Nevin’s Grand Finale: Britain envoy says Malawi needs radical change, ‘nothing will come out of nothing’

As Malawi finds itself on the verge of economic collapse,  outgoing British High Commissioner Michael Nevin has said it is  time to build a better nation,  a better future for  the children but said “change has to come “ and it has to be “radical.”

Parting shot! Nevin thoughts about the kind of Malawi which he is leaving behind

Parting shot! Nevin thoughts about the kind of Malawi which he is leaving behind

Part of the audience which celebrated Queen's 90th birthday party in Lilongwe

Part of the audience which celebrated Queen’s 90th birthday party in Lilongwe

Nevin was speaking at the British High Commission Residence in Lilongwe during a reception party to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday.

The British diplomat, who departs Malawi in August at the end of his diplomatic tour of duty, said bluntly that “there are signs of building stress on Malawi’s stability.”

He cited increasing mob justice, more militant land disputes, declining water levels, struggling services, year-on-year and increasing need for food aid. Nevin also noted “existential threat” of population growth.

Nevin pointed out potential risk to the rule of law and stability.

He welcomed the formulation of the National Development Planning Commission but advised that it should be independent, reporting to parliament and ensure that each successive government keeps to a popularly-owned roadmap.

Nevin said Malawians should be brave enough to attack cartels, insider trading and collusion, saying such cashgate characteristics is bleeding the nation money.

The British envoy said it is “high time” change has to come to Malawi.

He said change has to be “radical” that takes many “out of their comfort zone and making difficult choices.”

Nevin said Malawians need to “up” their game and do things differently.

In his speech, Nevin said the UK remains committed to helping Malawi, saying they are spending about MK80bn this year in bilateral support alone, with perhaps over half that again in UK contributions through multilateral and international organisations, and through the special relationship Malawi has with Scotland.

“Our aim is to help provide Malawians with the building blocks of health and education that can enable them to live productive lives, particularly girls as the most disadvantaged,” he said.

In pursuit of Malawi’s prosperity, Nevin said UK support private sector development and agri-business.

“To cement the foundations of development, we help strengthen governance institutions and support those working for and defending democratic values and accountability. When Malawi is in crisis – floods or maize shortage – the UK is a friend indeed,” said Nevin, quoting William Shakespeare -“Though thou waters warp, thy sting is not so sharp as friend remember’d not”.

Commenting on the Queen’s birthday, Nevin said Her Majesty has devoted her entire life to the service of others, representing the United Kingdom, and carrying out all her duties with “extraordinary grace and humility.”

He said Her Majesty has been steadfast, a rock of strength for the UK and for the Commonwealth.

At the event, they also celebrated the life of Shakespeare, 400 years since he “shuffled off this mortal coil”.

And they launched a new girls’ empowerment music track headlined by Tay Grin.

There was a short performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet by Mzuzu University students and launch of “Romio and Julieti” – the translated Chichewa version of the play by Stanley Onjezani Kenani.

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Gwamula Gwamula
Guest
3 months 22 days ago
Sorry to hear that your Deputy Kirk Hollingsworth has been fired from the UK Foreign Office before achieving his dream of coming back to Malawi as British High Commissioner. This is sad news considering that Kirk and his dear wife Sherronie really wanted to come back to Malawi and continue enjoying the cream of Malawi. As you leave Malawi at the end of your tour of duty, we wish you all the best in your next assignment in Iceland. I assume they also play golf that side. Please go and enjoy your Golf. No-one will fire you as they have… Read more »
Sol Invictus
Guest
Sol Invictus
3 months 22 days ago

Nevin mentioned the ‘special relationship Malawi has with Scotland. In view of this special relationship, perhaps HMG will appoint a Scottish replacement for Nevin, preferably someone who already knows Malawi well and can hit the ground running.

abinte
Guest
abinte
3 months 22 days ago
I would to commend the British envoy in Malawi for the commendable job his country does to malawi.but my writing on this topic today dwells much on the respect uk and america have to this country.these two countries have never respected our wishes.1.up to now they force us to marry a fellow man or woman disregarding our culture and beliefs all in the name of aid.for the first time and i hope it will be the last time for UN general secretary to vist malawi.last year we had floods but none of those highly respectable peaple came to visit us.but… Read more »
Winston Msowoya
Guest
Winston Msowoya
3 months 22 days ago
Thank you British High Commissioner to Malawi for your vivid advice but,I would like to kindly warn you that such advices to Malawians will never materialize amongst the mainstream leadership embroiled in corruption,tribalism and vacuum of intellectual base.Firstly,the leadership lacks sense of patriotism,that has driven myriad of them to engage in massive looting of the meagrely resources designed to propel the engine of prosperity for their own greedy ends.Another problem engulfing our political spectrum is that unlettered and idiotically handicapped are heaped in strategically positioned establishments,while hundreds of our highly qualified men and women are sidelined because they belong to… Read more »
concerned citizen II
Guest
3 months 22 days ago

We the people of Malawi have the power to make this country great and not just ministers and what not. It’s us who give them the power to be where they are and unless we see that..this is never going to change. We complain that the President isn’t doing enough but is it really just going to take one person to do that. Don’t worry, you’ll read this maybe feel motivated and then do nothing. Good day!

Dwambazi
Guest
Dwambazi
3 months 22 days ago

Malawi shall for ever remain a text book example of a country that refuses to develop and this is because of retarded leaders that bull doze themselves into power

Chimunthu Chino
Guest
3 months 23 days ago

The British Government lost their influence in Malawi a long time ago. Evidently, for the past four years, Michael Nevin achieved nothing on the diplomatic front.

In frustration, Nevin has been shouting and issuing instructions to senior government officials like a rabbid dog. But kudos to this government, noone took him seriously. He now leaves Malawi a frustrated man.

One hopes that the UK Foreign Office doesn’t
fire him completely for non performance as it did with Nevin’s former Deputy Kirk Hollingsworth who was fired for first grade incompetence.

Good riddance Michael Nevin.

john
Guest
john
3 months 23 days ago
CHANGE IN MALAWI IS ABOUTTAKING THE POOR OUT OF THE ALREADY DISCOMFORT ZONES WHILE LEADERS CONTINUE TO SWIM IN LUXURY. AM SORRY TO SAY THAT IN PETER MUTHARIKA, I DO NOT SEE A LLEADER WHO IS READY TO HOLD THE REFORMS BY THE HORNS. THE GUY IS JUST OBSESSED IN KUZIMVA IYE KUTI NDI PRESIDENT. IF THIS GOVT WANTS TO MOVE FORWARD, DO THE FOLLOWING: 1. STOP NEPOTISM AND APPOINT PEOPLE FROM ALL REGIONS AND NOT JUST SOUTH (ESPECIALLY THYOLO AND MULANJE. LHOMWES ONLY CANT DEVELOP THE COUNTRY IF THERE IS NO SUPPORT FROM OTHER REGIONS. 2. DO MORE TO… Read more »
Chandamale
Guest
Chandamale
3 months 23 days ago

Late Kamuzu Banda our former head of state loves queen that is why Education was super. Talk of books we learnt in schools and one of the books I enjoyed on English literature is William Shakespear.

The Analyst
Guest
The Analyst
3 months 23 days ago
O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O The govt has the right idea of the reform programme, but the message is being preached to wrong people. Just look at Good-All Gondwe, Chaponda, Mwanamveka, for instance . . . . . . such guys are everything that Malawi doesn’t need for ministers of anything! These guys lack motivation to think or work hard. . . . they will never work hard in their posts for want of money, coz they already have a sizable amount. . . . these guys will never work hard to impress anybody coz APM (whom they could somewhat want to impress), has… Read more »
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