There is no question that the one-party system was abhorrent. But if there was one thing that was good during that period it was the sense of discipline. Kamuzu exploited fear to instil discipline amongst us. When multiparty politics happened upon us perhaps we threw out the baby with the bath water by doing away with everything associated with the one-party system.
It is nice to be free but freedom without responsibility can be dangerous. The open sesame at Capital Hill could not be tolerated under Kamuzu. Just look at China, if you are corrupt you go straight to the gallows. That is surely a disincentive enough to corrupt minds.
But in the latter-day Malawi corruption is oftentimes tolerated, sometimes rewarded, if not openly celebrated. Look at how we worship those big name politicians who go about doling out gifts. We do not stop to ask where the freebies are coming from.
We need an overhaul of our national psyche if the current cashgate imbroglio can really be a breakthrough as someone famously said. Otherwise we just might lock up a few people and confiscate a few of their ill-gotten property but the cancer of cashgate will still be spreading amidst us.
By the way, it seems we ain’t seen nothing yet if what Ralph Kasambara and Pika Manondo said at the Lilongwe Magistrates’ Court regarding the cashgate affair is anything to go by. The duo made some serious allegations that must not be dismissed out of hand if we have to get to the bottom of cashgate.