As a nation, we call ourselves a God fearing people. God fearing people admit when they are wrong in the spirit of humility. The trait of not admitting when we make mistakes is sadly missing from our leaders. They are quick to confess the mistakes and sins of other people. They will do anything to exonerate themselves even when caught in the act of wrong doing. Tonight, I will dwell on two issues: the “cashgate” case and the number of political parties in Malawi.
The Mphwiyo saga, though unfortunate, is the harbinger that has opened the pandora’s box. Without it, the massive looting at Capital Hill would not have been known. Let us ask ourselves, did this start with the Joyce Banda administration?
Our first President, Dr. Hastings Banda left us a professional civil service. It was the best in Africa. In 1994, 19 Principal Secretaries, whose only crime was having served with excellence the Hastings Banda government were summarily relieved of their posts through transfers `and retirements. Politicians started contaminating the civil service. They started ordering the controlling officers to authorize dubious expenditures and payments. Malawi is a nation with limited opportunities. These controlling officers had two choices: join the ranks of the unemployed or allow to be corrupted by the new political masters whose chief idea of leading the nation was to give out “gifts” to their favored ones. Anyone who steals for you will eventually steal from you.
We all know that if we were to add up the amount of “gifts” our leaders have given to their favored ones from 1994 to today, the many vehicles political parties buy when they get into government, their party materials, their personal wealth which they amass within a few months of getting into office: our hospitals would have had 5-10 ambulances each, enough beddings, equipment, our nurses, doctors and their support staff would love their jobs because they would be properly compensated.
The second issue I will deal with is the number of political parties. Some people have advised me to join the so called big political parties.
For starters, Malawi does not yet have national political parties. They are all either regionally or family led. Even in matters of succession, it is the son, the brother, the uncle or the grandfather who takes over. These so called big parties are determined to choose goal scorers (strikers) who are either members of their families or members of their tribe.
A good analogy would be a football club. The founder of the club insisting that the top striker must be his son or his nephew, brother or member of his tribe regardless of talent, will this club ever win a trophy? For Malawi government, the presidents when arranging succession reduce the office of president into a joke: after all they reason, the president’s job in Malawi is to conduct mass rallies, lay foundation stones, travel around the world to collect allowances and to give out “gifts”.
That is why Malawi as a nation is going nowhere. We have wrong people in parliament, in the cabinet and in our state houses. Our most able citizens are not allowed to play any role in managing the affairs of this nation.
Finally, ladies and gentlemen, a nation is like a boat on Lake Malawi going to other side. Malawi leaders know one thing: raise their side of the boat forgetting that they are in the middle of the lake. When the boat capsizes, they too will drown. Our present horrible situation begins and ends with our politicians. 2014 is around the corner, any politician who has played any role since 1994, must go.