By Nenenji Mlangeni
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawians on June 23, 2020, entrusted Tonse administration under President Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima with power to govern the nation to the next five years.
With this power vested into the two, Malawians expect nothing more than total social-economic transformation regardless of political, tribe and regional attributes towards governing the nation.
The Tonse administered is however trapped into political, regional, nepotistic appointments and appeasement in running affairs of the state.
No wonder despite excellent performance among some civil servants in various government agencies, are being booted out or sacked because are deemed to belong to a particular tribe, region and political party.
Check on these two notions among Tonse administration supporters;
1. Awa sianthu, sanalinafe pomwe timapita kunsewu polimbana ndi Peter Mutharika ndi chipani cha DPP, (They were not part of us the time we were on streets demonstrated against, Peter Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party).
2. Kaya mukuti Chakwera sakuyendetsa bwino boma, bola DPP tinayichotsa ( Whether Chakwera is not governing the nation well, better DPP and Mutharika are out of government).
These two statements especially among Tonse’ shareholders Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters are uncalled for and unacceptable in this democratic era.
One victim of political persecutions is Dr Dalitso Kabambe, whom on July 8, 2020 was fired as Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor by Chakwera and replaced him with a family friend (nepotism and tribe lines) Dr Wilson Tongani Banda.
Former President Peter Mutharika on Friday, April 21, 2017 appointed Kabambe as RBM replacing Dr. Charles Chuka, whose contract expired and was not renewed.
Before his appointment to head Malawi’s central bank, Dr. Kabambe was Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Prior to his post at Foreign Affairs, he served as the Budget Director in the Ministry of Finance, during Bingu Wa Mutharika’s administration.
Despite Kabambe excellent performance at the central bank testified by low inflation, policy rate and local currency Kwacha strength against foreign currencies, Chakwera and his Tonse government thought of removing him.
His successor Banda’s work in just six months is in shambles failing to handle the inflation.
Now after failing to tick at the central bank, Tonse media team especially MCP has now launched a campaign attacking Kabambe on his past remuneration arguing that he was getting MK27 million while directors had MK20 million per month while the current governor Banda is getting MK9 million while directors are carting home MK3 million.
This political motivated forensic audit on Dr. Kabambe is wrong which is targeting an individual instead of the system.
This a plot by MCP to dent the former RBM governor image towards his future political ambition that he was corrupt.
This is not surprise as prior to June 23, 2020 presidential elections, MCP secretary-general Eisenhower Mkaka (now also foreign affairs minister) launched a stinging attack on Kabambe, accusing him of meddling in the country’s politics and helping to perpetuate impunity which he had no basis.
So, here are quick facts about RBM Governor Renumeration which its board decides not a governor;
- RBM’s Governor falls into Grade 19 (one of the highest grades in Malawi) when it comes to remuneration.
- Salary of the Governor should surpass his deputy by 12.5%
- RBM Governor has other benefits such as Leave Grant, Domestic allowances, Disturbance allowances and vehicle
- A five year contract for the RBM Governor is given at a projected remuneration package of within MK146 040 432.00 – MK369 036 900.00
On June 15th 2018, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Board of Directors had a meeting. As per tradition, Governors are not expected to be part of the attendants. So the then Governor, Dr. Dalitso Kabambe, was not there.
Among other administrative issues deliberated, the RBM Board agreed to revise salaries and benefits. From documented records, gross salary for the Governor was revised to K221,732,604 per annum. These new salaries were announced as to be effective March 2018.
Records reveal that on 26th July 2018, the RBM Board wrote a letter to their Governor, reporting about the revisions to salary and benefits as agreed by the Board.
From these record of facts, it is important to emphasise that any reforms, austerity measures or decisions can be employed without blaming any former or current RBM Governor.
From both records and culture at RBM, it is the Board (minus the Governor) that is the final authority when it comes to renumeration.
So, how sure is the nation that the current RBM Governor is not getting his predecessor?
Chakwera must demonstration true servant leadership not nepotistic type of leadership coupled with selective justice shown in six months.