For God and for Goodall: Malawi economy

If, at the start of 2016, you expected your finance minister to deliver a forecast bristling with real hope, laced with the absolutely necessary reassurances for a jittery nation, you were to be disappointed.

Gondwe: Malawi economy will heal by May

Gondwe: Malawi economy will heal by May

“The fate of the economy is in God’s hands”, Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe said last week.

It’s quite iniquitous that deceitful politicians who have gotten Malawi into this mess over the years by a combination of greed, theft, arrogance, lies and ineptitude—even killing—are the same politicians that now say they want God to bail this country out of this malaise.

The story of Goodall Gondwe is that he often was portrayed as this Knight in Shining Armor, with years of experience at the highest levels at the United Nations and the World Bank, and the man whose wisdom we must trust.

His decision to go public with this rather startling confession o fdefeat and failure must be trusted, too. The economy is in free fall and is showing no signs of slowing down. Instead, it is Goodall who is showing palpable signs of wear and tear. The truth, which we need to confront now, is that our finance minister is at his wits’ end: he is old, he is tired, he has no new ideas and he is way past his sell-by date.

It would help if, after placing the economy in God’s hands, the minister owned up and resigned. Gondwe might not singularly be responsible for all this mess but he must take the flak. He, as the finance minister who told us late last year that Malawi will be clapping hands in joy for his government in 2016, must accept responsibility for the decadence into which the country is now wallowing.

But he won’t own up and he won’t resign knowing very well that Malawians are a docile people and there won’t be a robust debate—nor demonstrations in the streets—for his ouster because a minister of finance who places the fate of a country’s economy in the hands of God has, effectively, abdicated his responsibilities.

So true to form, after Goodall put God in charge of his ministry, the next day life continued at its customary, sedate, muli bwanji-tili bwino respectful pace all over Malawi. The only difference being the lines of desperate, hungry people at Admarc growing longer and street kids accosting passers-by for a K500—they, too, now know how worthless the currency is becoming.

This meek Malawian syndrome is heavily discernible in the people’s reaction to government blunders: they will quicklyadapt rather than work tirelessly to bring blundering public officials to account.

Malawi is a paradox.

You can’t claim to be broke yet your president runs around in awailing convoy of vehicles three times the size of Jacob Zuma’s motorcade, for example. That display of unfettered power on the presidential motorcade and its high-powered fuel-guzzlingSUVs and Mercedes Benz must leave many with a sense of awe and revulsion. The sheer extravagance of it must leave ordinary, hungry, Malawians with a feeling of disgust.

Depending on occasion, there can be anywhere between 20 and 30 vehicles on the motorcade as Peter Mutharika moves around town. The amount of petrol and diesel used by the presidential motorcade in a single trip must be obscene.

Recently, Malawi spent tens of millions—some says hundreds—of precious money to add to that convoy a specialized “motorhome” for President Mutharika which, essentially, is his own ambulance. This luxurious ambulance called motorhome is a reminder of Peter Mutharika’s mortality but also of how much this former university professor has completely lost touch with reality.

He and his wife have an ambulance to themselves while ordinary people across the country are ferried to hospitals in crude pushcarts and wheelbarrows. This is a country where Mzimba, Nkhata-Bay, Chitipa, Thyolo, Ntcheu, Kasungu, Dowa, Mwanza, Chiradzulu and Blantyre have less than 30 functional ambulances for almost 5 million people.

Nurses and doctors have long grumbled about deteriorating health services characterized by widespread shortages of drugs, food and equipment, including ambulance provision.

Tragedy for Malawi is that its leaders are so preoccupied with their political survival they don’t care two tambala for the long-term economic stability of the country and the welfare of the people.

The people of Malawi are, frankly, on their own. Even Goodall Gondwe knows that God helps those who help themselves.

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Mike Chimphepo
Guest
Mike Chimphepo
7 months 28 days ago

Mother Malawi where are we heading to?Les pray for our beloved country

Guantanamo
Guest
Guantanamo
7 months 30 days ago
APM on inauguration day said “I will turn the economy around. JB had no clue of running this country”. Mid last year APM said “we are in this mess because of cashgate”. Last year Goodall said “you will be clapping hands for this govt in Feb next year”. Now Goodall is saying “the economy is in the hands of God” ………………… Muluzi, Bingu and JB managed Malawi economy fairly well amidst cashgaters. APM, with no cashgate taking place has performed dismally. The university professor of Law who taught in Tanzania, Makerere, India and America with vast knowledge has been superseded… Read more »
pido
Guest
7 months 30 days ago

Depending on Fodya yemwe mumamunyozayu Zitsiru

hisbola
Guest
hisbola
8 months 6 hours ago

NORTHERNERS TOLD U,: ICHI NTCHINDERE CHAKUFIKAPO, A LOMWE NDI UMBULI WAWO ALI MUNTHU KOMA UYU. HIS FATHER( GOODALL) WAS A STOOGE IN THOSE DAYS.
HERE IS A MAN WHO HAS NO LEGITIMATE FAMILY, HAVE U HEARD OF HIS WIFE, CHILDREN OR GRAND CHILDREN?
VERY GREEDY OLD MAN.

LetsBeReasonable
Guest
LetsBeReasonable
8 months 49 minutes ago

“…NO LEGITIMATE FAMILY…”
Well, this in itself cannot be a sign of greed. A spouse can die or they can divorce you, after which some people choose to remain single for the rest of their lives. Blah, blah, blah, … Actually, I’ve met lots of single people who are exceedingly generous.

uncle khomodei
Guest
uncle khomodei
8 months 7 hours ago

..very bad that its only us,ordinary citizens who bear the pinch of these”smart politicians”…they receive good salaries,good and not worth what they do allowancies,nice unbefitting benefits,and all that is good that a poor ordinary malawian can pay for them with his hard earned money in terms of tax,taxed on everything…

….Please,please you old politicians leave the politics and the country for the youth,our time is now to make things right……

patrick
Guest
patrick
8 months 10 hours ago

They say every player has to retire, but this Goodall he is too old, but he wants to continue, malawi kwacha is in intensive care unit everyday prices are rising. Retire before you are forced out, as you are taking malawi into more poverty, have mercy on poor Malawians

dalitso
Guest
dalitso
8 months 15 hours ago

eee nde 2019 kwatalikanso bwanji pitala watikwana heavy

CHEWA FEDERAL FRONT
Guest
CHEWA FEDERAL FRONT
8 months 16 hours ago
According to the holy bible our Heavenly Father has already provided us with ALL solutions to ALL our problems, present and future. All we have to do is to SEEK and we will FIND those solutions. Author, you think the problem lies with Goodall Gondwe? Nah!!! Let me give you an electric shock therapy, perhaps you can wake up from your deep slumber. News filtering through from the Chewa Plains is that most people’s tobacco crop has wilted away. Consequently, unless something is found to replace tobacco, expect total collapse of the economy. You, author, should go and ask APM… Read more »
sam
Guest
sam
8 months 17 hours ago

Kwacha almost reaching 800 to a dollar now, This goodall is too old. Why is this happening how can a currency move from 450 to 800 in less then a year, this is poor governance we shall need early elections as if we continue like this this Goodall will finish the country and the kwacha.

2016 welcome
Guest
2016 welcome
8 months 17 hours ago

But last year you said the economy will be on track January this year. You so irrelevant. No wonder we are in this economic mess.

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