BY TIMES EDITORIAL:
Last week’s revelation of massive plunder of public funds at the Malawi Police Service (MPS) has generated a myriad of reactions among Malawians.
This is so because the leaked report from the Anti-Corruption Bureau has implicated big fish, including President Peter Mutharika and his ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The latest to comment on the issue are civil society organisations which have given Mutharika 14 days to either resign or face impeachment.
The leakage of the report comes at a critical point in Malawi with just less than a year to the May 2019 tripartite elections.
Much as demanding the resignation of the President based on a preliminary report would be a harsh punishment to Mutharika, we believe the President and DPP owe Malawians a convincing explanation for dipping their fingers in the cookie jar.
Malawians are eagerly waiting to hear from the President and DPP why they accepted a K145 million ‘gift’ from a supplier of food rations at MPS.
The explanation by State House Press Secretary, Mgeme Kalilani, that a so-called young politician is leaking false information to discredit the President does not hold water.
So, in the absence of such a convincing explanation, how would Mutharika and DPP face Malawians to vote for him again next year?
For a long time, analysts have argued that one of the major reasons the country has failed to develop has been the involvement of leaders in stealing public resources.
However, over the years, there has been lack of substantial evidence, including ACB reports, to pin the leaders to the theft claims.
The leaked ACB investigation report, therefore, provides a fertile ground for the graft-bursting body to prove to Malawians that it is not a toothless bulldog Malawians perceive it to be.
It is our hope that the ACB leadership will treat this matter with the prominence it deserves and get down to the root of the issue with urgency.
We are encouraged by comments from ACB Director General, Reyneck Matemba, that the bureau will not relent in pursuing the matter.
We pray that Matemba’s comment is not a mere political statement aimed at blindfolding Malawians to believe that something is happening.
ACB will never have another golden opportunity to show Malawians that it hates corruption and that it fears nobody.