“Justice delayed is justice denied.” – William E. Gladstone
Through the unfortunate incident in which the Malawi budget director was shot, many things done in the dark at the Capitol Hill came to light and to the common knowledge of every patriotic Malawian. I am referring to the high profiled heavy corruption and looting of tax payers’ money. This is the money that a poor Malawian sweated for. Some people default paying school fees, rent, medical bills, food and many others just because Caesar claims a larger portion. It is very unfortunate that despite the revelation of this looting through someone who would have been buried by now, nothing tactile is happening. As Malawians, we feel mocked by the contradictions surrounding the Cash Gate audit report; the report we thought was done by professionals and nonpartisan personnel to bring justice.
One such contradiction took place before the audit report by a top citizen when she claimed to have knowledge of the one who shot Paul Mphwiyo. To trickily convince Malawians, amayi said that whosoever shot the budget director was aiming at frustrating her efforts to combat corruption. Asked by the journalists on the same on arrival from UN meeting in 2013, President Banda shamelessly changed tune and denied to have said anything as such. This was red signal that justice on the cash gate scene would be compromised. Amayi also promised us to bring to book anyone linked to cash gate and that there was not going to be a sacred cow. In line with that Kasambala, Lutepo and many others were arrested. Malawians started gaining confidence in PP government; unfortunately the effort seemed to be a mask in what Chakwera calls cosmetics. Others also believed that the bigger fishes than Kasambala and Lutepo were shielded. The naming of president Banda as a witness by Kasambala made the whole movie even more interesting. People have many questions than answers as to why of all people, Kasambala picked the whole president to stand in the dock. We are yet to know as the tape unfolds.
When the British government sponsored the audit exercise, Malawians waited patiently and looked forward to the results of the same. British government even suspended aid to Malawi on the basis of cash gate. Now that the report is concluded, more frustrating contradictions are emerging. The government with the leadership of Joyce Banda who vowed to fight corruption and bring the perpetrators to book has released the masked report. For sure this is an insult to Malawians. What do you take us for? I understand there is a complete report with names and companies linked to cash gate somewhere, why not bring it to light? There is no truth in darkness; we need the report to be brought to light. I also hear that, the names and companies were not revealed on legal grounds. What are you telling us? When you said that the culprits will face the long hand of the law, how did you plan to do that without legal process? Where will these people be prosecuted, at ICC or Malawi? Well even at ICC, we shall still know. It is only the witnesses who can be concealed for security purposes. So, how do you plan to hide them from the public knowledge while carrying out the prosecution? This is a serious contradiction I have failed to understand. I wonder what the motive of this audit exercise was. Was it to please mzungu or to serve Malawians?
It is also shocking that the British government which freezed aid to Malawi on the basis of cash gate has warned against revealing the names and companies linked to the cash gate without giving proper reasons. Contradictorily Nevin also said and I quote “it was clear the losses would not have been uncovered without the determination of the government but the findings are so serious that the Joyce Banda administration must now take urgent action to bring the culprits to justice and restore confidence in its finances.” I wonder how the culprits will be brought to justice if they are not revealed. I equate this situation as saying, “choose whether I kill or behead you.” You know both lead to death. I hear Britain as saying, “bring the cash gate culprits to justice or we will not give you aid and if you reveal the names, you have disobeyed us, so we will not give you aid.” What a trap! This is why the beggar or the borrower is always a slave to a giver or lender. Wait a minute just in case I am mistaken, can it be that the only money which was stolen was the donation from Britain not tax payers’ and that is why after the audit, Britain still tells us what to do. Are we really a sovereign nation? If for sure tax payers’ money was stolen, is it not the tax payer who is a complainant and s/he has to know the master minders of the cash gate scandal? Why must we only listen to what Britain or IMF says and rubbish the concerns of the citizenry? Tell us, are we governed by Britain, IMF or Malawi government? Please, note that justice delayed is justice denied. There is no justice in the way this case is being handled.
I am just confused. Can it be that PP government has secretly pleaded with British government to conceal the culprits for now until after elections for fear of being de-campaigned? Can it be that the two top citizens are linked to this unfortunate incident and that British government has given amayi grace period up until after elections? Can it be that the government arrested wrong people and it is wondering how to handle the situation now? I just have more questions than answers. Malawians, let’s wakeup, we are being ruled by donors here and we should be careful. These people have the potential of putting the leaders of their choice in government and their choices are always not in favour of the citizens. They usually support those they can easily manipulate. I hope that’s not what they are planning here since they may have a hidden agenda to achieve after May 20. You know that this can only be realised if the weak leader is in power. It must be mentioned herein that whether the audit exercise was sponsored by Britain or not, the related report belongs to Malawians and not Britain or IMF. British audit firm has done its part; Britain should let us handle the case in our own way not dictations. I believe we are not robots. The report therefore, must be fully made public. We are tired of being taken for granted. We are tired of being pushed left, right and centre. This is not the time of colonialism; we are a sovereign nation I believe. It must also be mentioned herein that, to say that it is up to the Malawi government to reveal the names or not is a misplaced statement. Government officials are the servants of the entire republic and if the citizens have demanded for the revelation of the names behind Cash Gate scenes, if indeed the government we have is a listening one as it claims, the bride has to be uncovered.
It must be noted herein that if this is a matter of buying time, it is a matter of time that this scene will justly be brought to an end when government changes hands after May 20. Mulandu suwola (the case doesn’t rote).