Malawi’s economic challenges, getting to the roots: Kachaje

Imagine this: A boy aged 16 and a 14 year old girl living in the rural areas of Malawi, fall in love. A few things happen in secret, and nine months later, their secret is fully revealed at a free government hospital, where the young lady becomes a mother and drops out of primary school. The boy now turned father, goes only as far as form two. He has about half an acre of land where he grows some maize, and thanks to almost free, heavily subsidized farm inputs, he can produce maize to last the family at least seven months. He doesn’t have to worry about the shortfall because there are plenty of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who will come to their rescue with free donations.

Kachaje: Malawi economy in bad shape

Kachaje: Malawi economy in bad shape

Six years down the line, their daughter starts free primary school where she is fed free porridge, so the father doesn’t have to work any harder to provide the porridge at home. The young couple has two more children, one aged 3, and another just a year old. Of course, the mother is expecting their fourth child. They don’t pay anything for the health services for their three children. They drink free water from a borehole which was a donation from a local NGOs. Each time they go to the market, they cross a bridge which was donated as a campaign project by their local Member of Parliament (MP).

Last week, they were at a funeral of a relation, whose coffin came completely free from the MP. This week, they are attending some training on modern farming methods, fully sponsored by an international NGO, and it is a cash boost to the family because they are receiving daily allowances. Another NGO two months ago, came to construct pit latrines at the school where their child goes to, again, another free donation to their village.

From a battery operated radio, their most prized asset,comes a message, “mukachokakuchimbudzi, sambanimmanja. Uthengawuukukufikanindithandizolochokeraku USAID” (wash your hands after using the toilet – this message is brought to you with financial support from USAID). It is now 7pm and the Chichewa new bulletin announces that His Excellence the State President has just signed a grant worth MK215bn HIV/Aidsfrom the Global Fund, more free medications on the way, Hallelujah! And more great news: The government of China has approved some loans and grants worth MK855bn for various projects in the country, including the purchase furniture for some government offices.

The scenario above, has been repeatingitself for at least five decades. Over 80% of the population was born in, or has access to free health services. Primary education is free, they walk on free roads, and receive free food whenever they don’t produce enough. Thanks to democracy, they have politicians who compete to outdo each other on offering freebies, be it a cow, goats, cement bags,a few iron sheets or even coffins.

Then picture this: A leader shares a dream – “We must become a producing and an exporting nation”. The people look at the leader blankly, wondering, “Why the hell must we be produce and export? We have almost everything we want for free here, get lost!” Fearing he or she will lose their votes, the leader goes around the world to ask for more freebies and crippling loans from economically developed governments whose citizens have been taught the need for hard work and taking personal responsibility for their lives.

Getting to the roots of our poverty, economic malaise and hopelessness will demand that we sober up and realize that with each freebie,we are developing a lazy, irresponsible and handout-addicted society. It’s time we hold an open and frank discussion as a nation, realizing that 51 years of freebies and more debts has bred more poverty and economic misery. We need to realize that we have successfully created a dependent society that believes it is entitled to donations and freebies. With business as usual, we are on a runaway train to the abyss of more poverty, hunger, pain and suffering.

The real reform that will transform this nation economically is mindset transformation. We must realize that until we make radical and painful changes, we might as well accept that we will forever be labelled “one of the poorest nations on earth”.

Economic “breakthrough” cannot be a list of debts and grants from China or anywhere else. We must be ashamed to be a beggar nation and resolve to work our way out of poverty .As President Paul Kagame of Rwanda advises: “There has to come a time when we rely on ourselves. Never forget that no one owes us anything. We must work for it. Why should citizens of other nations be responsible for us?”

  • The author is president of Economist Association of Malawi and writes in his individual capacity
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65 thoughts on “Malawi’s economic challenges, getting to the roots: Kachaje”

  1. Alick makawa says:

    It is very bad to depend on samebody,s pocket thats slavery, Malawi woke up be responsible and fight for you freedom

  2. Dolcano says:

    ZAULERE MPAKA LITI ? NCHIFUKWA TIKUSAUKIRASAUKIRABE .

  3. Jim Botomani Mbewe says:

    We will never develop through aid and loans, but through innovation, creativity and hard work. Mr kachaje would you allow me to use your as a case study for my research?

  4. Rodgers Banda says:

    The soils of Malawi are tired and fruitless yet someone argues us produce and let them steal and export. These are the days of technological farming and hovt to create more jobs. These ruling parties are milking and enslaving Malawians.

  5. Wandumi says:

    I think people like Tutule need to understand that perennial poverty is being perpetrated by the dependency syndrome which Mr Kachaje is talking about . What should be appreciated is that we have deliberately created a society of beggars who have no time to fend for themselves . Even people who have been on Government- support machine during the time they were working continue to enjoy freebies even after leaving office . This should not be encouraged if we are to develop. We can not afford such luxuries at the level we are .

    Malawi is still at the basic-needs level in terms of development because of such attitudes which the TO-DOWN reform agenda being implemented by the government need to address.

    Time will come when we can start sharing the meat anyhow after killing the big elephant!!! Not now.

  6. nangondo says:

    Malawi my country it’s time we stopped being beggars.

  7. levelheaded says:

    Tutule and others, you have lost the whole purpose of this article from this smart fellow. What Kachaje is saying is that because of free everything young people are no longer seeing parenthood as something which has to wait thereby increasing poverty levels in the process. In the absence of those free everythings marriage could be regarded As something to be cherished at the end.

  8. levelheaded says:

    Kachaje at it again, this fellow has guts.

  9. LessChildrenPlease says:

    Having too many children is the main problem. Nothing will work without controlling Malawi’s population. You know this Henry. Demand is out control because population is out of control! Simples.

  10. Manford K says:

    Check out this news article below.
    Isn’t this you Henry Kachaje leading ECAMA in the acceptance of donations just like those NGOs and those people who survive on handouts?

    http://www.times.mw/meeting-gets-oxfam-press-trust-boost/

  11. chinguwo wa chinguwo says:

    presidential salary is free tax, no water and electricity bill, all are free. ministers and MP’S duty free vehicles. komanso akutibea misonkho yomwe ife osawuka ife akutifinya nayo.let them start pay taxes .

  12. economists says:

    for malawi to depend on its on, yes indeed we need to change our mind set,we should think of working hard to earn a living rather than extending our hands..thanks mr kachaje for ur wise saying

  13. Ntopwitopwi says:

    Its really a fact,aliyense born on earth & to a humanbeing adzadya thukuta lake.Lets praye 4 once to atleast have a leader who can walk the talk,by this i mean a leader whom when he says amalawi tigwire ntchito nayenso agwire,we shld minmise luxury expenditure,he himself shld be the first to act.All in all others shld copy 4rom kamuzu type of leadership.

  14. Tutule says:

    Mr. Kachaje, your thinking is questionable and I’m sure you are thinking like achicken. It shows that you have not travelled to see what other countries are doing for their people. Firstly, let me educate you to say that the people you’ve mentioned and concerned with are children who need your guidance. You are talking of children who are under eighteen years of age. Secondly, you haven’t gone deeper to tell us whether these children have their parents alive or are orphans. We are not sure how difficult times these children are facing like hunger or long distances to school, no clothes or no shelter. If they were in love, you should know that they could realize this is a mistake if the elders intervened or a councilors intervened.
    Mr Kachaje sir, I want to remind you that in the same villages that you’ve mentioned, there people who are walking long distances to hospital, to school or any trading centre to find necessities. The roads are poor such that buses do not go there. People are dyeing with cholera because they don’t have portable water. People are dyeing because they can not access malaria treatment yet on your part you see many NGOs assisting them. My question to you is that, are you indeed a Malawian? Are you coming from the village? Have you seen children in the village that have woke up in the morning with their empty stomaches and they are wearing tattered clothes with their buttocks out, they keep on running following your vehicle when you go to visit your reaches in the village. Have you seen this with the NGOs you are mentioning or are you from the moon? You better shut up Mr. Kachaje. Shame on you!

  15. Thitherward 'wendo says:

    This is an accurate description of how the freebie culture operates in the rural areas. It is a little different in town. There, what is free is what you can carry off without being caught. In town, a thief is someone who steals from those poorer than himself. If you rob the rich, you are merely assisting the process of redistributing wealth more equitably.

    When we see the poor sales assistant going home with meat and groceries taken from her employer’s store, we are happy that her family will eat tonight. When we see the painter loading his bicycle with the extra tins of paint he didn’t need to finish painting his client’s house, We laugh. The lazy client should have done his own calculations and bought the number of tins necessary for the job.

    On the other hand, when we see a rich minister stealing, we think of him as robbing poor Malawians. However, the thieving minister thinks of himself as taking his share from the wealthy, faceless government.

    People used to laugh at the Chinese, saying that they made a living by taking in each other’s washing. In town, we make a living by stealing each other’s washing. If we manage to turn the economy around, will we ever manage to turn our klepto-culture around?

  16. Babayaro Nyirenda says:

    But wait a minute, Govt just increased the fees in Secondary Schools, what did we hear from Kachaje’s Party MCP. Eeeh mwakweza fees, mukuti anthu atani? eeeh this eeeeh that. Makamaka their diarrhoearic Jesse Kabwira. Government was sending a message that people must meet the cost of their children’s education. Even during the introduction of bypass fees at Central Hospitals even the increment of FISP fertilizers from K500 to K3500 ma wowow thoooooo kufuna zaulere basi. No wonder Donald Trump wakunenani kuti you are lazy you jsy know kuba, kunyengana and loitering around.

  17. Mr Kachaje you are right. Until such a time we all realise as a nation that we will never ever develop from hand outs,the better for us. Even Family planning messages work better in urban set up because that sector easily feel the pinch of day to day life than in our rural set up. The moment each and every person called Malawian takes responsibility of his/her own life the less the pressure on the central government. The problem in Malawi my beloved country is that politics takes centre stage and in pursuit of it we take advantage of the illiterate masses to advance our political agenda at the expense of national agenda. Well expressed and hope some bright politicians can pick the message and move us out of this poverty trap.

  18. Madalitso Mvula says:

    loading…

  19. steven jonas says:

    I am impressed Mr president, I know you have passion to improve economic development of this country. whatever you have said is just reminding me of the message you brought to us at Bunda college of Agriculture which at later stage, prompted me to introduce NGO by the name Youth For Development(YFD) which has main objective of Employee to Employer transformation(ETOET). It is operating in different tertiary institutions here in Malawi.this development aims at making youths creating job opportunities and not only waiting for being employed in so doing Malawi will improve economically

  20. Kaidi says:

    Mr. kachaje uthengawu ndiwabwino koma Vuto ndi lakuti amene angathandizire kukonza zinthu akuopa kuluza mavoti therefore business as usual. olo kuti tione mmaofesi aboma there is nothing like work plan, performance appraisals therefore business as usual. kuti tisinthe pakufunika formatting our minds osati mindset change – forced change.

  21. Seymour Kidman says:

    What a nice dream Mr Kachaje. You had a great dream. But in your dreams there are no solutions. Is it that you dreamed for 10 seconds?

  22. Concerned Citizen says:

    Prov 26:15 “Some people are too lazy to put food into their own mouths.”
    (“GNB”)

    and yet we are the same people who were heavily relied on in the mines for hard work and dedication. What has happened?

  23. pundit says:

    We can’t deny this fact. We are lazy! In all aspects. We want free food, free beer, free hookers, free education, free health care, free rides, free entry into shows, free football matches. The end result, corruption. Always finding an easy way to getting things done. But the truth of the matter is, we read too much into the biblical mana. Gule sasupa osavina. Mr Kachaje here is on point. Our real problem is the mindset. By now those who have lead us should have done better into changing the mentality. Right from the grassroots. In Malawi, in this age, people still fail to manage waste in their homes, people are still sleeping on mats, some walking on barefoot, waiting for someone, some miracles. No wonder we flock to Bushiri, and church, in search for miracles. Until people realise the need to work their way out in their daily lives, nothing will ever change

  24. Concerned Citizen says:

    What we must all remember is that there is nothing that comes free with the exception of the gift of life and the air we breath.

    The only question is who is paying for it? The crazy thing at the moment, is why do we generally think that a foreign tax payer should foot our bills?

    Why do we feel entitled to get free medical treatment, get free fertilizer, get free seed ….

    This is not the attitude we should have if we want to develop.

    If we want to tame population growth, then as parents we have to pay the real costs of daily living. It is tough, but is the reality of this world.

    We cannot have a country where every one feels entitled to a free Land Cruiser, Prado. They are extremely expensive, and are not items to be bought using our hard earned taxes, except in extremely rare circumstances.

    I hope citizens such as MPs who do not attend a day’s sitting do not receive that day’s allowances.

    We need to learn to reinvest our profits/surpluses and not squander it on more motor vehicles etc.

    We can do better. I know we can.

  25. Malawi is a nation of begging. The leaders use begging as an excuse because it is there they steal money forex. No donors no FOREX which is the money to take to deposit into their foreign banks. One can not take Kwacha out of the country and change it outside Malawi. Its nothing. A Malawi no manyanzi kupemba. People begso much and they are not ashamed t say ife wosauka. In Europe it is a shame to beg . To day their are beggers in rich European nations they hate them. In some coutries they have burn the beggers. Our African countries especialy Malawi is a begging nation. To bad and shame. Stealing is huge among Malawians. They are born thieves only during Kamuzu Band they were afraid. Lying is also a Malawian thing. I can not trust a Malawian. I am sorry. I have tried. With relatives it is the same.

  26. Khumutchav says:

    This is a brilliant and eye opening piece. Keep it up Henry Kachaje.

    We need to move on from this dependency syndrome. It is killing our nation from the grassroots.

  27. Charombanthu says:

    Excellent article Henry: The old adage which goes “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait” is no longer applicable in our case, but “Good Things Come To Those Who Go out there and F…… Earn It”. In other words, our leaders should learn to teach their subjects how to catch fish and not handing out loads of fish. I cannot agree more with you on this one Kachaje that our leaders have really created a LAZY nation dependent on handouts starting from free K50’s and education by Acheya, free fertilizers by Bingu, free Ng’ombe by JB, and now free cement and malata by APM.

  28. jay says:

    The article sounds intelligent on face value but coming from a person who says is an economist makes it so disappointing. Mr Kachaje seems to make conclusions and suggesting policy changes without any single evidence to justify the significance of the variables mentioned. What kind of an economist does that? To me he spent last week reading ‘Dead aid’ which sounded intelligent to him and thought of expressing the same views in the Malawian context. Perhaps Mr Kachaje needs to read more on aid and its real impact before writing such articles. Humans as economic agents who are psychologically so commplicated can never be understood with such a simplicitic analysis. And to me he seems out of touch with what really happens in our villages. Things like MPs buying coffins or villagers going to a workshop amd boosting their income are so non significant and I am so sure if put in a regression analysis will produce highly insignificant results. I think Kachaje is an intelligent guy but a very poor economist. I expect better for a president of ECAMA.

  29. jay says:

    The article sounds intelligent on face value but coming from a person who says is an economist makes it so disappointing. Mr Kachaje seems to make conclusions and suggesting policy changes without any single evidenced to justify the significance of the variables mentioned. What kind of an economist does that? To me he spent last week reading ‘Dead aid’ which sounded intelligent to him and thought of expressing the same views in the Malawian context. Perhaps Mr Kachaje needs to read more on aid and its real impact before writing such articles. Humans as economic agents who are psychologically so commplicated can never be understood with such a simplicitic analysis. And to me he seems out of touch with what really happens in our villages. Things like MPs buying coffins or villagers going to a workshop amd boosting their income are so non significant and I am so sure if put in a regression analysis will produce highly insignificant results. I think Kachaje is an intelligent guy but a very poor economist. I expect better for a president of ECAMA.

  30. mingoli says:

    Thank you bwana kachaje. This is what has killed our nation begging begging. Let me salute for the best advice to everyone of us. Why should we be proud of receiving not depending on our own. My father died when i was in std 1 leaving completely nothing but mmym encouraged me to work hard in the field. Due to that i grew up with a hard working spirit. I managed to go to school using what my mother and i could afford to get without either my uncles or aunts help. Am a civil servant but i do also business that i managed to employ 70 people. I don’t have to go to bank to borrow but using my personal savings i have managed to establish myself. Some of my friends whose parents died also left school saying they couldn’t afford to help themselves. As a nation we need to look up and see what we can do to help ourselves rather than depending on hand-outs. The tendency have killed our nation and ourselves. The almighty God gave Malawi everything that we can use to develop and grow. Let us stop begging and develop a spirit of hard working. Let’s us forget about British,American,Chinese or anyone to develop our economy. Let’s use our land,waters and more importantly our human resources to get whatever we need as a country.

  31. Okavango says:

    Nice 1 bwana Kachaje, we really need mindset transformation!!!

  32. sapitwa says:

    Spot on Henry! These freebies have lowered our standards. We are not a hard working nation as our Asian friends are. Look at China where most mass production is through manual work from the citizens. Look at Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia… they all were like us.
    I agree with some who commented that we should also blame our Leaders especially the first Head Of State who had 200% mandate to do anything without any opposition. He could have copied the Asian countries and Iam sure that we could have been far today. The new Democracy has not helped us either.
    I think we need economic revolution. We need Pressure Groups to Champion this like those who championed the political revolution in 1990s. This does not mean toppling the Government but having a sober mind and discuss what is good for our country and set a clear vision for our country. We should look at policies and strategies that will help Malawi.
    We indeed need to get away with these stupid party manifestos as they are the source of all these nonsense.

  33. Josophat Returns says:

    This country is a goner. Don’t worry anymore Kachaje because what you are writing as a recommendation won’t be adopted. Our politicians are all pretenders. Malawi needs a democratic dictatorship based on consultation, consensus, implementation and policing by concerned bodies.

    That is not happening, Mr. Henry. I am afraid I stopped believing that the current mindset of our political leaders are well adorned for that task. Just manage your family. Send them to good schools. Let the other Malawians rot. It’s not your fault. Yes you should shed a tear but then what Henry?

    How much are you paying in PAYE, VAT, PASSPORT, FILLING STATION, AT ROAD TRAFFIC, TO CITY COUNCIL, TO INTERNET, TO TELEPHONE UNITS, TO WATER? These Malawians are already well supplied by you and me adequately. I pay Mk500,000 per month? How many teachers are those. As if that is not enough I have taxes on dstv, water,electricity, city licenses and rates, on VAT at Shoprite and other shops.

    This is in contrast to a villager who can not even pay a tambala per month to govt as tax. God, I don’t know how I eventually make it every month.

    I can look after myself. I don’t need the politicians. But the villagers need the politicians badly because they are the ones suffering from decay and decline.

  34. Solobala says:

    You are right Mr Kachaje. For instance most of our MPs are voted into office because of the much money they spend on hand outs and not on policies .We really have to change our mind set. We have become too dependent on handouts. This has also created problems in the villages as we now have many village heads because each and every clan wants to have their on headman. The problem starts with politicians ,they buy votes.

  35. John says:

    THOSE CRITICIZING KACHAJE ARE MISSING THE POINT. KACHAJE IS NOT BLAMING MALAWIANS FOR BEING LAZY. WHAT HE IS IMPLYING IS THAT POLITICIANS ARE ENCOURAGING MALAWIANS TO BECOME LAZY BY PROVIDING THEM WITH FREE THINGSBECAUSE THEY WANT VOTES. ITS HIGH TIME GOVT MADE A BOLD STEP AND STOP THESE USELESS FREE THINGS.

  36. Meja says:

    Don’t think we hate you Mr. Kachaje, you are a bright guy who needs to give us something better from a learned guy like you. WELL DONE, NICELY ARTICULATED ARTICLE – WE DON’T HATE YOU, BUT RATHER YOUR AT TIMES BIASED AND BLIND LOYALTY. KEEP IT UP, KUDOS

  37. Dikisan says:

    Jala Pamlomo! On paper A Malawi ndiye timalemba koma kuchita ndiye mbola. Tiyeni tidzichita ammalawi. Pempho langa ndilimenero

  38. nyg says:

    I Agree Wth The Article. Am Sure U Were among the ones sayn Malawi Cant Do Without Donor Support. The Support Is Comn & U R Always Lookn At The Negative Side Of It. For Once Salute Govt 4 Acquiring Some Donor Support. APM has always said MW needs mindset change. wat Kachaje Has Said Is Not New At All.

  39. Mbiri says:

    Apa nde mwalemba a Kachaje. Osati zadzana zija

  40. PAPA says:

    A VERY GOOD ARTICLE AND LET THOSE WHO DO NOT HAVE EARS HEAR.

  41. Captain Mediocrity says:

    Mathanyux at number 11 stop trying to find a specific region, tribe or person who is the culprit for the freebie nation we live in. Malawi is made up of a population of 17 million, 85% of which are either the rural or urban poor, FROM NSANJE TO CHITIPA. There is no area that can be singled out. Malawians, not every discussion is a discussion to find out which tribe, village, region or party is responsible. Let us simply talk about the issues as a whole without the trash that degenerates like mathanyux want to discuss.

  42. Zaire says:

    Bravo!!

  43. vyakuchitika says:

    Good article indeed, but we need to be pragmatic. We need mindset/behaviour change. The same applies to “Beautify Malawi Initiative”, Very good idea, however, until people change their mindset/behaviour on waste management, our market places, towns and cities will remain disgustingly untidy.

  44. Xiang says:

    I think these are articles that are written in the comfort of one’s office or home without any evidence backing his assertions. Has the author done any research and come up with the numbers of school drop outs who are stagnating the Malawi, economy? Contrary to his assertion I think Malawi is one of those countries that link an individuals affluence to education. In Malawi it is generally understood that if you go to school you will have a better future, and in most cases the very school drop outs that the author bases his arguments on are the one who are in the fore front of pushing their kids to go through school to avoid what they did. If what he says is true most of us would be in the village following our fathers achievements!

  45. Observer says:

    Everyone must Pay tax! The so called Reformation committee must look at this seriously!
    No more free privileges for others working for statutory corporations such as ESCOM who receive free Units and free water for those working for Water Boards. The president, Ministers and MPs MUST pay tax and no more privileges. ONLY THEN this will change as they will fill a pitch!!!!!!!!

  46. kachikho says:

    Well said Mr Kachaje but remember it is government which is supposed to create an enabling environment for people to work hard. It is not the poor villager who is responsible for the poverty in Malawi . It is the politicians and government officials who steal the money some of which is from taxes paid by the same poor people. Just imagine what the many billions of stollen money would have contributed in alleviating poverty in this country. Let us not beat about the bush, the problem in Malawi is lack of patriotism in the leadership at all levels which starts from the top and goes all the way down to the common man who is just doing what the leaders are doing. Imagine civil servants, parliamentarians wanting their salaries to be at par with Kenya and South Africa and yet the two countries are far more developed than Malawi. Why should PS’s get 500 litres of fuel allowance per month? Why should ministers get 1000 fuel allowance per month and indeed why should members of parliament get 500 litres of fuel per month and why no transport allowance for the lowly paid civil servant?

  47. Professor Dr. James Napwiri Phiri says:

    Henry Kachaje has never written anything so impressive. It is not surprising that this piece is trash. The source of poverty is not laziness . This is what azungu are brain washing you. The source of poverty in Malawi is not that people want free things. It is a vicious circle, they want free donations because of poor economy and abject poverty.

    So let me tell you Henry, the source of poverty in Malawi is lack of political will , lack of vision by political leaders and lastly greed. Do not fool people here!!

    1. LACK OF POLITICAL WILL
    Every party that goes into government wants to amass wealth for few individuals. for few political zealots. Projects that are initiated by the government are not always pro- poor. Some of them are just propaganda projects aiming at hoodwinking the masses. During Muluzi regime, ghost schools and fences were constructed and many millions were lost. This money could have benefited the poor directly. Of what benefit is providing one meal a day to patients when Peter can take the whole village to UNGA? etc.

    2. LACK OF VISION BY POLITICAL LEADERS
    Politicians do not put policies that would benefit the poor. Imagine just Bingu , or Joyce or Peter were few days in the office, they start thinking about the next general elections. All plans are just to stay in power. With four years away to the general elections, Peter has already expressed interest to stand in 2019. This is nonsense and this nonsense must stop if we are to prosper.

    3.GREED
    How many times do we hear that government money has been mismanaged and squandered. Cashgate started all the way from MCP down to DPP. Of what use is the Ndata farm which is just staying idle? What if this money was put into initiatives to eradicate poverty or empower people. In those developed countries, investments were made already to empower citizens. Recently, Germany has announced that it will resort back to free education. Henry , do not fool people here

  48. Nkhosa says:

    A Henz uko ndiye kubwera. BUT one thing to add on to the situation the young father is in is that we as Malawians have taken religion so foolishly. We have this mentality of ‘Ana amalera ndi Mulungu’ which to be is stupid. We say “Mulungu anati chulukanani ngati mchenga” – absurd kind of thinking. Then we say ‘Ana ndi chuma’. Now the Malawi economy can not support such a population. Henry, as a strong faithful that you are, help to change these stupid stereotypes that have us having a population similar to Zambia yet our size is a sixth of Zambia. leaders must be those that lead people into hard work and not osololawa as people think what matters is touching the right buttons. Nice one Henz

  49. The real ujeni says:

    Great article. If we look around our well to do neighbouring countries, their citizens don’t have this attitude we have if looking to leaders for freebies. Those who voted for Peter Mutharika, are looking for quota system of university entrance, free maize, free fertilizer, nepotism and tribalism in positions. This is the cancer of a country languishing at the bottom as the poorest on earth. We need a leader who is not afraid to lose elections, bold enough like Joyce Banda, to tell the people, we are also capable, intelligent enough to feed ourselves rather than waiting for white people to feed up. Malawians are pathetic and a disgrace, all we good at is jealousy.

  50. Ana Achepa Awa says:

    Let him who has an ear hear what Mr Kachaje has written here.

  51. The Analyst says:

    Where are the 1 million jobs you said you would create, when you appeared from nowhere and posed as a business expert in 2013? U are surprised because you thought we had forgotten?

    It is not safe to promise little and do more, than vice-versa?

    The idea of self reliance is a good one and not new but how we go about implementing it remains a puzzle. Is it by introducing and teaching it as a subject in our schools? Or having programmes on the radio? Or parading Izeki n Jacob or alangizi oyenda (or oyendayenda) mmidzimu?

    Can’t you be practical in your writings, for once?

    Its high time we people stopped to present and advance ideas that are vague. We need to be practical – in our thoughts, advice, promises and a like!

  52. Jack says:

    Good analysis of the situation our country is in right now. I hope one day we will have a leader who will not care about the next election but instill mindset change in Malawians. We have been in this poverty for too long and we can leave this desperation and poverty behind for our children and grand children! Wake up Malawi and start fending for yourself!

  53. Mathanyux says:

    The star @ 1… Your comment shows the level of illiteracy in you and have just proved on this site that you are one of those who just sit phwiiii relying on handouts. Thank you Kachanje but the message should be aimed at southerners who fit well in this shoe of relying on handouts and begging. If Malawi is considered the poorest, its because of this region. All they know is multiplying in large numbers and yet they want to get free everything. I agree that we start paying in govt hospitals and primary schools. This will make them think twice as long as kuswana is concerned. Malawi is cursed because of this region!

  54. LCB-i says:

    The bottom line here is the need to increase production, both at individual and national levels.And the question is, who should facilitate us to achieve that? We sometimes over-emphasize the role of government, forgetting that it is iindividuals, through their individual efforts and initiative who can produce more. All the developed countries have developed because certain individuals invented, produced, invested, for profit. Just consider how much wealth had been generated by western societies from mmodern information and communicating technologies. Yet those technologies are products of individual geniuses and invention. And governments arevl reaping the benefits through taxes. Let those individuals who have the capital, courage and the will to produce do so. The rest of the masses will have to learn from them. Our government, and the people in government, are too stupid to do anything.

  55. maso ngozo says:

    The article sounds good but the problem lies on leadership no matter how we may change as long as our leadership have egoism mindset nothing would change on the ground. Everytime we have a leader we put him/her as Mr/Mrs Know all. We do not allow people to express their God Given talent/skills

  56. Nkhalango says:

    this is constructive criticism that government should look into.

  57. CHEWA FEDERAL FRONT says:

    Congratulations author.
    A rigorous analysis will show that one of the biggest sources of Malawi’s pain and suffering is its spiralling population.
    Oddly enough, none of our presidents wants to address this crisis, probably for fear of losing their political vote.
    I gotta say your article, author, would go down well in some elitist Western think-thanks who would label the state dependent young couple as “USELESS EATERS”.
    But then Malawi, oh my poor Malawi!! Why, Malawi??

  58. Rus-san says:

    Hello Kachanje and Fellow Malawians,

    Thank you for this interesting and insipiring article.

    You have really explained well on how or country can move out of poverty. More to your points raised in the article I just noticed that in our country there is social, economical, moral, cultural, educational, and political decay and indiscipline (almost all sectors are indisciplined). We dont do things in a coordinated manner – rather in a disentegrated and random way.

    I wish I had time to explain all these, but the point is all sectors of our country work in a manner that is not desired. Pple dont respect rules and regulations of the country. I am saying this because I have seen how other countries strive to work and find solutions to their problems together. Look at Japanese the way they work – everyone works hard, young, old, poor, rich, educated or uneducated. They all work by using the availble resources. Come to Malawi, pple expect to recieve free things – really?

    We need to start working together – all political parties, NGOs, CSOs, Churches, Academicians, etc. We should all work together regardeless of region or party affiliation or whatever organisation or affiliation.

    I can give an example here; what are we all doing on waste management in our country? Even your organisation – ECAMA, are u able to assist the BEAM on Waste Management initiative? I dont think so. Ask most of the NGOs, CSOs etc – they have not supported the initiative. I like the way Japanese pple are disciplined and organised. Thats an example of a country we can learn from.

    MAlawians spend much of their time gossiping, iddle, complaining, querelling instead working hard – even in the rural set-up one can do better.

    We need to bring back sanity and discipline in citizens – otherwise pple will continue doing nonsese in the name of democracy.

    I will share more later, but I urge Kachanje to write another article on value addition to our products and produce.

    THANK you

  59. Gerald mapanga Phiri says:

    It’s a good article. That is the truth. You don’t make it by free things. I learn it by myself.

  60. Dont show stupidity by criticizing this article. Kachaje took us through those examples to make pipo aware that their i will receive free everything from somebody. Ku koleji we call these hypothesis tanyanya a Malawi kufuna zaulele

  61. Bevulo says:

    This article is right spot on…jst look at all thse countries tat hv devlpd…its all from working hard, sme people work two shifts in 24hrs in thse countries…we Malawians, wi luv to sit back an wait foo donatns from relatives, NGOs, govt etc, makg things worse govt is also busy begging around thi world….I have questions foo us..Wat tym do mst Malawians sleep and wake up….Is the answer not too long a tym foo one to sleep if we are really serious abt developg tis country an turn thi tables around economically?? Wat wi need is MINDSET CHANGE…championed by govt all thi way down…Hardwork pays remember!

  62. Kamwaze says:

    Kachaje, thank you for this sobering article. There is no way war torn countries like Rwanda, Burundi et al, can be so ahead of us. This mindset of freebies has killed our country, paralysed our thinking and made us victims of poverty. When will this freebies system stop? Something has to give in, someone has to change tact!!!

  63. The Star says:

    Boring, just stick to the point instead of narrating stories.

    1. Mbiyazodooka says:

      This is indeed boring to people like you who do not understand what it takes to develop a country. Wake up and take this free economic medicine from Kachaje.

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