can lead one into trouble unless bribe is paid. Large cheques in the banks cannot be cashed as stipulated without bank managers or supervisors bribed. Many citizens are feeling the hit as service delivery are only rendered to those with extra cash.
This is how much society of Malawi has become rotten. Each and every citizen believes corruption is not an evil but a way of life. Corruption has become addictive that is practised openly.
All these are as a result of government’s failure and reluctance to root out and stop the vice called corruption and state theft. Anger in the hearts of many has unleashed the mentality of corrupt mindset where citizens are challenging if leaders are corrupt what more with poor citizens? Citizens particularly civil servants and ordinary people including traditional chiefs have also joined the band wagon. When one is lost and you need direction be prepared to pay bribes or kickbacks. If you want the village head man to attend your funeral or village event the chief must be bribed to come on time. It’s worse because even the normal procedure of opening graveyards these days money must exchange hands between the affected family and the chief making life more vulnerable to those citizens who have nothing.
These are consequences of allowing corruption to reign in a country. Our country has lost the spirit of “Umunthu” because those in power have vehemently perpetuated corruption as a norm. Now that corrupt mindset has entered in the heart and soul of each and every citizen in the country, it will take decades for this syndrome to stop and get removed.
The title “Warm Heart of Africa” has been replaced by “Malawi Africa’s heart of corruption”.
Those in government must be ashamed to have ignored an international call to stop corruption. We are holding the government of DPP and Peter Mutharika responsible for the rotten society that has been created. Perhaps the country including those in power will learn the power of tolerance.
Had Peter Mutharika and his party heed the international call the time donors left to root out corruption our society could not become what it is today. Truly speaking the society of Malawi is rotten. Few corrupt mafias in the government and their relatives may not feel or see this rotteness because dirty money is calling the shots but ordinary citizens and those who founded a society that we cherished to have are in pains to see the direction our nation has taken under the current government and leadership.
We are a shameful society.
Government’s efforts for reform has been a farce because the whole exercise has failed to yield tangible results as the very archtectures are masterminders and engineers of corruption and state theft.
If you enter any government department from immigration to road traffic, from ESCOM to Water Board, from District Commission offices to city assemblies you will realize that Malawi has become a sick country because of corruption and state theft. No one mind about service delivery, everyone mind about pocketing kickbacks and bribes. Without giving kickbacks you will not be rendered services. It is true with private sector where big amounts of cheques in Malawi banks will not be cashed, or cleared without some kickbacks offered to bank managers and bank supervisors. This is a nation that we have created under the man and party that came in power in 2014 controversially.
Peter Mutharika has destroyed the hope of Malawi and destroyed our society.
The thing that can be remembered if he is to leave a legacy is to end what he started meaning he must do anything and everything in his power to end this vice so that civil servants and society can get back to the time when a passport was obtained on time after paying the normal government price tag. A driving license was easily obtained and timely without paying kickbacks and bribes to officials.
It all remains in the hands of the president to restore order and bring back sanity in the country.
Saunders Jumah the Utopian
SAVE MALAWI FOUNDATION [SAMAFO].
With our own hands we can destroy Malawi but with our very hands we can remake Malawi.