By Nenenji Mlangeni
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-As Malawians slowly forget about the so called smuggled MK93 billion loan authorization bill, a close analysis confirms that President Lazarus Chakwera is not the long awaited Messiah Malawians thought he was.
In just one year, Chakwera has turned out to be worse than previous presidents. Many people have weighed in on the scandal with some notable legal commentators saying there is nothing abnormal about how the bill ended up on parliament’s order paper without the knowledge of some key government officers including the Attorney General.
Whether the bill was smuggled or went through the normal process is immaterial as far as President Chakwera’s conduct, after the issue was first broken by the media, is concerned.
First, the president through state house director of communications, Sean Kampondeni told us that he had taken note of the story about the bill in the news and would find out which of his numerous advisors was responsible for smuggling the bill into parliament. When the advisor was identified, Chakwera fired him immediately!
Through such action, the president said he had no idea one of his aides was handling any bill to the extent of pushing parliament to table it.
These don’t look like events within the normal process of tabling a bill. In a normal process, the president is supposed to know what is happening, especially if one of his close advisors is working hard on his behalf to have a bill tabled.
In any case, either the president is scapegoating as he has done so many times when his hands are caught deep into cookie jars, which is very likely.
Or, dangerously so and unlikely, all systems for keeping the president on top of information have been compromised or have completely collapsed.
Practice is that the president receives intelligence briefings on a daily basis about what has happened in the country over the course of the previous 24 hours and what is anticipated.
Just where was the intelligence when processing of this bill was taking place? How could the intelligence community (NIS, Police, MDF) miss all the points through which this bill passed: State House (instructions), Treasury (details of the loan), Justice (drafting), Parliament (endorsement and inclusion on order paper)?
Either the president knew, or all systems are dead. Most likely, the president knew. His record does not support him not knowing.
He promised to replace cabinet at the end of the first quarter but when he did not do it, he blamed his
Later, on the same issue, he blamed the Vice President for delaying an appraisal report on how Ministries had performed. It’s months now. Cabinet has not been replaced.
He appointed his daughter Violet to take up a diplomatic appointment in Brussels. After the public protested, the president blamed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and his Press Secretary.
He chaired a cabinet meeting which approved tabling of a Labour Relations Bill. When the Labour community protested, the President blamed his team, feigned ignorance and expressed shock.
This president never takes responsibility. He scapegoats. All the time. These are hallmarks of a crooked president. He has disappointed Malawians who voted for him thinking he will change the way of doing things in the country.