Malawi situation: How the hell do you expect us to be living?

It is 17th December, 2010. Ben Arous, Tunisia. A worn-out and distraught vendor and cart-pusher walks in the middle of traffic. There is a canister in his right hand. Unknown to the spectators is its content – gasoline. The 26-year old raises the vessel and douses himself that every square of his small body is covered in the flammable liquid.

Malawians are digging more in their pockets to pay for services

Malawians are digging more in their pockets to pay for services

“How do you expect me to be living?” he shouts that his body shakes to the hopeless exit of his words. He then strikes a match and sets himself alight.

The air instantly gets chaotic. One spectator rushes with a bucket of water and pours on the burning man. The flame burns even angrier. Another man grabs a fire extinguisher, removes its pin and squeezes the lever. It is too late.  As the fire dies, 90% of the fellow’s body is covered in burns.

The national TV covers the story. The state is confused. BBC, CNN and Aljazeera picks it up. The world is equally stunned. Humans should be incapable of such horrendous acts, not in their frenzying anguish or distemper, never in their confused minds. No one wills such a painful death. We are not wired in that way. There should be dignity and a calculated fear of suffering exposed even in our methods of suicide.

About to be blown by the wind just paces from the scene is his suicide note. It reveals a story beneath the story. The story familiar to every follower of world politics. The story of Mohamed Bouazizi.

Minutes earlier  Mohamed, the chap who set himself on fire, had his wares that he was selling seized because he had no permit. He was slapped and humiliated by a municipal council. Mohammed said enough is enough. He recalled the injustice throughout his life. He recollected the prejudice rendered to his friends and family by the state. He stroke a match and burned himself in protest of the government’s brutality. His death inspired the nation. Five-thousand people attended his funeral. Protest began and spread out throughout the nation. President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali who ruled Tunisia for 23 years was forced to step down. This inspired other countries and 15 plus countries protest until today in what is now called the Arab Spring.

It started with one unknown vendor on the streets of Ben Arous. He is today known as a Tunisian martyr. The Times called him man of the year in 2011. He has since received many posthumous awards and he is honoured by being on a Tunisia’s postal stamp.

The story of Mohammed Bouazizi is not a story of Tunisia. It is a story of the world. It is a story of Malawi. The injustice  faced by Bouazizi are not restricted to Tunisia. Bouazizi was confiscated his wares like the many vendors who are brutalized by the city and town assemblies. He was slapped and humiliated like those brothers at Dzalamanja Forest who were recorded being stripped naked and their buttocks flogged into a dull red by the Malawi Defence Force.

The struggle of individuals over the state’s carelessness can be seen almost everywhere.

Kumbo, an orphan and ICT student in Lilongwe who saved money from January 2015 for her December exams could not write because just when she was days away from payment, to an international examination board, Comptia, the Kwacha went mad. Until today, she is struggling to raise an additional K43, 000. For Mutharika, it just as simple as the Kwacha struggling, for Khumbo it is countless weeks of hard farm work in people’s gardens.

Regina cannot feed her four kids in Balaka. Countless families are in a stampede and sleeping outside an Admarc Market in Karonga. The cost of living has gone up and salaries the same. The donors are systematically leaving the nation. The president brings no hope.

President Peter Mutharika has the country abuzz since he developed cold feet  on the Access To Information bill and spoke in frenetic bursts defending his decision even when donor were breathing down his neck. Surprisingly, he brought out his illegal moratorium and suspended anti-gay laws at the direction or in fear of the same donors. Him as a constitutional lawyer knows the constitution like a malaria patient knows his dose. The executive has no such power. The legislature has. Such a contradiction brings about two conclusions. One, there is something in the ATI that he does not want implemented. Two, the President is playing neutral card on homosexuality – protecting gay rights  at the same time not  to  outlaw criminalisation of homosexuality.

Let this not be misconstrued as being in support of Ken Msonda hate speech  that we all go in the streets and detach the heads of all homos. Msonda without doubt is a deranged fellow. By now he should have known what the world already learnt long ago that our gay brothers are never deterred by death.

Just last year 600 plus gays were killed by the Americans. Brazilians have killed 2,680 of those brothers since 1980. To us, heterosexuals, it’s a matter of two people screwing each other in the ass; to them, it’s a fight for their birth right, at least in their thoughts.

That is why Eric Samisa came out this other day with all the poise he could gather in his small chest and challenged the nation to accept homos or kill them all and have a barbeque braii off their flesh in our homes. Nonetheless, it is funny how quickly he went into hiding immediately he heard about people with Msonda’s mind ready to fulfil his wish to be sent back to the creator with haste.

Mutharika should grow a pair and face the problems Malawi is facing head on.

Frankly, Malawi does not deserve a president who can just stabilize the economy but one that can improve it. Does not need that who can just make maize available at Admarc but one who can ensure that the small farmer fends for himself. The old man in the village needs vegetables, beans, chambiko, chevon, to send his kids to school and have some change for his beer. We give him just maize and assume we have honoured his desires. We need a president who can lay down structures to ensure that Gogo Nasibeko do this for herself. The man in the village is tired of charities.

Bingu understood this but he, his dreams and arrogance are buried somewhere in Ndata and somehow within this pile of mess we found ourselves stuck with his clueless brother.

For a nation at the bottom of every list of good news and at the top of every list of bad news, growth should be a necessity. Any president who provides anything less is inadequate. We cannot afford presidents whose lone purpose is to maintain our poverty.

The situation for Malawi is dire. Sooner or later, even the very China that we are staunch believers in might kick us to the curb. The economy of China has registered the lowest growth in GDP for the past 25 years. Experts are of the mind that this fall will continue. The World Food Programme Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin, already announced this week that the organisation is in critical funding challenges to handle the Malawi hunger situation. Believe you me, people, we are in deep shit! Even DPP, that party with four cobs of maize on its logo and none in its silos seems confused. It is a grave picture to paint but a true reflection of our sombre state.

Like Mohammed Bouazizi, the only question I can ask the president in all this is how the hell he is expecting us to be living.

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24 thoughts on “Malawi situation: How the hell do you expect us to be living?”

  1. Dallo Ngalande says:

    So all we know is just to tell stories of some people who did great things but we all just say This Was A Great Man but then we sit down and continue crying without any action… What the Hell are We doing to change this Deep Shit We Are Into… How the hell are we supposed to live when we are dping nothing to change this deep shit….

  2. fav says:

    Indeed how the hell is Mutharika think we are supposed to live. We need people power to give him exit boot

  3. Joseph lukhele says:

    So so ashamed of this ignorant educated leaders. Every government sector there is no leadership so to say. If the presedent cant do it let us do it just by showing good axample. Everyone is so in to it. Lets be a change of of our communities.

  4. Blessings baluwa says:

    This government is full of shit

  5. Asante says:

    Peter Mutharika, can u dig that!!!!!!!!

  6. The Citizen says:

    Sometimes one wonders whether the country has really leaders who can bail out the people from numerous problems they face..We elect leaders with the hope that they are going to serve in the interest of the people..but alas!! when they get the reigns what we hear is executive arrogance…Where we are now as a nation its like a ship that has lost its direction due to heavy storm at the middle of.the sea, the captain is clueless of what to do, the crew members do not seem to care..but surely the ship is about to sink. We are a desperate nation…Priority of our leaders is to enrich themselves ..Poor nation nation, nothing seems to be working out…Poor health service delivery, decline in quality education, corrupt police and lack of security…erratic power supply you name it and its here in Malawi….When we start complaining about this, leaders say why are we advertising our poverty…They want us to be dead silent….

  7. khal drogo says:

    damn boy, you sure know how to write! nice article.

  8. Saunders Jumah the Utopian says:

    Well said.

  9. Dwambazi says:

    Issa Kabudula # 2. You must not live in Malawi. I can’t understand how you live in Malawi and not appreciate this piece, you got to be Mathanyula’s bootlicker!!!

  10. President Mkango Lion Chivomorezi Chisokonezo Manthakanjenjemereza says:

    This is a high time for our leader to swallow their pride and to think strategically. When they speak you wonder if Malawi has leaders at all. Just imagine Goodall saying we should pray to let the country out of mess. No action. Jappie saying DHOs should be creative and start farming. wooow. Does this guy knows about following the budget and where are the DHO going to get hoes and impus from if the MPs did not approve them. This is a high time the president and Cabinet should shoulder responsibilites of thinking strategically not sitting whilst the house is burning. if not call for meeting with all leader from opposition to faith community to professionals to help You. God bless my country.

  11. Nomis Banda says:

    This is a master piece. Can you hear that Pitara?

  12. Masozi Mwenifumbo says:

    Whether things are good or bad, brother, “Be just, LIVE BY FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS OUR SAVIOUR AND LORD!!! He is the only FAITHFUL TOWER OF REFUGE IN ALL TURBULENT AS WE ARE EXPERIENCING IN THESE LAST DAYS, WHEN THE LOVE OF MANY (FOR GOD AND ONE ANOTHER) HAS WAXED VERY COLD DUE TO THE INCREASE OF SIN AND EVIL AS MEN WILL BE BOASTERS, LOVERS OF THEMSELVES and MONEY AND PLEASURES AND SELF-SEKING, NOT GOD, ARROGANT, PROUD, ETC, EVEN AS THE LORD HIMSELF AND HIS APOSTLES TOLD US BY THE LORD HOLY SPIRIT ALREADY TOLD US ABOUT THESE VERY LAST OF THE LAST DAYS!!! LET US THEREFORE, LIFT UP OUR EYES TO HIM IN SUCH HARD TIMES AS THESE, BROTHER!!! FOR HE TOLD US ALREADY THAT WE WILL HAVE TRIBULATIONS IN THIS WORLD!!!! …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….These are the most perilous times of all, for the powers of the DRAGON (SATAN), ANTICHRISTS, FALSE PROPHETS, FALSE APOSTLES, FALSE TEACHERS, FALSE EVANGELISTS, FALSE SHEPHERDS/PASTORS, FALSE BELIEVERS, SYNAGOGUES OF THE DEVILS, FALSE LEADERS, FALSE ACCUSERS, FALSE BRETHREN, ETC have risen and are fighting hard to gain total ground and control of the Church and the World!!!!! These are the days when brother betrays brother, sister betrays sister, father son, son father, mother daughter, daughter son so easily, judges often judge for money, preachers/ teachers/prophets preach/teach/prophesy just for money/sordid gain. Leaders sell their countries at the altars of mammon and devils with utmost impunity or hypocrisy, at the devil’s own free will!!! ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………These are the days when the God through His Apostles, Wisemen and Prophets prophesied that YOU DO NOT KNOW WHOM TO TRUST, FOR EVEN THE ONE SLEEPING WITHIN YOUR BLOSSOM MAY NOT BE TRUSTED!!!! ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………BUT TO THE GENUINE BELIEVER IN CHRIST JESUS (FOR MANY ARE FAKE THESE DAYS), THE WORD OF GOD COMMANDS US TO ENDURE TO THE VERY END. Remember how the Lord Himself was hated and treated without cause, KILLED AND HAMMERED TO THE CROSS BY THE FOURTH BEAST (KINGDOM) PROPHETICALLY SPOKEN BY DANIEL IN DANIEL 7 (that is THE ROMAN KINGDOM/EMPIRE)!!! Remember also that it is the same (according to Daniel 7) that it is the same that is controlling the systems of this wicked world, harnessing all nations, kindreds, peoples, tongues, and races to fight against God, His Word and His saints, using THE UNO AND THE APOSTATE RELIGIOUS SYSTEM (BABYLONIANISM)!!!! ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Trust in God and in His Son (AND BE BLESSED!!!), not IN THE ARM OF FLESH (MAN, PRESIDENTS, UNO, WISDOM OF THIS WORLD LEARNT FROM EARTHLY SCHOOLS OR FROM DEMONS (AND STAY UNDER CURSES, CONTRARY TO GOD’S PERFECT WILL FOR YOU, ME, AND ALL MANKIND!!!!) AMEN!!!!

  13. gift banda says:

    THIS IS SURELY CRITICAL TIME EVEN CIVIL SAVERNTS. THEY ARE LIKING MONEY NOT ONLY DUE TO POOR BUDGETING BUT THE ENING THEY HAVE. SO WHAT MORE THOSE WHO ARE NOT WORKING IN RURAL AREAS.

    IN RURAL AREAS PEOPLE ARE BUY MK1300 PER WATER PAINT PALL WHICH IS EQUAL TO 5KG .THEREFORE, THIS IS CRUCIAL TIME.

  14. Mmalawich says:

    It’s a government of excuses and silent thieves, nothing more. Come to think of it: the President signed a performance agreement with a few ministers, does anyone know how those ministries have performed to date?
    Isn’t it foolhardy to expect old retired people to lead us? If institutions they worked for saw it fit to release them to retirement, how did we find them so valuable to make them key decision makers in our directionless development endeavour? Is it small wonder then that they are all in deep slumber while the economy is sinking in quick sand? The guys are simply enjoying their retirement but sadly, with our tax making it more comfortable for them! Cursed country, this one, OMG!!!

  15. Mighty Pen says:

    in these tough times, i suggest we do the following; Applicable to most working people and not necessarily village and poor people

    1. Stop driving personal cars to work and use public transport, including ‘tinjinga 3 wheelers’

    2. Skip eating in restaurants and eat homemade food

    3. Skip paying for DSTV, especially the full package. Its too expensive now to many

    4. Withdraw kids from expensive schools to good but less expensive ones (yes they are available)

    5. switch off some lights and switches in homes to cut electricity bills. Invest in solar systems for houses

    6. Reduce intake of alcohol and clubbing and throwing beer rounds

    7. Move into a cheaper house to save on rent

    8. invest in the growing of own maize buy renting a garden outside the city

    9. stop having several girlfriends affairs as they will only assist to chew the little you have

  16. MaiMai says:

    Price of voting Mozambique guys into power. Who said a teacher can make a good president? ?? At least not me

  17. Malchiel says:

    How the hell do you what us to live? Thumbs up Tuntu…..

  18. Maria Zamaere says:

    I guess this requires more than the president himself. every Malawian has a role to develop this nation. It is not the president that asks for 5 or more incentive(holier word for bribes) for them to buy or pay for things in institutions, companies or government departments. it is not the president that goes in government hospitals stealing billions worth of medicines in the hospitals. it is not the president that overcharges o6n products. it is not just the president who cashes in on allowances or trips of which have not been undertaken.it is us, individuall malawians. we find that we are spending more than is required, hence insufficiency creeps in, because of greed. We want to ignore all these malpractices whichbactually pull our nation down, and point fingersbat the president?I am not dpp but let us Malawians learn to support our leaders.
    The way people are stealing right from bottom( guards, shop keepers, maids) to the top( CEO’s ministers, presidents) we want to blame one person for our mishaps?
    No no no!!!!!! Malawi needs a rebirth. we all need to change, from bottom, right to the top

  19. Malawi, lero says:

    i like how the author of this peace has combined the story of mohammed to our situation..but i bet no malawian can act like mohamed did..we are gud at critisicing and begging for funds..the development of a country rely on every citizen not only the president..

  20. ZikomoYesu says:

    Tuntufye this article is amazing.. I always like the way you outline your arguments and mostly I love your courage. . someone really needs to tell it like its supposed to be told..

  21. Matandani says:

    How do you expect us to survive when you raise water and electricity when the salaries are the same. For school fees, everybody knows what the government had planned to do only to get relief by the opposition in parliamentand you stand on podium that civil servants who contribute above 50% employment services should not cry for salary increments. How do you expect us to live and survive????? Everything in shop has gone up due to MWK instability against the major currencies. Everything is being pushed to the very same person whose salary is already low. I will be the next Bouazizi!!!!!

  22. chimwemwe says:

    APM does not have good economic advisors, the economy is bad because of excessive kwacha devaluation, which is causing inflation and making DPP unpopular, i am suprised he is maintaing Chuka as our governor he has given nothing to malawians only kwacha depreciation and inflation. When oil price will start rising fuel will be 1500 per litre and then we shallwonder why, the answe is the kwacha has lost 75% of it value against other currencies, our neighbours will recover they have precious metals, we have nothing, so APM dont let the kwacha this loose or eventually the blame will come to you that you did not act in time. The kwacha has to be stabilised NOW. Lets not wait for demonstrations to act, because of economic collpase so please lets act before its too late

  23. Issa Kabudula says:

    When Bingu Wa Mutharika was alive and president of Malawi – we stood against him as a man without mercy and today we reffere him as a hero. Kamuzu Banda when he was a live we hated him to death and when he is no longer living we like and talk good anout him and he is a hero. Now APM we are talking bad about him today – making that he is full time working for Malawi to develop in;
    1. Road
    2. Community Skills Colleges
    3. Universities
    4. Changing the mind-set of Malawi for the better
    5. Link Malawi to the world in production
    6. Bring in few ideas of how government should be run, and only when is to die then only we talk good about him (shame) to us all Malawi.
    Lets be patriots and love our Malawi and its leaders.

  24. Kanyimbi says:

    All we are hearing from our leaders is “Things will be alright” but we are not told which policies should Malawians follow so that the economy should be in good shape. Another lesson is that the leaders must know that wrong decisions can affect all the citizens of Malawi.

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