"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

UDF confession shows the tragedy of our time

There is something wrong with the UDF and with it as a party that is passionately seeking to rule at the earliest opportunity, the nation has every reason to get worried. The party’s obsession to get at President Bingu wa Mutharika is turning rabid and irrational.
The other day there was the confession that the party won the presidency through stolen votes and only yesterday we heard the startling confession that government donations were going into the private accounts of former president Bakili Muluzi to help finance the campaign.
Both revelations, if they were meant to throw mud at Mutharika, are blatant miscalculations with the potential to boomerang on the UDF. Of course, the UDF itself ought to get worried that they have Likoma MP George Mtafu as their leader in the House.
No sensitive leader could have made that confession without fully considering the ramifications. But if his thinking represents that of the whole party we have a tragedy on our hands. Throughout Muluzi’s tenure, curious Malawians raised eyebrows at his affluence as he played Father Christmas splurging money.
Now the answers on the source of that largesse are coming out and it is depressing. The whole civilised world knows that governments deal with governments, not individuals. Where individuals receive personal donations from governments, be it in the name of a party or another government, moralists go to work.
The scenario which Mtafu remorselessly confessed to yesterday is an indictment of the current state of declaration of assets by public servants. It shows that our leaders can still enrich themselves in our name and at our expense.
Now that Mtafu has made the ACB’s job simpler by confessing to this embarrassing irregularity, the nation will wait to see the matter taken to its logical conclusion. Government’s zero-tolerance for corruption has the potential to show its real worth.

Editorial from The Nation

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