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 Malawians Waiting for Truth from their Leader

Press Statement

Lilongwe, Friday, December 30, 2022


The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), alongside all well-meaning Malawians, await President Lazarus Chakwera’s New Year’s message with high expectations.

Given the suffering Malawians have gone through under the Tonse Alliance administration in the year just-ending, we at CDEDI expect nothing short of the President proving that his hands are clean, and he is fit to continue ruling the country beyond 2022.

Our expectation is not out of spite, but as per his own public admission that abdication is one of his serious weaknesses, hence anyone would have serious problems trusting a leader who has abdicated his constitutional powers to some unknown individual or group of individuals as Malawians have witnessed in the past two or so years.

There are a number of issues that have happened in this country, that make us believe that the President has not been in control of the country’s affairs. To be precise, the writing is on the wall that President Chakwera has been and, of course, continues to be blackmailed by a group of people, some of whom he allowed to loot and plunder the country’s coffers with impunity.

It is for this reason that Malawians, especially those who double as voters and taxpayers, expect the President to seize the occasion to speak to Malawians in his New Year’s message, without beating about the bush, using whichever language he chooses, to clear the cloud over the following issues that in a way have soiled his name:

    1. Nocma saga:

The earth-shaking revelations made under oath by the former National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) acting Chief Executive Officer Helen Buluma, before the Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament. She made serious allegations against the Secretary to the President and Cabinet, the Chief Immigration Officer as well as the Secretary for Energy. It is simply inconceivable, but expected of the Tonse Alliance administration, that every effort is being made to make Malawians forget that they ever heard Buluma open up her chest about who was meddling in her job. No sane person would believethat what Buluma said could have happened without the President’s knowledge and blessings. So, unless the President speaks on this matter in his New Year’s message, he will confirm our fears that he was working behind the scenes in the NOCMA saga, more so given that although he swore to fight corruption, he has not taken any action on the revelations made by Buluma.

    2. Buying fertilizer at a UK butchery

The now forgotten taxpayers’ K750 million that grew wings at Capital Hill. This money was meant to help vulnerable Malawians through the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) and was paid to a butcher in the United Kingdom (UK), leading to the sacking of the then Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe. It beats human comprehension and imagination that those millions, which were paid in the much sought-after foreign currency, were partly repaid in Malawi Kwacha by some lawyers at a commercial bank in Blantyre. But despite having a full-fledged Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) and money-laundering laws, the said transaction did not raise red flags and, to date, no one has been arrested over this shameless transaction. And, for obvious reasons, authorities are keeping a tight-lid on the identities of the two legal practitioners who repaid the money. If the President was not party to this scheme to defraud Malawians, our considered view is that these two lawyers would have been arrested by now. But we believe the AIP scandal is a genuine case requiring a commission of inquiry, not straightforward cases that only require the President to pick up the phone to know what happened in a particular matter, the commission of inquiry on the shameless arrest of Anti-Corruption Bureau Martha Chizuma in mind. We, therefore, give the President seven (7) days to do the needful as regards the K750 million meant for buying fertiliser;

    3. Twisting ACB director’s arm

What started as arm-twisting of the ACB Director General Martha Chizuma has culminated into a classic and shameless example by the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) of using the ACB to settle scores with political opponents. This is clearly mirrored through an outright shielding of some MCP sympathisers from arrests. Examples include the Attorney General’s shifting of goal-posts on the use of evidence gathered by UK’s National Crimes Agency (NCA) in the on-going high-profile corruption scandal involving British businessman Zuneth Sattar. Malawians may wish to wonder why, if the ACB still needs the AG to authorise the NCA, it went ahead to effect arrests on people before such authorisation was granted and an injunction is in place pending a decision by the Supreme court. Without any iota of shame, the AG would like to make Malawians believe that the same cannot be used to effect arrests on MCP sacred cows [the names you know] suspected to have been involved in the same Sattar corruption case.

To many Malawians, this is tantamount to using the ACB for political expedience.

Last, but not the least, Malawians expect President Chakwera, in his New Year’s message, to provide tangible solutions, complete with corresponding time lines, on how he intends to address the cholera outbreak which, according to the World Health Organisation, is the worst in a decade, shortage of forex and fuel, electricity blackouts and the acute shortage of essential drugs and medical supplies in public hospitals. Needless to say these crises are threatening the survival of millions of vulnerable and marginalised Malawians.

These and other matters of national interest are what Malawians are expecting to hear the President talk about in his New Year’s message; otherwise, just sending best wishes of the new year to Malawians will be as clueless as what Chakwera’s administration has been this far.

That said, we at CDEDI, thank you all Malawians and collaborators within and outside the country for the support rendered to us in the year just ending.

And, with a promise to continue being the voice of the voiceless, without fear or favour, we wish Malawians and all other people living peacefully with us in this country A HAPPY NEW YEAR!



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CDEDI is a Registered NGO which aims at promoting economic prosperity of a common person and creating an active and informed citizenry through information and knowledge sharing.

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