FREE EXPRESSION (MalawiTalk) – President Dr Lazarus Chakwera spoke long and wide, during his inauguration speech, assuring Malawians that, in the fight against corruption, he will act in the interest of the public.
As top-flier rhetorician, it’s always sweet and enticing to listen to Chakwera speak and, if you are a fond of tunes and melodies, you can easily be deluded to believe him.
But in the life of any leader, there always comes a time when your rhetoric faces a moment of truth: A moment where your words need to match the realities on the ground.
Well, Chakwera’s moment has come and, interestingly, in form living his word on corruption fight.
After months of acting visibly cold and detached on K6.2 bn COVID-19 funds abuse, the chicken has come to roost.
The report is hitting the public and, obviously, it will make great news and spree of analysis. People will be exposed, shamed; the public will be angry, glum and there will be wailing and gnawing of the teeth.
But after this process of pain, will Chakwera let graft fighting institutions work independently and bring to book all the people involved in the plunder of K6.2bn COVID-19 funds?
I remain skeptical.
Chakwera hasn’t been forthright from the start of this K6.2 bn debacle. One, it was him who went public with laughable figure that never made sense yet he was supposed to see through them and make decisions. Two, Chakwera had been giving empty threats in form of deadlines that were never honoured. Three, State House has been adamant whenever the K6.2 bn debacle emerges, always choosing to be defensive than pro-active.
This, fellow Malawians, calls for vigilance. There appears to be some dirty tricks and machinations happening in the dark to ensure that those close to power are protected from the slaps of the law emerging.
Chakwera must let graft-fighting institutions act independently or, else, the public will riot.
- Cyril Bini is Editor-at-Large of MalawiTalk. His column is called “Free Expression”