Prof. Danwood Chirwa
Malawian academics and professionals in the diaspora have expressed concern over leadership crisis, corruption and the worsening socio-economic conditions in Malawi which they say have made life unbearable for ordinary Malawians.
Thirty-two Malawians based in various countries released a statement yesterday in which they raised their concerns.
The Malawians say Tonse Alliance government revealed, upon assuming power, levels of looting and corruption committed under the previous government and they expected that the new government would draw a line.
However, almost two years down the line, they have noted that corruption and looting in the country is getting worse by the day .
Scandals in the country have implicated those at the very top of the government, businesspeople, civil servants, police, and military officials. The Malawians in the Diaspora are sensing a cover up from the government.
“In response, the government has, at best, exhibited an indifferent attitude and, at worst, behaved in a manner that suggests a coverup or an intention to obstruct the course of justice,” the Malawians say.
In the new government, the Malawians in the diaspora say, institutions legally empowered to investigate and prosecute corruption in the country such as the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB), have been weakened and isolated.
Intimidation tactics have included public emasculation of the Director General of the ACB and the deployment of mercenary protesters. According to the group of Malawians, presidential instructions to the ACB also undermine its independence.
“At the centre of this depressing state of affairs is the absence of political leadership. Within government, there appears to be no political will to address once and for all the growing socio-economic and other problems the country faces. On its part, the opposition is fragmented and lacks the legitimacy and credibility to serve as a rallying point for change. For the ordinary person, there is no hope. Malawi faces an existential crisis as a country, a crisis which is human-made, and is therefore humanly resolvable. The erosion of faith in the ability or willingness of the government and political leaders to address the country’s mounting socio-economic crisis does not augur well for the future of politics in our country,” reads part of the statement.
With all that is happening in Malawi currently , Malawians in the diaspora have called on the government to rise to the occasion and fulfill the responsibility bestowed on them by the electorate on 23 June 2020.
They believe that legal and policy tools to fight corruption are in place, and concrete action in regard does not need to wait for future public consultations, including a conference on corruption.
The Malawians in diaspora have called on the government to suspend all those implicated in corruption and looting and to strengthen all institutions of accountability.
They have also advised civil society organizations to remain vigilant, independent and principled.
Malawians who have signed the statement include Danwood Chirwa, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Cape Town, South Africa, Cedrick G. Ngalande, Senior Principal Systems Engineer, Raytheon Intelligence & Space Systems, Los Angeles, United States and Bryne Ngwenya, Professor of Microbial Geochemistry, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Others include Louis Nthenda, Professor Emeritus and Writer, Fujisawa City, Japan; Linda L. Semu, Professor of Sociology, McDaniel College, Maryland, United States and Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, Associate Provost and the North Star Distinguished Professor, Case Western Reserve University, United States.
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