Let us agree for starters, even if all political parties united and formed an alliance, our poverty, our jealousy and our greed will not disappear, the truth not any time soon can Malawi expect to change its poverty profile. The biggest challenge for Malawi is the deadly combination of political cartoons we call leaders and an almost dead society. Society that is contented to live in poverty.
How do we explain the leaders we elect, the foreigners that control everyone and abuse we tolerate and later transfer on each other if we are not a dead society. We are a bitter lot.
Before DPP went back to Sanjika, they promised to reduce state residences, reduce powers of President, have a new constitution, end hunger, make sure prices of goods don’t go up, arrest all cashgate suspects, give all of us malata and cement, create jobs and etc. The DPP is now at Kamuzu Palace and the evidence is for all to judge – inept leadership.
The other weekend I drove to Kalambo primary school in Area 25 Lilongwe to witness a mega opposition rally. I was impressed with the turn up. I thought it was great to have a united opposition suddenly wake up from slumber and start re-defining the landscape of Malawi politics.
I found eager faces, I overheard conversations as I mingled among the plebeians many of them usually come to the ground to watch soccer. I really was keen to listen to the rally, that I squeezed myself on the podium which had the new political leadership Malawians expect to take them out of poverty.
Of course I noticed the absence of Uladi Mussa, the PP interim president and Speaker of Parliament and MCP Vice President Richard Msowoya. Without speculating as to where this new political alliance stand, I believe the absence of “change golo” the once chief antagonist of the MCP is telling. He is simply anti-MCP to the core and cannot stomach sharing the stage with it.
Back to the rally. I liked seeing Kamlepo Kalua, tchwee mwana tchwee. He flaunted his democratic freedom fighter credentials and his 90 day ultimatum and asked the Police to come and arrest him. I was keen to learn what would happen in 90 days or what should Malawians do after 90 days, and if maize will grow after 90 days or indeed poverty would disappear. The big Kamlepo left me blank and confused as what next for Malawi.
Then we had mwana wa Simbi ya Moto Enock Kanzingeni Chihana, for all I care he spoke too. Again nothing. I just remembered that he was next to Joyce Banda as a Minister and later tried the Federation for the North, none of his projects have succeeded. His party has one MP and as Kamlepo, I thought he wasted valuable time reminding us, who are broke and hungry that we were broke and hungry. How kind these people are!
Then came the ‘Big Man Wamkulu kwambili’, Lazarus Chakwera. I have personally known abusa a Chakwera for years. He is a humble man and a natural leader. My expectations rose high when he stood to speak. Of course I would love if he stopped women shaking buttocks for any politician, just to transform the political roles of women. I have always found the dances degrading to the women.
As I have such respect for the Reverend, I should say his speech as usual arouse the crowd, no deadlines, principled and focused. He outlined the challenges we are facing, demanded solutions to be found and spoke about his concern for Malawians.
Again, what I found wanting at the end is that I was not clear what MCP, PP and Aford would do differently from the DPP that can end our poverty, our perennial hunger and even create jobs for the youth. I am sorry to say, I did not hear policy positions from the MCP on improving foreign reserves.
For the Peoples Party they only left Government one and half years ago and the poor did not see any change. Aford has partnered with UDF and PP and nothing has come out of it.
Reverend Chakwera needs to go beyond outline of the challenges, detach from greedy parties like PP and start articulating how the new MCP would be different from Muluzi UDF, Bingu DPP, Abiti PP and Peter DPP. That we are poor we have been told, used and abused for it.
The late Kamuzu Banda told us he found us literally naked and all we needed was a house that did not leak, decent clothes and food. He built himself 10 palaces and an empire. Bakili Muluzi had a poverty alleviation programme which enriched his cronies. Bingu came with subsidy which benefits primarily suppliers and transporters not the poor. Abiti had her mbofyo mbofyo housing and cashgate. The new tenant at State House priority was a motorhome or to say chimbuzi choyendanacho.
The song of why and how we are poor is simple, greed. We have pretentious activists who pretend to advocate against our poverty, in essence they attract their attention for the next meal.
We have listened enough to speeches. We don’t want to be called “idiots” when we ask DPP or Government to improve the economy. Our economy is being exploited by big foreign investors and workers, plebians and the poor have no space. Our politicians in Government or opposition all received salary increments. The poor did not get huge increments.
We can vote or oust the DPP today, we don’t expect our poverty to end. The status quo will remain the same. The older generation actually blames our 20 plus years of democracy as having increased tribalism, laziness and pure theft of public resources and dwindling standards. Many people are employed just to do nothing but devise ways of stealing.
After 52 years of independence still poor to this day, the question is why? Ethiopia is progressing and making it in the same difficult world. Why are we still poor? Who can end our poverty? How different will the MCP be from DPP or PP or UDF? What is it that the poor can expect from the opposition if given keys of power?
I like what Honourable Chakhwantha did in Parliament, move a motion on independence of the Director of Anti-Corruption Bureau. That was a powerful statement, politically and intentionally than regurgitating historical credentials of Tchwee mwana Tchwee at Kalambo.
If Kamlepo Kalua is serious about change, let him use Parliament start the impeachment process if he has enough grounds, so too Enock Chihana or hold their peace. If my former spiritual father Reverend Chakwera wants to make a mark, let him depart from politics of outlining challenges and start teaching the DPP what needs to be done. Tell them how to get food now and Malawians will see the alternative, tell them how to stabilise the kwacha. As I said, preaching to me that there is no food in Malawi, when I am hungry, does not provide hope that having you will bring food to the table.
The thin line between greed and advocating for peoples well-being, especially the poor makes some of us suspicious that any politician going to State House would change things.
Dzuka Malawi. Time for political rhetoric and cartoons is over. Tell us what you will do and how different you will be from the rest. Malawi needs to work together in an honest way, we can govern ourselves in a manner that will serve our aspirations for personal freedom, economic opportunity and social justice. Our success rests upon our shoulders as citizens of this country and no one else, not any politician at the moment.
My Malawian of the Week: Honourable Peter Chankhwantha on his motion to free Anti-Corruption Bureau.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :