We have always known that there was an infrastructure of corruption under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) but nobody except those benefitting from the proceeds of theft understood its magnitude.
Thursday, May 5 2022 was eventful in so far as unearthing how the DPP plundered government funds. This is the day when the hearing of the K186 million Malawi Energy Regularly Authority (Mera) fraud case involving Dorothy Shonga and former Chief Executive Officer Collins Magalasi continued at the Lilongwe Magistrate Court.
As this was ongoing, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested the former Minister under the DPP government, Cecelia Chazama and former Chief Immigration Officer, Masauko Medi for allegedly recruiting 127 immigration assistants who did not have necessary qualifications.
According to the statement signed by ACB principal Public Relations Officer, Egrita Ndala, “The Bureau conducted investigations which established that the Department of Immigration had recruited 127 immigration assistants who did not possess the required qualifications,” reads the statement. The two will be charged with abuse of office.
On the other hand, Shonga and Magalasi were arrested in 2020 on accusations that they influenced Mera Internal Procurement and Disposal Committee to award a contract which was valued at K107 million but has now been revised to K127 million. According to Director of Public Prosecution, Steve Kayuni the figure has increased due to the evidence provided by eleven witnesses.
The two incidents paint a picture of the deep-seated corruption and a reckless way of running a government by the DPP regime. For years Malawians had no idea what the DPP zealots meant when they proudly referred to themselves as the system. Is it not compelling to conclude that what they called a system was in fact a cartel? There is no doubt that these dubious deeds that have been uncovered are just a tip of an iceberg. There were surely, more rot in the system than one could have possibly imagined.
It is hard to imagine how Malawi could have become had the DPP stayed in power a bit longer. Those close to power shared the tax payers’ money like the spoils of war and living a lavish style whose source they could not explain. Employment opportunities were the entitlement of the privileged few mostly party loyalists, tribesmen, relatives and spouses while a majority of well qualified deserving Malawians were roaming the streets in search of the employment opportunities. The processes of awarding governments contracts were flouted to favour and enrich themselves. The height of impunity was not only outrageous but sickening.
It is a blessing in disguise that the DPP was booted out of power because if they had stayed longer, this country could have sunk beyond rescue.