The Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network (Sapsn) has petitioned Sadc Governments over a number of issues including rising and unprecedented levels of corruption that are negatively impacting financing for development.
Sapsn is also concerned with high levels of illicit financial flows affecting the region and the rest of the African continent as well as lack of financial support, especially subsidies, to small scale farmers.
The grouping represents Sadc countries’ grassroots movements, community-based organizations, faith based organizations, women’s organizations, labour, students, youth, economic justice and human rights networks and other social movements.
Malawi Economic Justice Network-MEJN executive director, Dalitso Kubalasa is the group’s secretary general and was part of delegates that presented the petition to Sadc Heads of States and Governments on August 16 in Botswana through secretariat representatives.
“We are concerned with the continued resource exploitation and looting by foreign investors and Transnational Corporations in collaboration with our ruling class and elites with no tangible benefits to the citizens;
“The increasing challenges that farmers continue to face, land grabs, poor trade policies, weak tenure regimes as well as SADC member states’ failure to promote indigenous seeds and knowledge systems which resist climate change vagaries,” reads part of the petition.
Sapsn also expressed concern over increasing failure by most Sadc Governments to guarantee access to adequate and nutritious food, essential social services, in particular health, education, water and sanitation.
The recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa were also decried, including deteriorating political and economic conditions in some countries that force citizens to flee to other countries.
Malawi is currently tainted with the looting and plunder of public purse, commonly known as cashgate. It was uncovered in September 2013 when a junior civil servant was caught with millions of kwacha stashed in his car.
A forensic study that covered six months revealed that over K24 billion ($45.8 million) was stolen between April and September 2013, but the figure of the money that was lost from 2009 to 2014 is suspected to have now reached over K577 billion ($1.1 billion).
Donor partners withdrew their direct budgetary support to Malawi as a result of the looting, telling Capital Hill to clean up and strengthen its financial management and social accountability systems if the budget injections are to resume.