Solving cashgate in a day: Parliament can do that
The cash-gate report is out and analyzing all the stories Malawians will not want to hear anything but who is involved. They have their own theories and gossip-our prime trademark- about what really happened. Its sad that some credible institutions are even resubmitted the same evidence taken from ACB to ACB and claiming to be discoveries.
In a country which strives on conspiracy theories, no amount of legal work, rhetoric or explanation will convince anyone, especially those eagerly waiting to be in State House that anything tangible is being done. The audit was done by a British firm and the results were all coordinated and released by them, nothing seem to have been the case, everyone now is accusing everyone of tampering because the theories are that are circulated by others we tend to believe are not proven.
The amount looted is K6.8 billion (US$15million) much lower than the trumpeted US$100 million the world was meant to believe. Even if I chose the higher K13 billion (US$20 million) there is a huge gap between what we have wanted to believe and the reality on the ground.
However despite all logical thinking, Leader of Opposition has pegged his estimate at around K50 billion (US$65 million or thereabout) The amount is less than what we believe was stolen.
The problem is that whatever is being done, nobody has trust in the next person. Everyone speaking have their own agendas. Look at Civil Society, they want to demonstrate 60 days before elections or really it is strategy of trying to position oneself for future appointments likely to come with May 20, 2014.
Two days ago I wrote about thinking outside the box and Malawians coming to realise that 50 years of our independence have generally been a waste. We have delegated out citizenship responsibility including holding all those we need to account now asking us to praise sing them.
We have colossal leadership failure in CSO's, Government, Politicians and dare to say even the comical Religious leaders who are busy inflaming religious division and milking unsuspecting Malawians in the name of heavens.
I will not even dare to touch the issue of rotting bodies at Kamuzu Central Hospital. Every trip to a Malawian hospital, any hospital leaves me weak and drained emotionally. They are death centres and people getting angry for the dead not the suffering to me smacks hypocrisy. Jesus candidly puts it, let the dead mourn the dead, Malawians should be mourning and fighting for a better healthcare system for the poor that are sick and now waiting death in hospitals. Our anger or holy anger is always misdirected.
Now since we are still a "very very angry nation" over cash-gate, we should accept that cash-gate can no longer be dealt in a normal and usual way.
This applies to all that have wrongly benefited from state coffers, bought public properties at a song and more importantly were paid monies for works not done.
The forensic audit report makes clear who got the money without paying. We cannot continue waiting for courts, which are slow, nor wait for these wrongful billionaires to use the justice systems to circumvent what belongs to Malawians.
My simple proposal is that all parties should agree and rush to convene Parliament while Civil Society should make sure they camp there to see within hours that a new bill "CASH GATE AND ILLEGAL PUBLIC FUNDS PROCEEDS FORFEITURE ACT" enacted.
Lets agree, all those that have stolen from the public have suspended their rights to public recourse of doing things, including fair process of the law. If we blame cashgate for causing the dead at Kamuzu Central, our anger should include that equal and proven amounts stolen from the public purse be pursued immediately.
Now what will this act do:
1. Empower Police, ACB and Justice department to recover all properties, monies and assets from all those paid by Government funds in equal value without any court proceeding.
2. Audit all recipients of public funds including political parties that get funding from Parliament and recover any misuse of funds.
3. Enact a death penalty for anyone caught stealing public funds or life sentences for those abetting and benefiting from stolen funds.
4. Recover all properties accumulated by all public servants from 1994 to date that cannot be backed by any means of incomes sources or business that indicate profitable margins equivalent to period and investments made.
5. All businesses with Government contracts should publish their tax returns, number of contracts held and which Ministries for the period starting from 1999 to date to determine businesses that have milked Malawians through collision with politicians or civil servants.
6. All organisations, including Civil Society and charity groups and aid organisations raising money on behalf of Malawi should declare through published and audited reports on how much is invested in Malawi including the total received each year.
7. Bar all suspected criminals with cases involving Government or public resources from running for a public office to avoid undue political influences in event of winning seats.
8. All businesses owned by politicians or registered in their names or spouses names should be banned from doing business with public institutions.
9. All Presidential and Parliamentary candidates should declare their assets as part of nomination forms presentations and should be published accordingly. The Auditor General should immediately verify all declared items. Any unverified declarations should qualify one for disqualification.
10. All businesses found inflating, colluding or receiving stolen public funds should be de registered and banned from conducting business in Malawi. This should include banks that fail to follow laid procedures.
Lets draft this bill together and we can have our MONEY back by March 10, 2014. It will be a law better than some funny and comic laws we tried to introduce in the past. I know the ill gotten wealth owners will say I am mad, am I? Otherwise nothing will change and come 10 years time, there will be another gate scandal.
In 1995 we had the Secucom scandal, later the Apex and Mercedes scandal, in 2001 we had the K187 million, Education books scandals, Maneb scandals, the final one was the Keza and the K1.7 billion cases then we had the Maybach scandal, then we moved to procurement, bus and Jet acquisitions, then we had Ndata, Waterways and Nsanje Port and Mota donations before we went to MHC and City Council scandals, before crowning it with a K61 billion deceased estate. We now have the cashgate.........wena lets grab our monies and properties back, we will talk democracy on voting.........