Aug 17, 2017 Last Updated 1:40 PM, Aug 16, 2017


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Malawi’s Unsolved Mysteries

The cause of the fire that razed the Ministry Of Agriculture office is still a mystery The cause of the fire that razed the Ministry Of Agriculture office is still a mystery Image sourced at
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Hopes are being extinguished among Malawians on the likelihood of the government finalising investigations pertaining to buildings that were raze by fire.

In this analysis, Capital FM’s Christy Gomani goes back to as far as 2013 when fire accidents were at their worst.

18th October, 2013 is a day that many people who frequently visit Blantyre will never forget. One of the long standing two storey buildings along the Haille Selassie road went up in flames.

This meant that the building, belonging to a parastatal, ESCOM could no longer be used to accommodate the Head Office.

The entity had to quickly scout for new space within the city, and facing a race against time, the ESCOM managers were crammed into Umoyo House and another building along Sanjika Road. But that is not the crux of the matter.

It was alleged that ESCOM House had been deliberately torched as some people wanted to conceal corruption issues within.

These employees had allegedly caught wind of news that the government had identified a company to audit the books at ESCOM.

Malawians are yet to know the true story and what exactly caused the ESCOM inferno, as those entrusted by the tax payer to investigate the issue, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the police have never made their findings public.

Hearing from the energy minister Bright Msaka, the day as to when the house will be renovated remains uncertain.

Just as the embers of the ESCOM fire were dying down, July 2014 was the turn for those in Lilongwe to witness an inferno similar to the one in Blantyre.

Fire had engulfed The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) warehouse in the capital city, reducing it to ashes.

This was after the High Court in Lilongwe had ordered a re-run of the elections for the Lilongwe City South East constituency, following claims of rigging.

The fire even destroyed resources that had been borrowed from the Electoral Commission of Zimbabwe.

The liability to settle the associated costs still lie in the hands of ordinary Malawians.

Fingers were pointing towards the National Intelligence Bureau, which by then had Nicholas Dausi as its Chief Spy.

Its officers had allegedly been spotted around the warehouse, moments before it went up in flames.

From this point on, fires were breaking out on a frequent basis, from flea markets to government premises.

To this day, no one knows exactly the reasons behind these fires, despite several ad hoc committees and enquiries being set up by the government.

On 14th February, this year amid the ADMARC maize scandal that implicated former Agriculture Minister George Chaponda, a mysterious fire had started at Capital Hill, and surprisingly, it was Chaponda’ office that had been razed by the inferno.

But now exactly four months after the incident, neither the Police nor the ACB have come out to explain to the public what happened, and how far they have gone with their investigations.

Such statements are not inspiring the public, and a majority of Malawians are beginning to think that the authorities might be deliberately dragging their feet, following allegations of arson.

It is high time the authorities, including those with the mandate, exposed the truth on the fires, because if left unexplained, it has the potential of eroding the public trust in the government.

Last modified on Thursday, 15 June 2017 09:35


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