By Sam Dalitso
Like the founding father of the Malawi nation, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who broke the “Stupid Federation’, President Lazarus Chakwera has rolled into motion a policy direction that will break the ‘culture of stupid greed’.
“The time has come to break this stupid culture of greed in government,” charged Chakwera on Sunday during a televised National Address from Lilongwe.
President Chakwera expressed great concern over continued disparities between the rich and the poor through such unfair tendering practices in government.
“I am eager to stop this culture of greed, which has been dominating government’s procurement system for decades.
I want the practice of allowing a few private sector players to capture the procurement system by submitting multiple applications for a single government contract under different companies belonging to the same owner to stop,” said president Chakwera in a matter-of-fact tone.
The Malawian leader Reverend Dr. Chakwera stated that the net effect of this practice is that the contracts and the pay outs for them are concentrated in the hands of a few.
He then directed all gatekeepers within the government system to cooperate with his administration in finding ways of ensuring that no supplier of goods and services is allowed to hide behind multiple companies to monopolize procurement opportunities.
Since the dawn of a free market economy in the early 90s, government business has been concentrated in the hands of few business persons who have instilled a culture of corruption among civil servants in form of kickbacks to canvass for contracts.
In the same vein of creating equal opportunities for inclusive growth the President ordered ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to support local industries hen procuring for various recurring or project expenditures.
“I am directing all MDAs to give preference to the procurement of locally made goods,” said Chakwera.
He also singled out the anomaly of importing goods that can be sourced locally as one major setback in offering equal opportunities for all saying there is no justification for importing things like uniforms and shoes for army and police officers.
Over the past few years there have been sanctioned inquiry outcomes where merchandise within the Police Service, Immigration Department and Malawi Prison Service has not only been procured from foreign suppliers but also at exorbitant prices.
The President further called upon government agencies like Registrar of Companies, Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (SMEDI) to help build the capacity of local suppliers for them to meet the required quality and quantity specifications.
Chakwera noted that such a capacity building exercise will culminate into expansion of the tax base thereby allowing Malawi Revenue Authority to collect more income.
Since he came into office, President Chakwera has aligned his Tonse Philosophy to the Malawi Agenda 2063 which promotes inclusive wealth creation among Malawians if the country is to graduate to a middle income economy within the next four decades.