Let’s stop political brawling in Malawi: Get down to serious business

An air of resignation is reigning within Malawi. With no end in sight to the political brawling that has brought so much misery, people have shrunk themselves to mere frightful observers. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and it seems its citizens have left everything to the hands of fate; they no longer care about their plight.Loose cannon

They live each day as it comes. Hospitals have no drugs and other necessities; there is no maize at ADMARC depots; inflation is very high and so are lending rates; tax body MRA is milking  small businesses or SMEs with unreasonable taxation; there is total desperation. People are now killing each other willy-nilly; dire poverty has forced Malawians to denigrate even the value of human life.

We are earning ourselves an accolade as one of the most docile nations in the world when all our neighbours are basking in economic glory. What is the problem? Is there need for a national reflection to find a lasting solution to this misery? Are our leaders talking to each other? Shall a day arrive when the head of state shall surprise everyone and announce that he has decided to work with all leaders, all political parties and all Malawians to change the status quo?

As it were, we are spending 90 percent of our time politicking instead of banging heads to find a way out of the social and economic quagmire. We ought to learn from the Asian Tigers; Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania and more recently, Rwanda, about how countries can turn around economic misfortunes. Surely something has to be done and it must be done urgently.

It is an open secret that political cohesion in a multiparty democracy is a recipe for stability and progress but it seems our leaders are oblivious to this simple fact. Integration in national planning process, participation and accountability including provision of data to all stakeholders in all development efforts is prerequisite to progress.

The present situation does not offer any hope to the end of the misery. The blames and counter-blames in the political arena only aggravate the situation. We will forever be mired in this fixation of socio-economic problems if we don’t take a deep and serious rethink into the manner in which we run our country.

From 2014 when the DPP took over the reigns of power, it has been a downward socio-economic spiral ever since. Their leader, the  President of the country, and his cohorts have not helped matters at all. Instead of engaging everyone in order to ease the situation, the government has engaged itself in a nasty blame game designed solely to run away from responsibility and in the process repelling the much needed help from the opposition.

Why is government so reluctant to swallow its own pride and accept that cash-gate is no longer a scapegoat for the failed economy? Political party destabilization and blaming parliament for overspending only exacerbates the situation. The reality is that there is no budgetary support and MRA is failing to meet targets. With failed domestic resource mobilization, how is the zero-donor budget going to work?

The wheels of the economy are at a standstill! People’s hopes have completely receded; they sit cross-legged as politicians continue squabbling. But as they say, when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.

There is untold misery out there that you can tell by just looking at faces of worried men and women who don’t know where their next meal will come from. With the steady increase in commodity prices, household economies have spectacularly shrunk.

Perhaps it is about time government stopped operating like a black box. Open up and cast the net wider. Continually blaming others for Malawi’s problem only forces them to always be on the defensive and fail to contribute positively. Destabilization of political parties drain them of the energy they need to contribute to the national cause. Accusing parliament top brass of overspending just to divert attention from our own failure won’t get the economy back on its feet.

Government has to realize that it is the duty of the opposition to take government to task; to question all its actions that have not been accounted for. It is not for old grudges but for the greater good of the nation. The economic catastrophe is the problem of everyone and those feeling the pinch so much are those outside the government. Include every political party and politician who has valuable input.

Aid withdrawal is not new problem in Malawi; how did the others maneuver in such situations? Or what would they advise? The country needs their experience, their information, skills and expertise in whatever field. Stop the political bickering and get down to business.

Government is like an octopus. The President cannot be effective and efficiently run all its myriad parts especially in situations like these. Change the approach! Extending an olive branch on a political podium and despising the same opposition through presidential aides smacks of lack of seriousness.

In situations like these, accepting failure and embracing change maybe painful but nothing is more painful than getting stuck.  Seek help wherever you may get it. The country is running on the highest deficit ever and the World Bank says by the end of 2014/15 financial year, government had borrowed four times the amount approved in the budget.

Prices of goods are not stable. There is completely no hope for the better. Let us face it, the Minister of Finance is good but he is not better than others. The same applies to the others in a government that since its rise to power has not been able to make Malawians see a brighter day.

Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.” –Ronald Reagan

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Thitherward 'wendo
Guest
Thitherward 'wendo
7 months 26 days ago
We have two fundamental problems: 1. In his famous dictum, the renowned Prussian strategist, Carl von Clausewitz stated that ‘war is politics continued by other means’. Unfortunately, for us politics is tribal war continued by other means. We don’t have honorable opponents in parliament; we have enemies who must be crushed at all costs, and it is the poor, struggling, grass-roots Malawian who must pay those costs. 2. In his famous dictum, the renowned Canadian communications guru, Marshall McLuhan stated that ‘the medium is the message’. Unfortunately, in Malawi we don’t care about the medium or the message. For us,… Read more »
Kadakwiza
Guest
Kadakwiza
7 months 28 days ago

The problem is Malawians themselves. We allow politicians to cheat us, rob us, and yet we keep quiet. So the solution or the answer to all these problems is revolution. Malawians complete too much, but they don’t act. It’s time to stand up and act. Our leaders are not helping and it’s time to show them that we can’t stand the heat anymore.

kasim
Guest
kasim
7 months 28 days ago

Zabwino zonse. Just take a closer look, which people in our country are languishing more than the other. These are the so called die hards of DPP. They thought by voting a fellow tribesman things will change they forgot that most of them have touched low base with xcool and their source of income depends on good climate patterns. And now with their clueless leader and poor rains how are they going to survive. Now apinda michira and are talking in low tones for the folly they made. Ifeel soory for them kaya

levelheaded
Guest
7 months 28 days ago
You miss it all Thom. Your article is very inconsistent dude. You seem to have lost the real touch of Malawi. You seem to be watching the warm heart from the horizons. Let me first correct you that non of our neighboring countries are swimming in glory as you are saying. My job involves alot of travelling within SADC countries and I have never seen in my entire life very poor people like I see when I go to Mozambique. I mean I have been to locations without any maize mill,no any shop, no any school, in short without any… Read more »
Petros Kamanga
Guest
Petros Kamanga
7 months 28 days ago
All is not lost. The answers to prayers of faithful Malawians to God are at Hand but only the blind don’t see the solutions because the evil in their hearts has blinded them from God’s abundant wealth for our beloved Mother Malawi. This wealth from God will be poured to the nation only when true leadership will take the highest seat. As long as murderers, criminals, monsters, gangsters and illegitimate leaders (DPP) are on the highest seat Malawi’s Greatest Glory will be not be released. My fellow Malawian just hold on to your faith and hoping that all is well… Read more »
Nambewe
Guest
Nambewe
7 months 28 days ago
The problem is in this very article: You expect the Leaders to make it better for you! well I have got news for you! you have to make it better for yourself by working with the leaders instesd of admonishing them all the time, you work hard so that the country becomes productive! you stop stealing so that the leaders have money to use in implementing their policies! You are blind that is why malawi is in trouble! very blind indeed you are”! wake up and get to realise that Malawi will move forward with ALL OF US WORKING TOGETHER!… Read more »
Nothing but the truth.
Guest
Nothing but the truth.
7 months 28 days ago
Who brought the country to its knees by April 2012? It is DPP. Who is ruling now? It is DPP. MRA is failing because DPP politicised it. In 2010 DPP rentrenched over 200 staff so that DPP can bring its suppporters into MRA. MRA will never perform. No need to blame the opposition as the ball is in DPP’s hands. Certainly the opposition should not go begging DPP. Malawians again put in govt a party DPP that fail them up to April 2012 and most Malawians are now paying the high price. It is impossible for DPP to restore the… Read more »
John Black
Guest
7 months 28 days ago

loose canon seems to suppose that political parties joining forces will help. My analysis is different: the political parties are bickering because politicians have no xpertise in governance and are only looking for personal gain. That means we need a whole new generation of polticians, democratically or otherwise. The problem with our democracy is that we have no choice: all political parties represent only their own interests, which are logically those of the ruing class. We need polticians representing others: the working class and the farmers. New blood, and get rid of this generation of profiteers.

John Semani
Guest
John Semani
7 months 28 days ago

Our major problem in Malawi is Katangale let’s admit that.we can’t go any where with this we are lazy people

Vyanje
Guest
Vyanje
7 months 28 days ago

Hello Loose Cannon…good article ya ya but Rudo Tariro’s ‘nilibe ploburemu’ is top range with all our problematics and solutions in one pot…you can feel the write-up. A manifesto in its right. Vote Rudo Tariro…

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