Age of unreason reigns when everything is ‘falling’ in Malawi

That this country is steadily sliding into a cesspool of confusion and hopelessness is now confirmed. In fact the name Malawi has become synonymous to falling.Loose cannon

Too many things are falling around us. Our monetary unit, the Kwacha is falling in value against major currencies; the economy is falling; social services are falling. The people’s trust in government’s ability to take them out of the social and economic problems is falling. The other day, the President himself decided to add on to this by also taking a ‘fall’.

The only thing that keeps rising, amidst this grand ‘falling’, is the price of maize and other essential commodities. Not long ago, President Peter Mutharika declared that no soul in this country would die of hunger because government had put in place measures to ensure food security at household and national level. It did not take long before the President’s statement was furiously challenged when we heard stories of people sleeping on empty stomachs, some losing their lives because of lack of food.

A few days ago, one person reportedly lost life in a stampede as people fought for maize at an ADMARC outlet. A scan through many ADMARC depots around the country, reveal a glim picture of hopelessness and despair.

Hordes of people are queuing in empty stomachs and sleeping at ADMARC depots that don’t even have the staple. The maize only arrives in dribs and drabs, and when it arrives, it is only a few bags just enough for a few people. Corrupt ADMARC clerks and officials are also aggravating the already sad the situation by diverting the maize and selling it to vendors who, in turn, are selling the commodity at exorbitant prices, beyond the reach of the common person.

This is just but one thread of a multifaceted scenario that Malawians have to grapple with on a daily basis. The economy has completely gone south. As we are talking now, the kwacha has lost value against major currencies by over 300 percent in just a few days sending prices of essential commodities skyrocketing. Businesses are dying, especially considering that Malawi is predominantly an importing country.

Government hospitals have downsized to just a meal a day, sometimes none. This is not to mention the fact that hospitals do not have medicine and that patients are told to go and buy Panado.  The dialysis  unit at Queens  hospital in Blantyre has been shut down. It is frustrating to note that those entrusted with the responsibility of leading this country are giving this time bomb only just a cursory attention. Sometimes they are actually ignoring the challenges, preferring to bury their heads in the sand; sometimes they make bizarre suggestions that would baffle even Satan.

A few weeks ago, Information Minister Jappie Mhango made a statement to effect that hospitals must be innovative enough by growing their own food. He said this perhaps taking the prison model.

Some questions for Jappie Mhango: Where will the labour for his innovation come from? Where will funding for such innovation come from? Will the Ministry of Information suddenly start employing Agriculture Extension Workers? Where in the world was his model of innovation practiced? As government spokesperson, is he speaking for government; is his model of innovation an official government position? If this is a government position, then Malawi will soon be worse than hell. If this was his (Mhango’s) own thinking then he has no business to be Cabinet Minister, because that level of myopic thinking is a toddler’s thinking, and not from anyone who is supposed to advise the President on matters of national policy, let alone an official government spokesperson.

The Jews went through untold suffering during the holocaust, but never did we hear stories where hospitals were growing their own food. Adolf Hitler would be baffled by Mhango’s statement. Goodall Gondwe said the other week that the fate of this country is in the hands of God. If a whole Cabinet Minister (Finance Minister at that) can give up hope just like that, preferring to leave everything in the hands of God, what do they think a common person would do? The question is: Who is running this country? God?

After making silly and appalling decisions and messing with lives of Malawians, our leaders have the audacity to leave all of us in the hands of God. Is God a dustbin? Is that not mocking God? Is there any sanity among our leaders in Malawi or we should seriously consider the mental hospital? Malawi is currently a melting pot, and Goodall Gondwe’s economic prescriptions don’t seem to be working.

The donor freeze has left government near bankrupt; the private sector, the much touted engine of economic growth, is too weak to provide any respite. And in a bid to increase domestic revenue, government has turned into a parasite, which is squeezing out this ‘engine of economic growth’ to extinction through exorbitant and unsustainable taxes through the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA).

Amidst all this hopelessness, President Mutharika is still maintaining an army of 16 advisors, each carting away in excess of MK1.6 million in salary and allowances every month. This country, the poorest in the world, maintains more advisors in this part of Africa than countries whose economies are many times as large.

Goodall Gondwe is not a young man anymore. The man has seen many moons and he is not the same sharp young World Bank economist that he once was. The pressure may just be too much for him. His statement may also have been a subtle way of advising his friends in government that maybe it is time to leave the stage. It may just have been a way of communicating to Malawians and compatriots in the DPP that they have failed to run government and that someone must take over.

Peter Mutharika and others in DPP government must heed what Goodall is saying. They clearly don’t have a clue on how to deal with our collective challenges.

“The poor man is not he who is without a cent, but he who is without a dream.” – Harry Kemp

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26 thoughts on “Age of unreason reigns when everything is ‘falling’ in Malawi”

  1. Gerald mapanga phiri says:

    I say it again. If people go to politics and government offices that there is money then know that that country is going to be a failed state. If people leave government jobs go to privent sectors, skill jobs, farming know that the country is growing. In Malawi everyone dream to be employed by government to make money or getting tenders in government. So the easy way is politics. That is a passport for a country to fail

  2. Gisa says:

    Sapitwa, honest, you have raised up a better point, as point taken read by country example. Indeed lets get off crying and solve the problem.

  3. Tione says:

    Watsala Malawi kukagwera mu Shire, uyo wa ku Zambezi kenako mu Indian Ocean wooooo with the old man Mutharika headless chicken at the steering wheel

  4. Sapitwa says:

    What you have written is all we know and what we are experiencing. You are one of those who besides listing the problems can not list ideas that can be pursued to resolve them. Instead, you are busy brainwashing some of your readers who are as empty as you are; wasting time crying. Zimbabwe was once like this; did it extinct? Zambia was once like this and in both examples, their people did not waste time crying: thandize bwana! thandize bwana! thandize bwana! ……. as we do.
    Choziwika ndi chakuta Dziko lathu ndi losauka masanza. Tingabwebwete maka, palibe chomwe tingapeze. Iam of the opinion that we need an urgent strategic session with the government. Can some one in contact with the government request for this session? Invite many of the think tanks who can assist the government to deal with this situation. invite us all and screen to 200 people. We can help our country come out of this.This should not be a Parliament session as most of the MPs have failed us. Instead of helping, they join the bandwagon of those crying.

  5. gomezgani says:

    Sssssh God is in control

  6. Galu says:

    A revolution can do. Osowa ndi oveka belu mkhosi mwa mphaka

  7. paul says:

    Boma la anthu otopa ili Peter is tired Goodall is tired too both falling pieces anganya a Jappie useless atapereka chimanga Ku Rumphi he thinks patients can leave the beds and start farming alas alas feel pity for these guys bola JB

  8. paul says:

    This government needs to go before their term ends for sure they have failed all their promises are empty I personally don’t see the future in this government

  9. Christopher AUBLIC Ligomeka says:

    ZOZIYAMBA DALA. AMAI JB ANAKUUZANI ZISANKHO SIZINAYENDE BWINO, MUVOTENSO IWO ATULA PANSI UDINDO INU MANAKANA KUTENGERA CHIDANI. MSINJE WA TINKANENA ANATHERA MU SI IZI. OTSUTSA BOMA AKENSE ATULO BOLA BOMA LIKUWALIPIRA MALIPIRO, KUWAGULIRA MAGALIMOTO, KUWALIPIRIRA MA BILL KUZIPATALA ZA PRIVATE, NSONKHO WA BOMA SALIPIRA OVUTIKA NDIWO AKUPHINJIKA. BOLA SODIER LUCIUS BANDA ANAGWEDEZA BOMA LA BINGU NDI IMPEACHMENT MPAKA A SPEAKER KU MWALIRA…WAKE UP MALAWI KUNJA KWACHA

  10. All-i-can-say says:

    Amalawi kusaganiza bwino. Mumati matchona akuthandizani chani? Start electing young and energetic leaders who will truly transform our country. These madalas have nothing more to offer and by-the-way, they retired for a reason. Look at the ages of leaders in the western countries. I would bet, the average age is not more than 50. Look at leaders in African countries? The average age is over 70. These guys were in their prime 30 to 40 years ago and we expect them to have the same energy and drive now?

    The social ills plaguing our nation can only be dealt with visionary and energetic leadership. This is 21st century and we are still grappling with the basics of human survival? How Do we expect to advance as human beings if we are still starving? This requires us a nation to wake up and get this right once and for all. Otherwise Malawi will burn soon. Mark my words.

  11. Peter must fall says:

    Enough is enough, Dzuka Malawi!!!!!!!

  12. Tate Gubudu says:

    Mr president plz fire all ur ministers

  13. Bibo says:

    Long time ago I suggested that the name Malawi should be changed to Flameland Republic or back to Nyasaland because the name Malawi is known abroad to be associated with poverty, Aids, backwardness, and stigma.

    Today, Malawians don’t have a quality life because their country had been stigmatized since day one after multi-party democracy was introduced and UDF started ruling. In fact,the name Malawi had some respect during Kamuzu’s era , at least across the border, due to Kwacha stability and Malawians’ buying prowess.But even during that time, the country was miles behind it’s neighbors in areas of infrastructure,quality healthcare system, and export base. Looks like the trend for the country was downward and continues to be so.

    It is betrayal of our own conscience to take pride in the name that is associated with independence from the British but that same name characterizes our fall from positive expectations.It is a name that exposes failure in governance, economy, social life, sports, infrastructure, healthcare delivery, civil service, tourism, industrial production, and combating deadly diseases. The name Malawi instead, has promoted greed, tribalism, diseases, economic stagnation, corruption, mistrust, uncertainty,blackouts in electricity, few jobs, and in general backwardness.

    Flameland means land of the Flames which also means Malawi(flames of the lake) .Despite meaning the same thing, naming the country Flameland would at least conceal the bad stuff associated with the country and make people abroad yearn to explore it because after all, the name sounds appealing and easy to pronounce for them.

  14. chobesha says:

    It is time we start looking things with positivity rather than being filled with lots of negativity all the time. Issue of prisons producing their own food is a positive idea. Be educated that prisons have inmates of different expertise who include agriculturalists , teachers, lawyers ,engineers ,pastors , mechanics, health personnel,operators, drivers including journalists . These prisoners can best be put to the areas of their expertise as they serve their reformation sentences. Author i believe you have written if not read some court sentencing comprising of terms like ‘with hard labor’ and questions of where to get labor need not to arise. When at times you don’t have something meaningful to write read what others have written it will be time well spent . For sure i may consider you an upcoming responsible citizen if you did that. The proposal is a working one. Malawians of good will supports the idea.

  15. Peter must fall says:

    We want change! We want change!!!! Lets go enough is enough.

  16. AUBLIC says:

    THIS CONFIRMS THE PUNISHMENT OF GOD. IF THEY HAD NOT COMMITED CORRUPTION ON THEIR WAY TO LEADERSHIP, GOD WOULD NEVER EXCUTE SUCH PUNISHMENT UPON THIS THRONE

  17. CHEWA FEDERAL FRONT says:

    I was exercising my brain and found that nothing can ordinarily lose more than 100% of its value.
    So, the MK has lost just over 55% of its value since APM became president in 2014 todate and not “over 300%” as you’ve said. Even when the MK gets to trade at 2,000MK to the dollar next year, it will still have lost just over 80% of its 2014 value.
    Anyhow, 2016 could turn out to be the most difficult year for the president, especially when the inevitable mass protests begin.
    The question is whether he has concrete plans up his sleeves for this economy; I have serious doubts.

  18. Tt says:

    Its because we depend on imaginary friends like Yahwe and his foreskinless jewish son aka Jesus to give us everything! Pathetic!!!!!!

  19. Elder Sage Iv says:

    We derided former President JB as “clueless”, I don’t know what we can call these guys and dolls masquerading as government in power : maybe “headless chickens” or “dog tired” …. as we say in vernacular “boma latopa ili…”

  20. Stephen Lungu says:

    Nyasatimes has written the above pathetic situation of our beloved Malawi. As one reads this, you wonder whether all the opposition parties are reading this article. It they are, then they are all “toothless dogs” who should be making noise in parliament, but not only in parliament, but in the streets as well. There were 12 parties during elections, 11 parties should gather together, including the different religions and demonstrate that things are not right in our country. We demand change We cannot go on like this. Tom should have included the Road Traffic Department that demands to have more finger prints even after we were FORCED to get the Traffic Register Card which has all the information in it. But when you go there, they go through fingerprints all over again. People who designed that are THIEVES. Why should I go through the whole process all over again?

    Malawi is the only country that starves its patients in Africa. There medicines that require to eat first before you take your medicines. This government is a shame to humanity. My biggest problem, Malawians seem to accept everything as normal, they will never gather around and march to the statehouse demanding food, they will never march to the Road Traffic and demand for faster way of being serviced. We are asleep and very polite Malawi, everything bwana zilibwino.

    Catgut issue: I am angry that the “big fish” cases take many years to be charged. Muluzu’s case in still pending, and many others still driving around our cities. The “small fishes” takes a few weeks and they are locked in. INJUSTICE at its best in our land.

  21. TA Mkhumba says:

    Komatu Mathanyulayi watikwana.

  22. Christopher AUBLIC Ligomeka says:

    It will be an error to let this goverment clock 2 years. all is well set for downfall. the dpp goverment is bound in my finger tips and people of MALAWI must wake up from day dreaming. if the foundation is corrupt who may heal this land. APA YAKWIYA NDI MIZIMU…munayambana ndi olakwika. watchout.. MARK MY WORDS

  23. wayunda says:

    Mbwenu titiuli charo chikiyemwera ichi

  24. eish! Malawi wavuta kukhalamo!

  25. President Mkango Lion Chivomorezi Chisokonezo Manthakanjenjemereza says:

    I said Malawi is poor because of lack of strategy. If the whole minister is thinking like a standard two guy. How is the standard two guy going to think? a rat or a cat or a dog. Poor thinkers

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