Malawi: Of 'George Malema' and Malawi Qualification Scandals - Govt Must Audit Senior Public Officers!

23 September 2020

These stories about certain people using other people's qualifications to get senior jobs are as worrying as revelations continue to unfold.

A week ago, we saw Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) going public, challenging one of its senior members and leader of opposition in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa, to explain allegations surrounding his academic qualifications.

There is a disturbing rumour flying around, alleging that Nankhumwa uses someone's [George Malema] Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE). Nankhumwa hasn't spoken a word neither to deny nor accept the allegation.

And it's not just Nankhumwa.

Some months ago, estranged former State House Head of Security, Norman Chisale, was arrested on allegations that he used someone's certificate to get a job at Malawi Defense Force (MDF).

Besides that, State House press secretary Brian Banda has also suffered a fair share of these allegations. The Office of the Ombudsman is investigating former Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) director general Godfrey Itaye over allegations that he changed names from Godfrey Masina to Godfrey Itaye.

Should we, as a nation, just remain silent as these revelations continue to unfold?

Nankhumwa, Banda, Itaye and Chisale, of course, have the right, like we all do, to defend themselves against these damning allegations; however, their story points to a systematic problem in our public service that, as a nation, we must accept to face and address.

It wouldn't be an understatement to submit that we have a congress of unqualified people holding senior positions in government--people that presented other people's qualifications to reach that high.

Let's not fool each other.

Just as the proliferation of fake doctorate degrees, there is a cancer in our public service as several senior public officers can't easily explain who they really are and their qualifications.

We shouldn't forget, again, that we once had a man who was born Webster Ryson Thom, he lived as Bingu Wa Mutharika and died as Daniel Phiri. Did we care to get to the root of that story? We didn't.

It is my submission, hence, that these qualification revelations need to be taken seriously.

In fact, as Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima continues to speak reform in the public service, I want to believe that the issue of qualifications of our senior public officers needs to be one critical area he must concentrate on. We need sanity!

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