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    The leaked memo from Chief of Staff at State Residences, Prince Kapondamgaga, has proved to be a blessing in disguise as it has transmitted the firm intention by the Chakwera administration to uproot corruption in all key institutions, Malawi Gazette has gathered.

    The memo in circulation sends a strong warning to State House employees not to use the President’s name for personal gain via solicitation of favours from members of the public.

    Its release coincided with reports of some State House officials allegedly grabbing land in Area 49 disregarding Lilongwe City Council and Ministry of Lands laws.

    Following these developments, the public discourse has been awash with varying sentiments around the memo and all emerging issues.

    While some individuals choose to see the memo as a dent on President Chakwera’s leadership, there are other sensible quarters that see progress in the fight against corruption through what the Chief of Staff has communicated.

    The excitement around the memo is justified because this is the first time in a democratic Malawi for State House management to deliberately warn any opportunistic employees against using the President’s name for personal gain.

    Malawi Gazette took effort to speak to several former State House employees under previous governments on whether this kind of internal communication was there during their tenure. We can speak from an informed position that there has never been such kind of memo at State House before.

    Previously, State House officials – sometimes starting with the Chief of Staff – were in the forefront abusing their privilege by accumulating wealth using the President’s name.

    Just from the recent past, one Peter Mukhito who served in this role under Peter Mutharika got entangled in massive abuse of power which has subsequently landed him in trouble. He is currently answering various charges including the CementGate saga where he allegedly used Mutharika’s Tax Identification Pin (TPIN) for personal transactions.

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    In the past, the protectionist tendencies by State House of its employees is what bred a crop of public officials too vulnerable to corruption. At any given opportunity, any State House official would simply wake up, strap on his ID and steal from whosoever seemed an easy prey at that particular time.

    With the warning from the current Chief of Staff, employees at State House know that they are on their own in an event of wrongdoing. There is no sacred cow for those working at Plot 1.

    This tallies with Chakwera’s High 5 agenda which places Rule of Law as one of the pillars to achieve socioeconomic development.

    Another key benchmark set by the leaked memo is the level of foresight by the Chakwera administration to run State Residences as a professional institutional that serves the aspirations of all Malawians.

    In the memo, the Chief of Staff writes that all employees must adhere to the precepts of a strategic plan and code of conduct. The deployment of these two policy documents is proof enough that State House is interested to have professional and efficient employees who are aligned to Chakwera’s agenda of developing Malawi.

    If there has been any form of change Malawians have yearned for in the fight against corruption was the change that comes from the top. The State House memo has crowned this fight in a timely manner.



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