If you lived in North Korea or some tragi-comic countries like Aladeen’s Wadiya, you would think Malawi is sort of a comic story than a serious state. Picture this, a Minister is asked if Government is working to improve the economy, his answer: The Economy is in Gods’ hands. Hand-clappers clap wildly, whistling and women alulate. Goodall Gondwe is in town.
Before the plebeians like you and me adjust properly, another Cabinet Minister does not want to be outdone, he has a solution to hospital food shortages- hey stop pretending sick or treating patients, go out and farm! Marvelous I hear more chants of boma! Boma! Chala mwamba!
The frenzy is getting hot, or as our brothers in Republic of Thengere up north call is in capital letters “HOTARA!” The Lady Gaga of Malawi Politics- Patricia Kaliati has solution to everything, lets limit our child bearing to four- our fertility is suddenly affecting everything.
Love em or hate em, our national cartoons are at their climax. When asked why we don’t irrigate for maize, Agriculture Minister Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza had an answer “shut up you don’t know what you are asking.” Like seriously, you mean Illovo, Mpamantha, Bwanje and Kasinthula schemes cant grow maize, we can’t think of canals from the lake to irrigate Kasungu, Dowa, Lilongwe, Dedza, Mangochi, Balaka and Lower Shire. Our vision is limited when rainless countries irrigate from water bodies.
And when asked about food shortage, the food Minister had another advice for you: Yes we have food shortage, reduce your consumption! Ahem. In other words already starving, starve more!
So the solutions according to Cabinet Ministers are four; God, Sick people grow food, stop baby manufacturing, no irrigation talk and stop eating! These are people who His Excellency the President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika appointed to inspire Malawians, lead them to a prosperous nation and more importantly provide solutions.
Four people are murdered in Neno, Home Affairs Minister is nowhere to be seen. Energy companies are screaming and reporting ESCOM games, Energy Minister is quite. People are complaining of corruption at Ministry of Lands, City Councils, Trade licences, fake goods in shops, Malawi Housing, Water Boards, DC’s officies, ESCOM, Road Traffic, Immigration, Airports, Hospitals etc etc, Cabinet Ministers are all quite.
Actually, you even wonder if the President needs 20 of them, I believe 12 would be a great number. The twelve will cover only Education, Health, Agriculture, Tourism, Home Affairs, Lands, Trade, Youth and Women and Labour.
Attending meetings and policy launches are not inspiring Malawians that we have heads that can provide solutions. Before opening their mouths, let Ministers think of the majority of the poor. Let them remember the days some of them barely had enough to eat. How on earth can you ask a starving man and woman, already malnourished to reduce food intake. They are already starving not dieting.
Malawi has one of the highest rates of malnourished children, 2.8 million people are facing critical food shortages and the figure is likely to increase and the Honourable Minister thinks the best way to deal with it is to reduce food intake.
No, here are solutions for our lacking cabinet:
Dr. Chiyembekeza should chair a team, despite his reluctance to irrigation. Negotiate with all farmers and cooperatives that do irrigation farming, instead of importing maize do contract farming for like 2 million tonnes of maize with these big farms and farmers clubs, we will harvest 2 million in August and then we can tell people to reduce food intake, you can’t reduce from zero as it is.
In the next budget, set aside some money not for Admarc or NFRA to buy maize, but do contract farming for maize to guarantee prices and profits for our national silos. Stop waiting for rains, for God’s sake, he already gave us enough water!
We have plenty of other foods, the Nsima and fodya economy is killing us. We have spoken of food diversification in Malawi for long, Government schools menu should change, include meals like potatoes, cassava flours, rice and bananas. As they leave secondary and colleges, a whole generation will know that nsima with its low nutrition value can be replaced.
For Hospitals, the Ministry of Health should provide their food needs to Admarc or NFRA who should subcontract all food supplies to hospitals. Again balanced and diversified meals should be served in hospitals not msima ndi nyemba. Hospital staff share the meat and other goodies, I know of a DHO who was shocked when after moving to Thyolo hospital he was given 5kgs of meat one Wednesday morning, when he asked where it came from, the stores man said “tikagula ng’ombe timagawa kaye kwa staff.”
It is greed and feeling of entitlement that is killing Malawi. Long time ago nobody would want to work in Public Service, it was hard work and service. Now everyone wants to join to plunder! The worst as I always says are the top officials, they don’t want to forgo their “entitlement” even when things are heading south. This applies even to Members of Parliament, who keep demanding loans which they won’t pay back transferring the burden to the poor plebian.
No Honourable Goodall, we will pray God to thank him for giving us brains to solve our problems. We will work hard on our land and produce. Millions of hectares of land in Malawi are tilled using a hoe, by poor people. People with money should stop waiting for the poor to grow food for them, find a piece of garden and start farming individually. Its strange to see people spend all their time at Chinseu, Kamba, Basiyawo, Bwandilo, Biwi, Paris and Maharaj when they can spend it supervise a one acre to produce own food.
No Honourable Kaliati, we will continue enjoying sex. Of course we will see think of family planning, we will educate the young girls about dangers of early motherhood. But having children should not be the reason we are having our economy go south.
We expect King Julien Jappie Mhango to devise civic education on food diversification, on irrigation, on family planning and not go to hospitals and behave like a cartoon.
Finally we expect political leadership, a President who acts immediately when Ministers indicate publicly they have run out of ideas. We expect Ministers to start earning the money we pay through our taxes and end corruption in their departments and Ministries. If I need a plot I should not pay extra at City Council or Lands or Housing. I don’t need to pay extra to buy maize at Admarc, MWK85, 000 for drivers licence or extra MWK10, 000 for passport or more for me to get trade licence, register a business name, get power or water connected, or be sold substandard and rotten goods when MBS and Ministry of Trade exist or pay bribe at MRA for deliberately over valued goods.
We expect Ministers to inspire us, work, reshuffle and remove all these corrupt systems that have become endemic than telling us to reduce sex, food and increase prayers. The reshuffle needs to start with them!Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :