By Lloyd Takawira
Malawian President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has earned praise from Zimbabweans and analysts over his recent stance to fire his Minister of labor Ken Kandodo and ordering the arrests 14 officials implicated in the misuse of COVID-19 Funds.
Analysts have said that President Emmerson Mnangagwa should copy his counterpart for standing by his word over graft.
In a televised address, Chakwera said he had commissioned an audit into how 6.2 billion Malawian kwacha ($7.95 million) intended for the country’s coronavirus response programme had been spent, resulting in the revelations of abuse of funds.
He said in the address:
“As I speak, over a dozen individuals suspected of committing the crimes exposed by this audit report have just been arrested by the Malawi Police Service. There are no sacred cows. There will be more arrests. If the finger of evidence points to you… you are going to prison.
“As for the minister of labor, who was named by the audit report as having spent COVID-19 funds amounting to 613,000 Malawi Kwacha on his allowances for a foreign trip, I have dropped him from my cabinet accordingly.
“Even though the minister has since returned the money, his usage of the funds means that the money was unavailable for its intended purpose when it was needed most. I cannot have in my cabinet any individuals who spend money budgeted for one thing on something else,” he said.
However , analysts have urged President Mnangagwa to follow the footsteps of the recently elected Chakwera in arresting public officials implicated in dipping their hands into the Covid-19 government purse.
Speaking to this reporter , political analyst Mr Frank Chauke , said the President can still save face despite his lethargy over his cronies who are implicated in multiple graft cases.
“President Mnangagwa can do as ,Dr Chakwera is doing in Malawi . He knows the pilfers of government funds. He has to rise above friendship and arrest those implicated in corruption” Chauke said.
Political analyst Mr Malcolm Ziki had this to say.
” The latest developments in Malawi speaks volume of the template that leaders must be of strong character and show up when needed.
Another analyst Mr Bernard Mararike had this say
“The way Malawian president is handling economic criminals in his country is commendable. We need such in every nation. Our president is too lenient on those mentioned in various corruption deals”.
Prominent journalist cum government critic Hopewell Chin’ono had this to say. “Someone show this video of Malawian President to Mnangagwa!President Chakwera is genuinely fighting corruption. Yet here in Zimbabwe the country’s Auditor-General has been blocked from auditing the Government. I was arrested for exposing corruption, Obadiah Moyo is walking!” Chin’ono said.
Chin’ono further said , “I spent 45 days in jail after I exposed the looting of Covid-19 public funds!
“Delish Nguwaya who was the frontman for Drax was removed from remand. I am still reporting to police twice a month with all my journalism equipment confiscated. Look at what Malawi did to Covid LOOTERS”
Transform Zimbabwe president Mr Jacob Ngarivhume said Chakwera has shown presidents how it’s done hence President Mnangagwa should follow so.
“This political gold. This presidents has just showed the region how it is done and empowered all of us. We should not be afraid to ramp up the pressure. If Mnangagwa’s fingers are in Drax Covidgate he must resign” Ngarivhume said .