Of a few defrauding the masses
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, the message is now loud and clear: Malawi should not rely on donor support. The donors have made it clear they also have their own problems at home. They would rather clear the mess at home than busy themselves with our problems.
Or, we add, they would rather assist ailing neighbours such as Greece instead of wiring their hard-earned taxes to some distant, unaccountable Third World tinpot dictators.
After all, don’t they say blood is thicker than water?
Which means Maapwiya K.D. Lipenga has to think overdrive to find some cash to fill the potholes the donors may create; of course, not so much in the current budget, whose commitments have been made and signed for (according to guru Ephraim), but in subsequent budgets, especially till 2014.
Chemwaali JB also must modify her language; stop telling Malawians that donors will help us and that they have pledged a lot of money for Lilongwe.
It is now clear the game has changed. Focus, esteemed Raw Stuffers, should not only be on prudent use of the little that the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and others collect, but also to seriously control fraud and corruption which are rampant at Capital Hill—as we said last week. Civil servants and politicians that are connected to Treasury kub’bha maningi (it seems they are always thinking, on a daily basis, how to defraud government).
In fact, this may also be one of the reasons mwana wa mzungu is developing cold fiscal feet.
Further, the other donor representative put it very well last week. She said the current economic mess is of our own making, courtesy of the late Professor Moya’s administration and, we add, Atcheya’s warped economic policies of kug’gawana pang’ono pang’ono (the Robinhood type of wealth acquisition and sharing).
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, we know that Acheemwa, who is a devout citizen and ardent believer in people’s well-being, can easily mop up the rot. But, it is also a fact that she is surrounded and impeded by hawks, recycled over the years from MCP, UDF, and DPP to PP, eyeing and expecting every opportunity to plunder State resources. You and I already know that dubious vouchers and cheques have been raised and paid in the Capital, running in billions already; a few months after Acheemwa came into power.
This, esteemed Raw Stuffers, reminds me of a discussion I had with a veteran civil servant last weekend.
The question I raised was: “Sir, where are we with the new government, given your extensive and wide experience in public service?”
The fellow kept quiet for a while. He is a very thoughtful professional who always opens his mouth when he has something ‘considered’ to say. Otherwise, he normally reserves his comments.
“You see, the more things change, the more they remain the same,” said the career public servant after about a minute or so.
The veteran went further: “Malawi politics is a very unique brand. It is about a very small shrewd minority busy defrauding the unsuspecting majority. That is what our politics has been about all these years. That is why we have not developed at all.”
A man who sat next to us and had overheard our conversation, freely, without fear of being misunderstood or arrested, chirped in:
“It is also because everyone, after failing elsewhere, goes into politics; to eat free monies. What do you expect if you entrust a poor person with State wealth and all of a sudden the fellow finds himself or herself at the behest of wealth he/she has never seen before? Fraud, no?” the man said, more or less speaking to himself and obviously lamenting for Mother Malawi than addressing us.
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, this also signalled to us that things are really bad.
That is why we see a lot of habits changing, for example, people rushing to scramble for bonya (some small usipa fish type) at the markets everyday instead of buying regular fish or meat. We, Raw Stuffers, have also seen dramatic cuts in rounds of beer that we used to enjoy. Ada Manda refers to the process as ‘fiscal editing and short-listing’.
Now, contrast all that to the advance Christmas Acheemwa JB and her entourage are enjoying at the United Nations out of our K308 million, which some officials have described as “little”.
K308 million little money? Does this little money grow in their mothers’ gardens? Isn’t it public tax for which every controlling officer, including the President, has to account for?