A vision-less Malawi is doomed – Economist Kachaje

The Bankers Association of Malawi in its analysis of the Malawi’s economy in 2013/14, said that “we are too disorganized to progress”. Let me add that we seem to be“too divided to progress”. Probably we were not ready for democracy or we totally misunderstood the whole concept of democracy. As a result, we are too divided to progress forward as a united nation.

Kachaje: T

Kachaje:  Malawwi need national development vision not party manifeto

The challenge with our current political settlement is that it has left us too divided to progress. We have an opposition that is bent on obstructing economic development “lest the government succeeds”. We have a government that will ignore any wise contributions from anyone in opposition “lest they look wiser than us.” We have political governments that abandon any developmental programs started by the previous regimes “lest they be seen as continuing what someone started”.

I have said this more than ten times: We need a national long-term developmental vision and strategy that spans at least thirty years. Fifty would be much better. We need to go a step further and protect this national vision with appropriate laws. No political party should impose its own development agendas that are not in line with the national developmental vision.

The national development vision must be the unifying thing that pulls all of us together in one direction, regardless our political colours. We cannot attain sustainable socioeconomic development using five-year political party manifestos that are framed without a direct reference to a national long-term national vision. We have tried it for two decades and it has not worked.

The national vision must become the doctrine we sing, think, talk and act upon. Every child in kindergarten, primary and secondary school must know this agenda. It must become part of our learning curriculum. Courses taught in schools, colleges and universities much directly or indirectly contribute to shaping our young people to become patriotic citizens that are moulded into selfless individuals who will view themselves as instruments for progressive socioeconomic change. In colleges and universities, students must be challenged to come up with projects that can help the nation achieve our developmental goals using the most cost-effective and socially enriching methods.

The national budget must be formulated to direct resources towards the achievement of our socioeconomic development vision and goals. We must be disciplined enough to spend our limited resources on key priority areas that make economic sense even when they might be viewed to be expensive politically.

Let us not waste money on programs that only make political sense but have little or no economic gains. Surely, for a country where some school kids learn under trees, it makes no sense for the government to be spending money building houses for individuals,.

We must also realize that if Malawi is to register sustainable socioeconomic development, everyone must be willing to sacrifice in the short term. We must forgo certain things for the sake of building our country. The person in the village must be willing to contribute towards health services. The person in the city must be willing to pay his/her city rates. The politician must be willing to earn less. The President must be willing to let go some of the State Residences, opulence, comfort and splendour. Without sacrifice, there is no redemption for Malawi’s failing economy.


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This piece has highlighted the obvious. This can only be achieved through constitutional means to empower the process. Who initiates constitutional changes? The party in power may not have motivation to do so because they are busy ripping off this impoverished nation. You cannot blame them! Blame the politics and the very foundation of our ill-envisioned democratization process.

tony kanyenda

True Henry


But who is going to tie the bell around the cat’s neck???

Malawi Wabwino
Nice piece Kachaje, and I for one agree with you. There should be number of long-term core projects for the country and party manifesto’s should only sell to citizens issues about efficiency (what they would do differently to deliver the desired outcomes with less costs, time, etc). Parties may also bring add-ons that must not be delivered at the expense of the core projects. Having said that – one question that needs careful consideration I believe is..who will lead that process. Suppose DPP agrees to formulate the national agenda – who will be involved in the process, how will priorities… Read more »
Ngoma,Thomas, London
For me this article is rather frustrating. Maybe I am being too harsh a judge expecting too much from an article (news snippet) intended for public consumption. However, given the fact economist opinions matter in Malawi and is central to setting the development national agenda I can be forgiven for expecting more intellectual outburst with specific strategic tenets for the so called vision. Writing in generalities like this serves only to confuse and not construct. Let me explain. Where is the wisdom of telling a drowning person that you need a vision that rescues you, saves your life so that… Read more »

Very nice, but these things cannot happen. It will take more time to get this right and I am sure Jesus will come before these things happened.kkkkk


A very patriotic piece! Kudos for that. When we were doing away with the colonial administration we looked (or at least our leaders were or gave us the self-belief we were) very hopeful of the future. Maybe it was the same when we were doing away with the one-party governance but I am certain there is no such hope for the future at present because our pseudo-leaders have never cared a hoot about the country and generations to come!


In my opinion, this is probably the best and deepest article I have ever read on Nyasatimes since its creation. Proud that it is coming from our own Malawian writer. At least it shows that there are other patriotic Malawians out there who are thinking above political,tribal and regional lines. Putting Malawi first. Bravo Mr. Kachaje and Nyasatimes for this wonderful contribution.




Great focused and patriotic

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