Now that the Vice-President has confirmed what we already knew what next?
The Kachali report is unequivocal in its apportioning of blame. There are names and offices named and shamed. Granted, there is no indication that the folks fingered in the report personally benefited from their illegal wheeling-and-dealing between MRA and Treasury. But, hey...wait a minute! Some people did benefit from the scam albeit not directly. After all they 'balanced' the books and therefore they were perceived as star-performers.
In some organisations if you meet certain targets you get a bonus. If MRA had a similar motivation policy of awarding bonuses for performance it certainly means some people might have gotten illegal bonuses.
Notwithstanding that, certainly tax-payers' money was used to service interest on these illegal loans. Kachali says a cool K61 million was used on interest and service fees. Surely the aficionados at MRA or Treasury didn’t use money from their fat salaries to off-set these interest and service fees. They gleaned these monies from taxes from the poor teacher in Hewe.
Come to think of it, how much does a teachers' house in a rural outpost cost? K61m could’ve certainly taken a few teachers out of their mud-and-thatch huts. Or how much does a desk in a primary school cost? An American colleague of mine was shocked the other day to learn that at a primary school right in the heart of the capital pupils were not only learning from bare floors but under trees as well. How many of these future leaders could’ve been taken off the cold floors with K61m?
Or how much is an annual budget for a clinic at Che Katuli? How much...K61m may be small change for some but it could’ve changed lives of a lot of people.
But somehow because some people wanted to massage an oversized ego of some demi-god by lying to him that his ZDB experiment is a Nobel-winning concept, K61m was put to waste. Will anybody pay for such wastage or it will be business as usual? After all, we often say, it is government money as if government has trees from which it grows the money.
If the Banda administration wants to prevent a similar orgy of sexing up of figures it has to act decisively on this one. Only then will government officials realise that playing Monopoly with tax-payers' money may not be the wisest thing to do.