Malawians have expressed anger that the Tonse Alliance Government has chosen to spend K244 million on Independence Day celebrations in the midst of an economic slowdown and the threat of Covid-19 third wave.
Chairperson of the organising committee Richard Chimwendo who is also Minister of Homeland Security announced the budget for the 57th Independence Day celebrations which will be held in Mzuzu, Blantyre and Lilongwe.
Commentator Idris Ali Nassah wondered why government is organising celebrations in the face of the public health emergency that is COVID-19, job losses in major industries, corruption and when hospitals are threadbare and struggling to cope.
He suggested that the celebration is evidence that Malawi is being led by people who like photo opportunities and enjoy the red-carpet moments and any other occasion for grandstanding and speechifying.
He also suspected that some people will go home with K10 million from the money set aside for the celebrations.
“Your hapless government of men and women of otherwise average intelligence has seen it fit and proper to take K244 million from treasury and use it to gather people together to celebrate Independence Day, on July 6.
“The hard work, the heavy lifting, the leadership that is needed to create jobs, to stimulate industrial growth, to plug the loopholes of waste and theft of state resources is something many can’t simply provide,” said Nassah
On his part, Professor Danwood Chirwa said Chakwera is good at making speeches hence would not have missed the chance to hold the celebrations.
Said Chirwa: “I hear of celebrations. No surprises there. Of course, he’s going to have them mapwevu-pwevu. After that he’ll hit the gym. He stopped fasting, of that I’ve already spoken. The celebrations give him the platform to talk and eat. These are the two things he’s good at. And so to all those expressing anger and disappointment I say: shut up!”