Of food shortage, awards and ‘Dzuka Malawi’ ban

The air of hopelessness and anxiety has engulfed the entire nation and Malawians can smell doom. The economy is virtually on its knees. Everything has gone haywire. The future simply looks bleak.

Loose cannon

In a scenario like this one, many untoward things happen. Families break up because the husband can no longer provide for the family; employers lay off employees because they are unable to pay salaries; commodity prices rise sharply; students drop out of school because their parents can no longer afford school fees. The list is endless.

What is, however, even more disheartening is the worsening food situation. A majority of households in this country do not know where their next meal will come from.

Like birds, a good number of Malawians are surviving by the grace of God. For them, putting a meal on the table is like winning a world trophy.

It is a furiously appalling situation that calls for urgent and serious attention, and it’s not fun anymore. As if that was not enough, the weather has also been unfriendly to our rain-fed agriculture. The El-nino phenomenon has caused dry spells across many parts of the country, casting a shadow of doubt on food security prospects this year.

The right to food is recognized in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as part of the right to an adequate standard of living. It is also enshrined in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as well as protected by regional treaties and national constitutions.

The DPP government has a constitutional obligation to ensure that the right to food is enjoyed by all citizens.

The DPP government ought to wake up from its deep slumber and declare the food situation a ‘disaster’. The DPP government must not live in denial and insist there is food when there is, in fact, none. Long queues at ADMARC depots attest to this fact.

The food situation in Malawi can only be resolved when government and relevant stakeholders coordinate their actions well and take measures to ensure that their work has a positive impact on people’s livelihoods.

The lone-wolf and often abrasive approach that government takes does not work. It would not work even if the DPP government keeps trying it. There is need for concerted efforts to ensure co-ordination and transparency to save millions of Malawian souls from disaster. When individuals like Prophet  Bushiri and his religious organization want to help, government must provide an enabling environment instead of barring such efforts for petty political reasons.

The DPP government and all relevant stakeholders must also look at alleviating the underlying causes that keep a large portion of the population in Malawi in a vicious circle of chronic food deprivation.

It’s been said before and it will be said again, President Peter Mutharika must simply manage this country, otherwise he has no business occupying State House. He must tell his cabinet ministers to go to work and do something useful than spending time replying to cabinet assessment reports that appear in the media.

Solace

There is, however, great news amidst this collective crying. For the first time, a Malawian film won Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) ‘Best Southern Africa Movie Award’.

The award ceremony was held in Nigeria last Saturday where Joyce Chavula Mhango’s production, ‘Lilongwe’, was recognized and received that accolade. This is no mean achievement especially considering that the film industry in Malawi is still in its infancy and the negligible support this industry receives from government despite persistent calls from various stakeholders.

News about the ‘Best Southern Africa Movie Award’ becomes even more heartening when it is just a few weeks after our only netball export, Mwai Kumwenda, was crowned ‘Athlete of the Year’ by the International World Games Association (IWGA).

Kumwenda was one of 18 international athletes nominated for the IWGA award, from a cross-section of sports. She was crowned as the clear winner by an online poll.

So, in our dire misery, some good news offer us some solace. Government must take advantage of these positives and make frantic efforts to financially, morally and materially support up and coming artists, athletes and others in various disciplines. A mere congratulatory message from State House would not be enough to motivate such successful Malawians, who also act as role models for young aspirants.

Surely, denying musician Kalawe, of ‘Dzuka Malawi’ fame, airtime on state television and radio is most ridiculous, retrogressive and undemocratic at most. The national broadcaster and the DPP government must allow a diversity of views in whatever form to flourish in a democratic and pluralistic Malawi.

Blatant and despicable acts like the banning of music on state radio and television and preventing donors from feeding hungry Malawians are characteristics of desperate and unpopular regimes!

 “We very well know that it is politically correct to insist that the [maize] stock will be enough until the next harvest. But deep in their hearts, these government officials know well that the food situation has been mishandled.” –The Daily Times editorial comment

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6 thoughts on “Of food shortage, awards and ‘Dzuka Malawi’ ban”

  1. Chalume says:

    This is the best i have read from Thom ever! Sweet and straight to the point. Keep it up!

  2. Chimunthu says:

    Mr Chiumia, please be very careful. The DPP government does not like to be criticised. Others have criticised and met with a car ‘accident’.

  3. Masozi Mwenifumbo says:

    The Grace OF God is the only and only way out of our mess as a nation, and it is ONLY THE FIRST RECOURSE WE INDIVIDUALLY AND AS A NATION ARE SUPPOSED TO TAKE. Had we all as a nation together done this earlier on, we wouldn’t be wallowing in such miseries now.

    But even now, when God extends His hands of Grace to alleviate the sufferings of the people through the instruments He Himself has chosen, men like Prophet Bushiri, it is indeed heart-breaking that THIS GRACE IS BEING REJECTED BY THE INFLUENTIAL AUTHORITIES/LEADERS OF OUR NATION.

    But the solution for Malawi still remains God’s grace always, as it is written in Titus 2:11-12, “For it is this same Grace of Our Lord that has appeared BRINGING SALVATION TO ALL PEOPLE, AND COMMANDING US ALL TO RENOUNCE (SAY NO TO) UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY PASSIONS, AND TO LIVE SELF-CONTROLLED, UPRIGHT, AND GODLY LIVES IN THIS PRESENT AGE.”

    Note here Malawi, that the Grace of God ACTUALLY COMMANDS US ALL TOGETHER TO REPENT AND TURN BACK TO HIM FOR SOLUTIONS BEYOND FLESH AND BLOOD, TO OUR PROBLEMS. IT IS ONLY FOOLS WHO TURN AWAY SUCH A GRACIOUS AND HEARTY CALL TO ALL OF US TO TURN BACK TO HIM THROUGH HIS ONLY WAY OF GRACE, JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY RIGHTEOUS SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD SENT FROM THE HEAVENLY FATHER TO DIED FOR OUR SINS THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT!!!

    THEREFORE, REPENT AND BE BLESSED MALAWI AND EAT THE GOOD OF THE LAND, OR REMAIN IN YOUR SINS AND CONTINUE PERISHING UNDER THE WRATH OF GOD!!! THE CHOICE IS YOURS!!! CHOOSE LIFE AND LIVE BLESSED. DISOBEY AND YOU ARE SURE YOU HAVE GOTTEN YOURSELF A SURE TICKET TO HELL AND ETERNAL DAMNATION IN THE LAKE OF FIRE, THE PLACE (S) GOD CREATED NOT FOR YOU, BUT FOR THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS (Matt 25:41).

  4. Chikasowa says:

    am feeling sorry for this country… Lets pray hard so that God should intervene otherwise palibe chabwino…..

  5. pido says:

    Kulibe njala. Ife ku mmwela chimanga lololo mufa nokha a ku Central ndi North mukhaula

  6. Mbwadwah says:

    im deeply concerned with the drection, the DPP led government has take looking at the hunger situation in the country it is cruel to still insist that will be ok and nothing tangible is seen on the ground. we r tired with politicians who are good and talking and do nothing. If you look at the inflation rate one may wish not to be a malawian. I would love to see our politians put aside there wants and address the needs of poor malawians.

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