Oftentimes, continued poverty in Africa has been blamed on the continuation of imperialism and exploitative schemes dating back to historical times by political leaders in their attempt to gain cheap popularity from uninformed citizens. In their rhetoric, poverty is caused by colonial history, unfair trading systems, international capitalism and its agents namely the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. As a face serving measure and in an attempt to counter these imaginary enemies, former President the Late Bingu wa Mutharika invented the ‘Zero Budget. Nevertheless, what he failed to tell Malawians was how much he was carting to foreign banks.

With the recent cash-gate scandal in which the Dr Joyce Banda administration is alleged to have witnessed the theft of some K20Billion and the revelations in parliament that the DPP stole over K150Billion from the Treasury, who can now have trust to believe in these politicians.? Or is it fair for Malawian leaders to join the chorus by other African leaders in playing the victim status? In his book; ‘Africa’ Richard Dowden said I quote;’ the shit changes but flies remain the same’. Sadly, this has been the case in Malawi that while citizens vote for new leaders in large numbers the newly elected leaders continue with the plunder of public money as if nothing had changed. The current scandal has confirmed that poverty in Malawi is created by our leaders and the political system…

I make no apologies nor do I say sorry for having condemned our leaders. In a democracy, leadership is about offering service to citizens not a way of turning poor people into millionaires. Romans 13 vs. 4 says, I quote .’for government is God’s servant.’ Dr Garry Allen says I quote; ‘the concept of democracy is deeply rooted in the obedience to the teaching of the Bible. Democracy requires a different way of operating.’ It is my view this is where Malawians made a strategic mistake in 1992 by voting for the introduction of democracy without themselves expressing the way it should have been operated. In all fairness, with hindsight, what we have now is a hybrid of the single party dictatorship. It was only founding president the late Dr Hasting Banda who was replaced but powers of prerogatives were left intact.

This is one reason in spite of having changed leaders four times now, things have remained the same. Instead of being progressive, our leaders look back to compare themselves to the magnitude of mistakes made by their predecessors and yet democracy is not about looking back and blaming the past, if it were the case, citizens should not have been waking up early in the morning to electing new leaders. What they forget is that one cardinal principle for democratic leadership is taking responsibility for anything that happens during their watch. This principle is consistent with the operation of laws; laws do not operate in retrospective. By implication, elected leaders must account for whatever happens during the time they are in power. The recent mammoth plunder of public funds has made it an imperative for president to own the good or bad things that happen during their terms of office. It is customary for leaders in Malawi to take credit for any development project even if funded by our tax money, World Bank or African Development Fund. That is high level corruption…

My appeal to all is to treat the cash-gate scandal as a wakeup call to all Malawians to ask for change to the operationisation of the political system. The book of 1 Timothy vs. 9-10, is very clear, it says, I quote;’ we know that the law is not meant for righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral and homosexuals, for kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.’ God has a plan for everything that happens in our lives. The cash-gate scandal is not an accident but has surfaced for a reason. The reason is for us as citizens to demand for the best from our leaders. Malawi is run like a personal estate with the head of state having prerogatives in almost everything. No wonder civil servants thought of stealing from the government forgetting it is their own Trust…

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