As we enter the New Year of 2014, every Malawian has a duty to contribute significantly to long term development planning for our country. We are exiting 2013 as the world’s second poorest nation only ahead of the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo. By temporal comparison, Malawi often did assume the positions of 14-20 in the past. This is surely a cause for alarm.
Development is a complex process requiring a multiplicity of actors and stakeholders working in unison while expending their resources in form of money, time, labour, and other forms of factors of production. A condition for mobilizing these factors of production is a good enabling environment including focused leadership, good governance and absence of corruption.
These conditions can be provided for, by the private sector and well as by the public sector, BUT, due to the public good nature of some of those, a government and hence politics has a critical role to play in ensuring a good enabling environment in which inclusive development can take place. Thus our development is as retarded as the political parties we usher into power.
In view of the above, it is pertinent that as we vote for the president and MPs next year we have to put away all Tribal tendencies that have guided us in the past and think about what is at stake. Each of us has to think and reflect on what he/she wants the country should achieve in the years to come starting from 2014, and then make a decision as to which President and Party can help us deliver those goals. Below are some guidelines to consider with respect to enabling environment.
- a. Corruption:
A country laden with corruption repels investors and saps he morale of otherwise good citizens, who end up either joining corrupt practices or start loafing due to absence of incentives for hard work. If you are corruption free hard worker, imagine, how it feels to see some lazy person near you building big and ostentatious mansions in low density areas, or driving luxurious vehicles, using stolen money that should have been used to uplift the poor. It feels daunting and at the very least, removes the spirit of hard work and encourages further demand for corruption.
At present we have discovered enormous corruption and corruption syndicates in PP government. The PP is attempting to portray this as their victory, but you and me know that all the people in custody are its own and further we also know that they have not input a lot in the fight as all the big fishes involved continue planning further theft. Their desire to target Kasambara, is to hoodwink everyone into believing that they will remove the others too. We know they will not do so, because doing so is impractical considering that some are arguing that the very top of the government is heavily involved.
We need to think seriously in terms of who we vote for in 2014. Choosing the same PP in the absence fo change is economic suicide for the nation and only looters can do so. So if you vote next year, think as to whether you want to be on the side of looters or whether you want to be different and usher in the change that Malawi deserves. If your neighbor appears to be supporting PP too much, find out the reason…it could be she/he is a cashgater or her relatives are and wants to perpetuate such madness to continue benefiting. Dump such friends and embrace change. Bingu’s second term was the same, and most of his supporters in that term were his cronies and partners in resource theft. You don’t want to go down in history as the one who resisted positive change.
- b. Development policy:
Policies do matter, and that’s is why every country has an incentive to own a policy document. It is easy to note that within the two years that PP has ruled, there is no direction. The cow supply programs in the absence of market reforms are unsustainable, questionable, and not in line with real sustainable development. Distribution of maize by the president calls into question whether we as a nation know costs/and benefits as a guiding concept. In short, you don’t distribute a 10,000mk bag at a cost of 100,000mk! It shows insanity and is analogous to resource abuse.
So, as we go next year, we must endeavor to vote for parties that show promise, with good pro-poor policies and with a president that (or whose family) doesn’t have corruption records in our government.
Be part of the change. The change is nigh
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