Malawi is dead, but we are not buried

Malawi is dead. Its youths are dead. Its politicians are dead. Chiefs are dead. Wizards and witches are dead. Herbalists are dead. Physicians are dead. Academics are dead. The Malawian Diaspora is dead. Musicians are dead. Dramatists are dead. Ichthyologists are dead. Ecumenists are dead. Promoters of Islamic Ummah are dead. Keepers of the Nyahbinghi Order are dead. Journalists are dead. Priests are dead. The imams are dead. Gender activists are dead. Human rights activists are dead. We are all dead. We are just bodies, mitembo, locked up in a giant freezer called Malawi. As a nation, we have stopped thinking.

If we were not dead, we, like the Filipino, would have taken to the streets to relentlessly protest the pillage of national resources and the protection of key suspects. If we were not dead, we would have already challenged the establishment to call for a referendum to change the constitution and bar those politicians, who cross from party to party, every electoral season, refuse to accept losing primaries and insist on standing as independents. If we were not dead, we would not even be entertaining some of these rotten politicians. Fate of the kwacha

If we were alive, we would have challenged our lawyers, law-makers and law implementers that our constitution needs an urgent overhaul because, we now know that because of our tribal or ethnic polarization, first-past-the-post is not a fair electoral system since it means the large ethnic groupings will always win elections even if their munthu has nothing tangible to offer. Proportional representation would have been adopted, if we were alive.

We are all dead because ours is probably the only country in the world where an ambassador of a foreign country has the audacity to lecture the government, president, cabinet and citizens of a host country on the use of resources. Because we are dead, Western ambassadors will continue lecturing us on how corrupt we are.

Because we are dead, donors will continue sitting in our cabinet meetings. Because we are dead, the Ban-Ki-Moons of this world will always intervene in our judicial systems and ask us to pardon and allow gays and lesbians to practice their haram acts in Malawi.

Because we are dead, Western governments will always insist on exchanging gay rights with aid support. Because we are dead, we don’t even believe that aid is not free and that aid does not benefit us. Because we are dead, we have ignored studies that indicate that the so-called donors reap more from us than they claim to give us. Because we are dead, we cannot ask them why their so-called aid has benefited their kind more, and uplifted our people less all these long years.

There is no denying our death. If we were not dead, we would not have allowed the World Bank, EU, and IMF to fool us so many times in so few years.  Partly, we are poor because of the advice we get from the World Bank, EU and the IMF. Ask Bakili Muluzi why we had grain shortages in the early 2000s. The EU knows.

Ask Bakili Muluzi if he would disagree with Amartya Sen’s argument that food insecurity and famines are caused by poor policies and lack of foresight. If we were not dead we would not be applauding the IMF for giving us US$20 million because that money translates to just US$1.3 per Malawian; which is well below the touted US$ 2.00 per day that they say we need to survive. If we were not dead we would not have allowed the IMF, the World Bank and our so-called traditional donors to kill our currency, the Malawi Kwacha, in exchange for a packet of nothingness called bilateral financial assistance.

If we were not dead we would not have sidelined the Chinese. The World Bank, EU, IMF and our so-called traditional bilateral donors must be cringing with envy when they see the infrastructure transformation of the City Centre in Lilongwe.

Although we are also dead, at least we, Native Authority Mandela, Abiti Joyce Befu, MG 66, our commander-in-chief, and leader of our expedition;  Sheikh Jean-Philippe LePossoin, our Malawian Green Card holder;  and I,  are not yet buried. We will surely resurrect and on May 20, 2014 we will vote for leaders, young or old, female or male, religious or nonreligious, with a long term national vision, nationalistic outlook, integrity and readiness to socially transform Malawi. We only hope Malawi and other Malawians will not have been buried by then.

Will you resurrect with us?

*Dr Manda is a media and communication strategist, researcher and media trainer. Email:[email protected]

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