Editorials

Editorials (20)

 

With Zambia being rated among the top 10 countries in Africa in terms of the high number of COVID-19 patients recorded daily, it is high time that every citizen woke up to reality and took precautions.

According to the Ministry of Health, Zambia is among Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Libya, Kenya, Nigeria, Algeria and South Africa, which top the list with a cumulative number of 1.6 million including 56,170 deaths.

Given this picture, people should not wait to be afflicted by the virus for them to accept that COVID is real and it is claiming many lives.

The election period we are in calls for rational thinking over the matter among all political players failure to which we will be digging our own graves.

As the saying goes, it is better to prevent than to cure.

Being in denial about the existence of the virus in our midst will never help change the reality of the deadly coronavirus.

It is sad that some political leaders are discrediting President Edgar Lungu’s directive that political parties should not hold rallies in view of a surge in COVID cases. If political leaders remain divided over the matter, the citizenry will suffer the consequences and put the whole programme to fight COVID in disarray.

Zambia is on the threshold of a third wave of COVID-19, more so that we are in the cold season.

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for technical services Kennedy Malama said the evolution of the pandemic clearly shows that there is need for people to brace themselves for a possible third wave.

In the last 24 hours preceding yesterday the country recorded 483 cases out of 6,392 tests conducted with the total number standing at 94,430.

The latest figure of new patients underscores the need for all political parties to play their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 during their political campaigns especially that we are in the cold season.

According to health experts, infections caused by many respiratory viruses, including influenza and some coronaviruses, get worse in the cold season and drop in the hot season.

“The super-spreader events continue to be a high source of concern to the COVID-19 multispectral response. We urge all those intending to hold social gatherings to postpone these events or use virtual platforms considering the increasing number of cases we are recording most of which seem to be fuelled by such gatherings,” Dr Malama said.

Political parties cannot afford to keep ignoring expert advice on how to campaign amidst the spread of COVID-19. Health, being one of their priority areas in the manifestos, should be given the attention it deserves even at this stage when the country is grappling with the pandemic.

It would be hypocritical for any candidate to talk about how they value health during campaigns when on the other hand they are refusing to adhere to COVID-19 health regulations.

In fact, the decision each political party makes now on COVID preventive measures will provide the basis on which they value people’s lives. We urge all stakeholders to listen to health advice by the Ministry of Health to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Failure to adhere to health guidelines would also complicate the vaccination programme in the country as most sources of vaccines overseas are choosing to keep it for their citizens as cases swell.

Already, India, where Zambia sourced the AstraZeneca vaccine, has 27,655,385 total cases with 320,264 deaths. There are lessons to learn from India, where it is believed most COVID-19 cases increased after that country held state elections this year. India’s geographical location and population may differ from that of Zambia, but the aggravating factor of COVID-19 points to one thing: social gatherings during campaigns. Another related lesson is that Zambia can learn from the 2020 USA elections.

One candidate, Joe Biden, chose to cancel physical rallies as guided by health experts, and still reached the electorate through virtual rallies.

His rival, the then incumbent President, Donald Trump, largely ignored health advice. He encouraged physical mass rallies. Some of his supporters wisely stayed away.

Two weeks after a particular rally in Tulsa, the county reportedly experienced a surge in coronavirus cases.

Health officials said Trump’s rally contributed to the spike. Despite all this insistence by Trump to interact with the masses, we all know that Biden impressed the electorate more and he now sits in the White House.

So stop using the electorate as guinea pigs or stepping stones. Use other means of canvassing for votes instead of risking the lives of the same people you claim to want to serve.

Source: ZDM《》RT

 

By Nyasa Times

It is no longer a far-fetched idea that Malawi is slowly but steadily nourishing her two twins—fraud and corruption—who are, unfortunately now, quickly making sure that this nation—their mother—is reduced to nothing but shambles, as far as economic prudence is concerned.

Now, this is not only lugubrious, but also brings the all of us into some such lukewarm nonentities. Nothings who seem to admit that these two twin brothers—fraud and corruption—have either become too cold to handle or too hot to hold.

Yet, it is not the all of us. Some individuals and some companies—both national and multinational—have been at the centre of it all. At the centre of propelling fraud and corruption in our motherland, enabling the siphoning of what would have been some social cash transfer to an aging mother in Titi or tuition for a poor university student whose single mother in either Eswazini or M’baluku can only afford relished nsima in the rainy season.

It is sad that just a bunch of thieves in this country, masquerading as good politicians, business moguls and public servants continue to be the only ones enjoying a national cake which we must all partake of.

It is disturbing and frustrating that we have all been there, sat back and watched our nation degenerate into an economically cripple at the expense of these two boys—fraud and corruption.

We at Nyasa Times say no more to this gobbledygook.

Malawi has been losing billions of dollars in public funds to private individuals who siphon the green buck into Dubai, UK, Hong Kong, Mauritius and other tax haven countries.

Some of these crooked business moguls have the cheek of calling Malawians “dogs” and “pigs” who do not deserve anything good. “Dziko ndi wanu koma ndalama ndi wathu“. We are all aware of who says this. Fellow black Malawians, they think and treat you like fools!

Money lost through these crooks could have otherwise funded the country’s development agenda—which, in line with UN sustainable development goals, commits to giving every Malawian basic necessities like food, good shelter, and access to quality education and health care.

Sadly, most Malawians continue drinking water with goats. They even walk long distances to fetch such water as well.

We must not forget, as a country, that in 2020, the corruption watchdog Transparency International ranked Malawi 129th out of 180 countries in public sector corruption, scoring 30 out of 100 points on the global Corruption Perceptions Index. And, we must remember that we are one of the poorest countries, if not the poorest on planet earth, not that we do not have the money or resources – no! But because as Malawians, we fail ourselves!

Of course, we must also not forget that between 2009 and 2014, the country lost around $723 million (about K542 billion) to fraud and corruption in the name of dubious contracts to some businesspersons—most of the Asian business community, who are defrauding and corrupting even today.

Now, we at Nyasa Times have an idea. For these corrupt and fraudulent their owners must be arrested at once, their companies blacklisted and all their assets confiscated.

ACB, PPDA, FIU, RBM, Fiscal Police, MRA, OPC, Commercial Banks and Courts must free themselves from the capture. We believe these organisations have governance mandates but their top officials have sold this country to fraud and corruption. For instance, why does PPDA and ACB fail to ban fraudulent or corrupt business owners? Officials from these organisations must be investigated. There is a saying “Follow the money, it leaves foot steps”.

Why are the FIU, RBM and Commercial Bank not stopping the fraudulent invoices from being approved for payment? Accomplices and facilitators of criminal activities.

This must be done now or never! Let’s expose fraud and corruption actors.

Nyasa Times is watching and following you – enough is enough!

Source: NT《》RT

 

The mandate of Zambia Police Service is to maintain public order and safety, enforce the law, prevent, detect, and investigate criminal activities.

By reducing the threat of criminality, the police contribute to improving the quality of life for citizens in the country.

This is because citizens will be stress-free knowing that their lives and property are safe from criminals. That is why the police should have taken interest in, among other issues, the mushrooming car-breaking business a long time ago.

So, when Inspector-General of Police Kakoma Kanganja says he has directed the police to investigate private spare parts dealers to ascertain their sources, it makes good reading.

Mr Kanganja has a point. That is definitely one way to curb theft. Vehicles are stolen and dismantled for spares, and that is well-known. With so many informal spare parts dealers, the stage is set for this thriving spare part market. This is the case for laptops and mobile phones as well, which end up on the black market.

While it is almost impossible to get rid of the black market, those selling car spare parts must indeed be legitimately bona fide. With oversight and foresight, police should have already been on top of things because they are not an island. They have from time to time been victims of stolen vehicles or mirrors which find their way either on the streets or the black market. That is why for a security institution of their stature, police need a full complement of professionals deployed in the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and their intelligence wing to be on the lookout for emerging security threats.

The thefts of motor vehicles or accessories have been going on for decades by some people involved in car breaking.

This type of crime has been trending for a while without police paying attention even when they or their relatives and friends have been victims.

Recently, motorists were alerted by crimes involving the theft of muffler catalytic converters from vehicles.
People are believed to steal these parts because of what they are made of – platinum and palladium – two of the world’s extremely precious metals which are said to be very expensive.

Muffler catalytic converters are found in the undercarriage of the vehicle and filter the exhaust which comes out of the car. Thieves, colluding with mechanics, slide underneath cars and remove the converter off in less than a minute.

All these are emerging crimes related to motor vehicle thefts which police should have been aware of, just like the motivation behind the selling of scrap metal after the vehicle has been cannibalised of its precious parts.

However, it is not too late for the police to catch up with this criminality, which is causing people sleepless nights.

It is common nowadays for motorists to wake up in the morning to find either tyres, rear-view mirrors or muffler catalytic converter stolen.

To expedite investigations and get the best out of the men and women in uniform, the police command should find ways of motivating good-performing officers.

Police should also work with players in the motor industry, insurance and the local authorities to help regulate the car-breaking and scrap metal business.

There is need for sanity to prevail, and the buck stops at the police.

Source: ZDM《》RT

STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE, HON LT GENERAL (RTD) DR SIBUSISO B. MOYO ON THE EVENTS OF 6 JANUARY 2021 IN WASHINGTON D.C.

Zimbabweans followed, with both shock and deep sadness, the unprecedented scenes of chaos and violence which engulfed Washington’s Capitol building on 6 January, leaving in its wake five dead, scores of injured and a trail of vandalism and destruction.

What may have been intended as an orderly protest against an allegedly rigged election was clearly hijacked by anarchists and other criminal elements bent on deliberately creating havoc and mayhem in the very heart of Washington DC, disrupting Congress’ confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United states of America and tarnishing the image and reputation of the United States itself.

For a nation which prides itself on the democratic example, it sets for others, and which judges and often punishes others for failing to meet its lofty standards of moral rectitude and governance, the events of 6 January must surely have come as a massive reality-check: a stark reminder that all is far from well within the heart and soul of the self-styled ‘leader of the free world’; that America itself is failing to meet the very benchmark standards it demands of all others; and a clear demonstration that its own governance systems and institutions are far from infallible.

We deeply regret the tragic events of 6 January – most especially the loss of life, the injuries suffered and the defilement of the very symbol of US democracy.

We extend our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the senseless violence unleashed on that infamous day.

Our hope, as Zimbabweans, is that the reality of such deliberate politically-motivated violence; the reality of systems-failure and of institutional fallibility – especially now, as a new Administration takes office in Washington – may lead to a period of sober reflection amongst US policy and decision-makers, and the emergence of a different, less prescriptive style of US engagement with others – including Zimbabwe.

We look forward to working closely with the incoming Biden Administration, and its Africa team, to inject new impetus into our re-engagement efforts and to continue the task of rebuilding a strong, productive bilateral relationship based on mutual understanding and respect.

Just as we are very confident that Americans will swiftly move past the ugliness and chaos of 6 January and the deep polarisation which characterises US society today, so too are we confident that Zimbabwe and the United States will indeed find one another and succeed in rekindling the multi-faceted, cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship we once enjoyed.

Honourable Lt General (Rtd) Dr Sibusiso Moyo
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Source: Pindula《》RT

Opinion

Remember the strategy of Lawfare? It’s a favourite of the Mnangagwa regime. It has normalised selective application of the law aided by the lack of resistance to it. That’s why Fantan and Levels are in jail while ministers like Mutsvangwa and Kazembe who violated the same laws aren’t.

That’s why Hopewell Chin’ono has been arrested and Job Sikhala is threatened with arrest for something that was in the public domain and was done by scores of people. State media journalists lie every day, nobody arrests them. The targeting is political, no doubt.

So far we have seen Lawfare at the level of arrests and denial of bail. But the Fantan and Levels’ case represents something more ominous: conviction and sentencing. This is the next stage of Lawfare. That case is the start of normalisation of convictions and jailing proper.

The most important observation is that nobody who gets on the wrong side of this regime is safe. You might be a critic like Chin’ono or an entertainer like Fantan or a politician like Mafume, it matters not. We will see more of Lawfare unless of course, people say no to it.

With Lawfare, the regime will tell you that it’s applying the law and that it has the sovereign power to enforce its laws. Never mind that the law is applied selectively and unjustly. Hitler, Stalin, Amin, Smith, slave masters all argued the same: that they were applying the law.

It’s, of course, a mockery of the law, a crude manipulation of the rule of law, but they will tell you that they are enforcing the rule of law. But when the law is selectively applied it becomes a crude instrument of abuse; to target political critics under the guise of legality.

One might use the analogy of the knife. In the hands of a chef, it is a useful instrument in the kitchen, but in the hands of a murderer, it is a weapon to kill. The law is a good thing, but in the hands of abusive people, it is a crude weapon of abuse.

Source: Alex Magaisa on Twitter《》RT

 

Opinion

By Diggers Editor,

IF there was ever a time to celebrate, it should be now. A disaster of a year has come to an end. The horrific year in which millions of lives across the world were lost has finally come to a close.

New Year is a great chance to reflect on the accomplishments, the highs and lows of the past year, and it also signals a fresh start. Take some time to reflect on 2020, about where you were at the beginning of the year and where you are now. Think about where you want to be at the end of 2021.

What a year 2020 had been with the COVID-19 pandemic! The public was left puzzled, even infuriated, over the constantly switching rules of behavior. A healthcare system overwhelmed, caring for an ever-growing case load. Donors pouring all they can to save lives, business shutting down and the economy hitting rock bottom!

Indeed, the dawn of 2021 calls for confetti, Champagne and booze for those who can afford it or even simple fireworks and thanksgiving prayers. However you choose to celebrate 2021, our message today is a call for safety – COVID-19 is far from over! In fact, it is only getting worse.

Don’t take our word for it, just look at the recent statistics and the warning from the health experts. The Ministry of Health says it has identified a new strain of COVID-19 in Zambia, which spreads faster. The Ministry adds that the number of cases had doubled.

“Today, we report that Zambia has characterised a new strain of the SARS-COV-2 which is the same as the one which was isolated in South Africa. This mutated virus was isolated in many of the cases detected in December 2020, spreads faster, it causes more infections. What the President feared two weeks ago would happen in relation to COVID-19 has now become a reality. We are seeing an increased number of cases, worrisome disease severity and an average of a death per day in the last two weeks and this signifies the beginning of the second wave. Today, we report that the second wave of SARS-COV-2 disease in Zambia is firmly established. This aligns to what our scientists and modelling teams determined a few months ago and like earlier indicated, the only way to stop this second wave in its infancy is strict adherence to prescribed public health measures,” said Dr Chilufya.

“Zambia in November 2020 recorded 1,200 cases of COVID-19 with eight deaths, but in December, these numbers have doubled. Already, we have recorded over 2,600 COVID-19 cases and 28 deaths. When we compare the numbers in the last seven days, again we see that these last seven, days we recorded 1,228 cases while the previous week, we recorded 618 cases. Again, this is further evidence that the number of cases have doubled and also further validates our position that a second wave of COVID-19 outbreak is taking root in the country.”

The message to the New Year celebrant is simple: this virus is highly contagious, it will take months for the discovered vaccines to begin protecting the wider population here in Africa, and you have an obligation to yourself, to your family, to your friends and to your community to try to limit the spread as much as you can. As you celebrate, as you pop that champagne, as you smoke that shisha, as you gather to worship God, remember that there is an invisible enemy lurking from the air you breathe.

Look, we understand Coronavirus fatigue and people are now feeling like it’s okay to drop their guard. Please, don’t give up the fight. This virus is here to stay a little longer. As you enter 2021, carry your masks with you. The life you save may be your own. Mask up, wash up and keep at least 6 feet of distance from others.

Source: ND《》RT

By Rudo Tariro

After elections, I go on mandatory six months break. Yes sought of writing quarantine. I thought I would write again in January 2021. But hey, the new President has more nick names in six months than five of his colleagues before him.

Imagine, in six months, the word itsanana has disappeared from social media, replaced by Siku transport, Kwenda Jenda, Matako akana Pansi and recently Vilemi Dazi. Seriously Peter Mutharika the immediate past one had only “adadi, clueless, a ton of bricks, and prince of thieves”.

Joyce Banda before Mutharika only had “Chiwongolero, Abiti Kuyenda, Abiti mundege,  Azungu Andiuza and Mpavuuu”.

Bingu wa Mutharika had “Chitsulo cha njanje, Mose wa lero, Ndikunyenyani, I am not Jesus and Mr Stupid”.

Bakili  Muluzi carried “Makolija, Agama, Mwini Matipate, Anyamata a pa town, Kuchitekekete and of course Atchair”.

Kamuzu Banda had over 50 of them, include ‘Mpulumutsi, Alidzi’ but  won’t repeat  all of them here.

These titles either means the public is admiring you or rising against you. They mean you are popular in delivering your promises or failing.

Bingu became “Mose wa lero” for improving the economy and making us feel fresh again.

JB was a dear Chiwongolelo from saving us from the DPP train derail.

Muluzi mwini matipate for simply knocking off Kamuzu. And Chakwera itsanana was acknowledgement that Malawians felt good and honoured that their will had prevailed.

Six months down the feeling, the President is being referred as “Siku transport with its slogan- here today, there tomorrow.”

Let’s take this week I am writing, Salima Armed Forces, Nkhatbay planting trees, Karonga security houses launch before that you find a President with an engagement every week.

The President should travel yes, but only when necessary. For projects I would advise State House to only accept invitation to open houses or project not launch it. Launches should be left to heads of departments.

Then you have the Vice President loudly proclaiming he will inspect 335 projects across the country. Is that really his job? How different is it from Ministerial site visits and what impact will his eyes seeing have to the project save for a few podium directives?

Seriously MG 1 and MG2 convoys competing in crisscrossing the country? They never paid attention whilst many slept outside the shops looking for cheap fertilizer. They never paid attention while hospitals like Kamuzu lack scanning equipment, they never pay attention that jobs are being lost every day as taxes go up and MRA acts like an enemy of small businesses.

They never pay attention to that Ministers are implicated in all sorts of shady deals from Nocma to State House to contracts with Asian businesses. They don’t pay attention that an Asian owned company got a US$15 million-dollar water contract when a Malawian owned charged US$12 million.

Then they have National-In-Law in Chief trying to justify useless things from Jerusalem risk to Mozambique ill-advised decision to announcement of new Kamuzu Academys when kids in primary schools are still being killed by trees and classrooms.

The first six months of the administration look clueless and out of touch with reality. They seem to be happy to eat the money and enjoy the job. Their priority has been to bloat a cabinet, hire advisers for everyone, hire a spokesperson, personal assistant, a driver, and a guard for each Minister.

Then tell Malawians- we are going to Jerusalem and Lagos (Nigeria capital is Abuja), ask the unemployed youth to create jobs, dismiss critics and blame DPP cadets for sabotage when they are still using the same generators to steal, the same Nocma to eat and the same Asians to rip off Malawians.

As we wrote during the DPP regime and PP regime, arrogance has a price. So far Tonse Alliance has started off badly, very bad, that soon their name tag will be longer than any other President, unless of course, they change.

Please don’t ask Malawians to create jobs, you promised 1 million jobs to deliver them. Anyone who tried to reason with you was mocked. You promised a universal subsidy, we are waiting. You promised free water and electricity connections, we are waiting. You promised us a cheaper passport and driver’s license, find a way to  give us. That was the contract you offered, we accepted it.

If you won’t deliver, well JB and APM will tell you how we do it in Malawi. President sabweleza masiku ano akamanvela anthu otumbwa ngati Chisale. I hope MCP will stop fighting SKC and all work together to deliver their promises. Dzuka Malawi, Dzukani a President, zinthu sizilibwino

Source: NT《》RT

By Mapwiya Muulupale

Social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, were hot this past week. The controversy was about Malawi’s new well-wisher, Mr Anthony Charles Lynton Blair.

Tony Blair as he is better known, served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007.

It was revealed on social media and confirmed during by the State House that Tony Blair plus two other members of his Tony Blair Institute (TBI) were in Malawi to provide technical expertise to the Chakwera-led administration, for free.

To decrypt what “providing technical expertise to the Chakwera-led administration” is, a vacancy on TBI’s website flighted around mid-November 2020 is the only clue at hand.

From that advert for Country Head of TBI’s Malawi Project, President Lazarus Chakwera has identified a capacity gap either in himself or his team or probably both.

He, therefore, needs help “to strengthen his government’s capacity to implement his vision for development” as outlined in Tonse Manifestos.

Hence TBI comes in, supposedly to “support the Malawi Government to strengthen its delivery and implementation mechanisms”.

What exactly this entails is unclear.

Further, the advert uses words like “likely”, potentially” and “may”. These words, coming from a mother-tongue English speaker, speak volumes about the fact that the “project” is basically much ado about nothing.

Verbatim:

“This is likely to include a delivery function in State House, but also potentially support other parts of the Presidency, e.g. communications, international affairs… It will need to be proximate to the President and always remain relevant to his key priorities. It will also need to identify and implement technological solutions to key Presidential priorities.

In addition to strengthening delivery in the Presidency, the project will seek to strengthen connections with other key ministries and agencies, both in the centre (the VP’s Office and the Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning) and key Ministries, e.g. Energy, Agriculture, Industry and Trade, the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre and the Ministries covering infrastructure.

Our Malawi team may extend to include advisors in these or other Ministries, depending on the sectoral priorities of the Presidency”.

As you can see from the above, it is not easy to grasp what this project will do without, oblivious of the adage that too many cooks spoil the broth, duplicating or replacing and frustrating already existing resources, structures and institutions.

In other words, Chakwera is creating parallel structures which will cause inefficiencies that will not help Malawi.

Take the third paragraph, for instance: “Our Malawi team may extend to include advisors in these or other Ministries…” In addition to the Vice President and Cabinet Ministers, do you know how many advisors President Chakwera has?

Count below:

Chief Advisors (they are at par with Cabinet Ministers):

Chancellor Kaferapanjira – Economy.
Samson Lembani – Public policy and governance.
Coleen Zamba – Sustainable Development Goals and International relations.
Chris Chaima Banda – Strategy and manifesto implementation.
Adamson Mkandawire – Rural transformation and development.
Advisors:

Moses Kunkuyu – Chiefs and Rural Governance.
Maxwell Thyolera – Parliamentary Affairs.
Ephraim Chibvunde – Political Affairs.
Overstone Kondowe – People Living with Albinism and Disability.
Reverend Brian Kamwendo – Religious affairs.
Sheikh Hashim Abbas – Religious affairs (deputy).
Lucius Banda – Arts and youth.
These twelve, it appears, are far from enough. TBI might hire another regiment to thoroughly duplicate and compound matters.

Now let us dissect the second aspect of this puzzle, i.e. the “for free” bit.

According to Sean Kampondeni, TBI is so moved with our poverty that unlike the many other countries which paid USD17 million in 2018 for TBI’s services, Malawi will not pay a cent. Implying that the Country Head and his team will either work pro bono or get paid by some other well-wisher(s), on our behalf.

Whosoever believes this spin has obviously not read Milton Friedman’s “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”. In fact, we have been down this road before, and it ended in tears.

Check this:

Do you recall the British Govt going livid after late President Bingu wa Mutharika prioritised buying a presidential jet?
Remember Mrs Joyce Banda refusing to use that jet, humbly hitchhiking at first until some well-wishers started chartering her a plane?
Now, do you recollect that the jet Bingu bought vanished into thin air and we never got a tambala for it?
Now think: when Mrs Joyce Banda was quizzed vis-à-vis the jet that grew wings, wasn’t her response that she bartered it to settle debts left by late Mutharika – only for her barter trade partners to end up being the same well-wishers who were chartering her planes? For free?
To add on to the folly of adults believing that something can be had for free, look at this Blair entanglement in this way:

When people cried for technocrats in the cabinet, Chakwera assured us of his faith in his “family” cabinet.
He further appointed that battery of advisors who cost taxpayers MK25.6 million (USD36, 994.21) a month.
Since we have a Cabinet and an expensive battery of advisors, why do we need another bunch of “free advisors” and Tony Blair?

You know what I think?

Firstly, we Malawians must accept that we hired a boy to do a man’s job. How else can one explain Chakwera’s lack of confidence in himself and his team?

Secondly and to make a bad situation worse, the boy we hired brought a knife to a gun fight. Hence this desperate move to reach for colonial help when there are thousands of Malawians with the capability, acumen and local context-relevant experience to turn Malawi‘s fortunes around.

Thirdly, Chakwera has demonstrated that he believes that Africans or to be blunt, Malawians, cannot develop themselves. Hence reaching out to an undisputed neo-colonialist.

Fourthly and a bit too late, Chakwera has realised that he hired incompetents as advisors and a bunch of freeloaders masquerading as ministers who he is powerless to fire.

He is too scared to fire the moochers and has hence opted to hire “mercenaries” to do the actual work.

Whatever the case, Malawi’s founding fathers namely late Kamuzu Banda, late Masauko Chipembere, late Orton Chirwa, late Kanyama Chiume and others must be turning in their graves. Late Robert Mugabe must be wondering: what the hell is the matter with this Malawi leader?

For the rest of us, one thing is clear: in the year 2020, over five decades after independence, mother Malawi has reverted to factory settings: Long live Nyasaland!

Very depressing stuff this is. Very.

Source: M24《》RT

THE directive by Auditor General Dick Sichembe for auditors to thoroughly scrutinise the government payroll system to expose ghost workers and bring culprits to book should be taken with the seriousness it deserves.

It is not a secret that year in, year out, Government loses millions of Kwacha paying non-existent civil servants.

A few months ago, a payroll clean-up exercise on the Copperbelt exposed about 4,000 ghost workers and Government was losing a colossal K60 million every month through the scam.

The country cannot continue to lose such huge sums of money amid the many needs the country is faced with.

The country, which is still in the process of developing, has a lot of needs competing against meagre resources.

From a limited budget, Government has the obligation of providing health care services, education, sanitation and social amenities to its citizens.

Government is expected to invest in building and maintaining infrastructure besides providing many other services to the public.

Government is also expected to look ahead and invest in growth areas like agriculture, mining, tourism and many others for the future sustainability of the country.

To invest in these areas, Government needs huge sums of money.

Like other developing countries, Zambia also has debt obligations to settle. This is unfortunately coupled with an exaggerated civil service wage bill.

Given the many competing needs as well as economic turbulences the country has gone through recently due to COVID-19, among other factors, there is need to account for every penny in the most prudent way.

At a time that Government is faced with daunting challenges and operating on a shoestring budget, it is absolutely necessary that every Kwacha is accounted for.

Government cannot sit by and watch the haemorrhaging of its meagre resources. The loopholes through which resources are being lost must be sealed without further delay.

It is good that Government is working tirelessly through the Smart Zambia Institute to rid the civil service payroll of ghost workers and to improve public service efficiency.

In line with Cabinet circular number 13 of 2019, Smart Zambia Institute recently conducted a physical count of workers in government work stations across the country.

The auditors should work with Smart Zambia Institute to ensure a thorough clean-up of the payroll.

As rightly observed by the Auditor General, the payroll management requires a comprehensive audit if Government’s exorbitant wage bill, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the national budget expenditure, is to be reduced.

Zambia needs more resources to be invested in growth areas as opposed to mere consumption.

Whether at organisation or national level, it is an anomaly to have such a huge wage bill. And the ghost workers discovered in the past explains it.

It is clear that some people within the system have found a conduit through which they siphon money from government coffers by maintaining dead and retired civil servants on the payroll.

This behaviour is criminal and must be halted as soon as possible to prevent further loss of national resources.

We know that this vice has persisted for years and across regimes, but we believe with concerted efforts and determination, it can be stopped.

There’s therefore need to ensure that those found wanting face the wrath of the law. This is the only way to get rid of the bad eggs in the system as well as deter would-be offenders.

Source: ZDM《》RT

By Wongani Chiuta

In their time, errand boys of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were ruthlessly frank in reminding all of us, almost every day, with that apparently disdaining adage ‘DPP is a system’.

That adage was well packaged and summed it all for DPP: It meant they are running a scheme of defrauding Malawians through planting their boys and girls in strategic positions of every key government institution.

It explains, fellow Malawians, why, when they ruled, anyone who wore blue soar easily to a superior class—becoming untouchable as the Aryan race of German’s Adolf Hitler’s days.

President Lazarus Chakwera should have known, which I believe he does—but, perhaps, he kept or keeps underestimating the power of the system DPP planted in the country’s governance system.

At that point of entry, yes after winning the June 23 fresh elections, Chakwera—in the days he was silent instituting his government—could have thought through and make tough decisions bordering on destroying the system DPP left in the governing structures.

What Chakwera did, in inhering and continuing with a government structure infested with DPP’s system, is akin to a husband who divorces his wife but keeps the wife’s brother in the house.

Well, the consequences of Chakwera’s indecisions are here to see: leaking of examinations, frustrating his development projects, leaking of sensitive government documents—etc.

At this point, Chakwera has two choices. He should, right now, format government structures and flush out every element loyal to the DPP system; in that way, we will begin to see systematic changes.

Or, if he doesn’t, he should leave things as they are and remain silent when faced with consequences such as leakage of examinations.

But, just a reminder, Malawians are watching.

Source: NT《》RT

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