Why or Where Malawi is failing to grow

Since the democratic dispensation, most people in this country that have aspired for and ascended to the high office of citizenship in the land did not and still do not understand their role as citizens, they were not then and are not now prepared to be citizens. This is a result of the kind of education we give which does not prepare anyone of our people for citizenship.

Dan Msowoya

Dan Msowoya: Patriot

Country wide evidence has shown that the Constitution is not read by the majority of our people, not read in any of our elementary schools, Secondary schools and even in our University colleges. And if it is read at all, it is not understood, close to Christians reciting the Lord’s Prayer without understanding it.

In what sense then, can we regard our young people, the “upcoming” leaders or anyone else for that matter aspiring for the high office of citizenship as able to carry out the mandate that they should have as the governing elite in this country? Simply put we have not taught ourselves to be patriots, we are simply not leave alone democrats, we are not attached to our land, let alone have love for it and for one another.

Unless we radically reform our system of education in Malawi, teach our students as well as the broad citizenry how to be patriotic, how to read the constitution and have them read and understand it, make it a bedside companion for all citizens – a secular Testament if you will, unless we prepare ourselves for citizenship as I think we are not hitherto, the future of this nation, both politically and economically is seriously in question.

My honest assessment of Malawi presently is that of a state in deepening political, economic and social crisis, clearly caused by inadequacies of a system of governance, and exacerbated by poor participation by the polity in decision making because they do not understand their individual roles and importance. The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) need to roll up their sleeves and get to work, we are several decades behind time in evolution.

Curriculum Review.

The national Curriculum has recently undergone review where Chichewa has been made a core subject, meaning it is compulsory for each student to learn. To begin with this is unconstitutional. Granted that people are free to live in accordance with their cultural imperatives and morals, it is impossible to achieve this reality without the dominant language of a given cultural group.

Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika’s administration has premeditatedly and deliberately imposed this aspect of the curriculum based on the morally incorrect assumption of a majority opinion. Even if that was so, where was this consensus reached? In matters of this nature the huge ethnic dominance must not be a tool to undermine the identity, and a weapon against the dignity and integrity of the minority.

We therefore do not support this curriculum as it stands now with specific regard to language. We strongly advocate that children in the respective geopolitical areas be taught in the dominant vernacular language of that area. The North can be comfortable with Tumbuka. The imposition in the revised curriculum is akin to cultural imperialism, where the prime objective is to subdue other cultures; and eventually push them into oblivion, because language is the vehicle by which a culture manifests itself.


Government is reluctant to unleash knowledge about citizen participation in decision making processes, hence decisions that afflict them on a daily basis. As a result, they are hitherto still afraid of their very own government. Consequently Malawi remains a country of the future, forever a promise waiting to happen, a dream yet to come true while those in positions of national power continue to fleece the nation, and to abuse and degrade the people. They have effectively perpetuated corruption, indolence, fear, and confusion; and these have negatively affected the majority of our people, they are still denied effective participation in governance, which is the basic tenet of democracy.

Voices of bitterness against the dreaded Quota system for instance have fallen on deaf ears. Why? The reasons are many and varied, but most prominent among them according to me are: Lack of Accountability, and Lack of Leadership. And closely related to those are; Arrogance; Ignorance, Incompetence and perhaps mediocrity also.

Accountability is the foundation that supports the three pillars of democracy, namely Freedom of expression, Rule of Law and respect for human rights. It must have the strength to withstand the combined weight of democracy and the other three pillars. Without accountability you can’t have true democracy. Lack of accountability continues to be so prevalent in Government that one wonders how such regimes as this last this long.

This government’s image/reputation has deteriorated so rapidly, to the extent that the world view is so negative about us. There is a rising incidence of armed robberies, rape, defilement and murder. Questions as to why this has come about are many but the answers to them are simple; lack of accountability and lack of leadership

The Executive branch liberally continues to treat the Constitution, laws and policies as little more than inconvenient pieces of paper, which is obviously silly; and results into consequence of the engendered mood of laissez faire laxness in government and society as a whole. It would be a cowardly thing in this regard for the President to apportion blame on subordinate staff for the ever rising incidence of fraud, corruption and mediocrity.

We must fight corruption and fraud particularly among the governing elite, to whom development programs count for little, while amassing undeserved wealth, treating it business as usual. Our challenge indeed is to build an economy a thriving and expanding economy together, an economy which offers people rewarding jobs and fulfilling careers.

However the route to that sort of economy lies in ensuring that people progress on merit, rather than privilege, down criminals. Our other challenge is to eradicate the contagion of norm less politics and entrench the culture of democracy, tolerance, transparency and accountability.

The “unilateral” sale of Malawi Savings Bank by the Executive Branch for instance, notwithstanding being taken over by a competent Malawian, while Parliament was still deliberating the same is a scenario unexplained. The full disclosure principle is one of the most compelling principles in the Accounting field. It must apply in full to demonstrate and entrench transparency. Speculation has it that loans for our MPs have been sourced from MSB, and legislators have not paid back the debts. This matter cannot be left to speculation. CSOs, Opposition and all of us must face reality and resolve to call on the DPP led government to quit these dubious dealings; they are tarnishing its own reputation as well as throwing this nation into disrepute. It is a regime with an arrogant tone and demeanor, and such a regime as this lacks capability to run the full term. [s12, Constitution of Malawi].


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17 thoughts on “Why or Where Malawi is failing to grow”

  1. Rodgers Banda says:

    The party and the government are confused.The government dictates on the party. It dicides who to rule.The government has strong evil rulers with powers and every president who once sat on Lion tool knows this. Hence Malawi won’t grow.

  2. pharamutheko82 says:

    kungoti vuto siotisogorera koma ma ogwira ntchito boma ndiomwe akulepheretsa kuti ziko litukuke jst imagin anthu anayamba kugwira ntchto ndikamuzu that same pipo wif muluzi that same pipo wif bingo lero ali ndi peter juts imagine we cannot develop as acountry.coz akuba boma ndi ogwira ntchito osati andale koma voto andale mangolimbana nokhanokha kufuna ulamuliro ostaona vuto liri boma koma kuipisirana mbiri chonde andare open up your eyes for the seke of this country kupanda apo we will remain pour.we need reform this civilsevart.

  3. Chemwali chimwene says:

    Mr Msowoya, the main problem of us, Malawians is that we put our tribal groupings above being Malawian. The day we shall all accept that our nationality is more important than any tribe or region, we shall move forward. The day no one will cry minority, in whatever sense, will be our beginning.

  4. The main problem in short are the so called educated people we have well educated people in Malawi but they are useless why I my saying this they are always on nills of the uneducated politicians brainwashed and they tend to forget their job . How can you develop with that kind of thinking.

  5. Ngoma, Thomas, London UK says:

    Thanks for the article. Let me address the two questions head on. However before I do I just want to preamble and context the whole national development strategic scenario framework. A country develops along two fundamental and intertwined axes. The first is social progress (e.g. democracy, equality, human rights, social justice, constitutional rights, and the whole gambit of social political facets one can fashion including national languages, culture, tribal getting along, you name it). All these constitute. The second axis of human/national development is economic development(wealth creation, national competitiveness, sound economics, stable currency and stable prices, industry investment and the whole quagmire of micro/macro economics, engineering/technological, scientific elements including trade and commerce. These two axes constitute basis of human development.
    To answer the question of why is Malawi failing to develop. The short answer is lack of economic vision for the country coupled with national lack of focus on economics because of disturbing “shiny” objects along the social axis. This is not to undermine the social importance of the social axis but these shiny objects have blindfolded effort on the economic axis to the extent that Malawians are confused where to now. My grading for Malawi on the two axes is 70% to 30% social to economic. Where Malawi development is failing is fairly and squarely on economic issues. Unfortunately this is not easy. There economic solution is so hidden that unless I reveal it to you, another hundred years will pass with Malawi languishing in the comforts of abject poverty and lack of development. When I return I bring the solution for wealth creation, GDP outstripping $200 bn, over 10 million high paying jobs and with it economic development of sky scrapers from Nsanje to Chitipa. US, UK, Japan or China were poor and agrarian (agricultural) economies also. When King Henry Vii came to power in England in 1585, English people were living like cattle, growing maize and villages struggling with poverty and diseases (plagues). China in a s late as 1960 was languishing in abject poverty facing a famine that killed 30 million people and now it the world second largest economy at just over $10 trillion GDP. On the eve of the US industrial revolution, Americans were poorer than Malawi is today in GPD per capita. It is economic that triggers development.

  6. PHIRI says:

    What a Master Piece !!!!!!!!!!! Can you be writing Weekly with Nyasa times or The Nation newspaper?

  7. ras says:

    The article says we don’t support this! My question is who are these writers who don’t support this, I think it’s only this guy ( the fake patriot) the only reason why Malawi is developing is because of this so called patriot by writing this he manifested his capacity of undeveloped mind

  8. 20Bushes vs 16Clintons says:

    Why only Tumbukas are against nationalisation of Chinyanja language? All others: Chewas, Yaos, Lomwes, Senas, Ngonis (south of Bua River) and Tongas have all accepted Chinyanja as their main language. As educated as Tumbukas claim to be they shud know better that a language spoken in a major city of any country becomes a lingua franca. In our case Chinyanja spoken by the Mang’anjas of Kunthembwe and surrounding areas in Blantyre spread to all corners of this country because it was once and for long our biggest city. Is’nt Chitumbuka spoken widely in the Northern Region just because Mzuzu being the regions biggest town is in Tumbuka land? So what all this fuss about Chinyanja?

  9. Zondiwe says:

    Come to think of it, All Malawians came from somewhere in our vicinity; from DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
    The Llhomwe came to Malawi from Mozambique in order to be a source of labour on the tea estates that were established by the settler class. Others came because of conquest, trade as well as adventure.
    Having found space in Malawi, there is no justification for one lot of people to treat others as second class citizens.
    I agree with Mr Msowoya that we need to look at our Constitution, Laws and other documents that are meant for us and take pride in them. Leadership needs to make all of us pull in the same direction; Leadership is not there to lord it over everybody else.
    Arrogance is the worst enemy of development because an arrogant class ignores the rest of the citizenry and does not care what happens. The end result is massacres like what took place in Mzuzu on 20 July 2011. I have written elsewhere that there was a bigger demonstration on Victoria Avenue in Blantyre, but 20 of the few people that demonstrated in Mzuzu were massacred. Why? The answer appears to be that Northerners do not really belong, and you can do anything to them. Why dod the police gather in Mzuzu with their guns at the ready and not in Blantyre? We started congregating aroung 900am in Blantyre (I was there) and no shooting took place at all. Even in volatile Ndirande, where disturbances went on in the night, there were no large-scale police shooting activities. Why Mzuzu?
    Mr Msowoya has spoken of protection of minority rights, and the above is a clear example. The issue is not being spoken of in the manner that I have chosen above because issues like this one are best ‘hidden’.
    One hopes that awkward issues can be raised and debated by our parliament, and solutions formulated, for the benefit of the citizens of this country, regardless of where their actual village is. As long as one originates within the borders of our country, they are Malawians. They do not have to originate from Luchenza to qualify for citizenship. Our constitution gives the right of our citizens to live anywhere in our country, and to campaign for, and stand for political office anywhere in Malawi. What else do we want?

  10. chimphepo says:

    what a wonderful articulated article, Malawi’s problem will take long to end coz of selfishness, envy, greedy n above pow.er hungry n political hunting

  11. Utawasala says:

    Thank you for the article and you should keep on writing may be one day Malawians will wakeup. When Chakufwa came in, a number of people who were close to Kamuzu named him as mad. Today are the pepo who are enjoying his fruit. So you people have desire to lift Malawi to another level but you do not have chance. When a person has an idea in oppose to the ruling government Malawians look to where the person is coming from and this is a serious problem. Indeed Malawi is way back may be 120 years behind time. Unfortunately the minority has high capacity to change Malawi to a higher level but no chance. For Malawi to change I think we have to fight for federal type of government that is the only way we can remove Malawians out of poverty. Some people may not understand it but they will be the ones who will be happy tomorrow.

  12. Charombanthu says:

    Number 3 (Mhesha), wake up please. 20 years after pluralism and you are still blaming the single party system. Come on and move on… We are in a different era. Look at what has happened in Rwanda in the 20 years after the genocide. They are in fact much better than us economically, in case you haven’t traveled there. I encourage you to. Young men and women born 20 years ago do not understand what you are saying and they form the biggest portion of this population. This article is looking ahead and it has been articulated very well. This is the type of thinking that we all need to embrace if we are to forge ahead as a nation. Keep it up Mr Msoyoya. I agree with every bit of your article, otherwise is the thinking is like No. 3, we will never grow as a nation.

  13. rasta says:

    I can’t remember the last time I read a well articulated article on this forum since the muckracker passed on. such writing that oozes maturity and intellect is what we the readership yearn for day in day out. keep them rolling boss

  14. sososo says:

    Malawi needs a kind of gouvernment we had from 2004 to 2009 when Bingu dished UDF to form his DPP.
    He had a MINORITY gouvernment, and it was PERFECT.
    That’s what we need in Malawi in order to develop the Country.

  15. Mhesha says:

    The One Party dictatorship is the main root of our problems. The country and its citizens were not prepared for real visionary and future ideals in developing it. Zonse nzakamuzu Banda has deepening effects. The constitution you are saying was like an abomination. Many even professors never thought of reading it. Kamuzu killed the minds of Malawi.

  16. Bennet Nyirenda says:

    The post important fact on This column Is we don’t love one another which résulte to not living our country. Unfortunately nothing Can happen because of cowadice.

  17. Khamani!! says:

    You need to forget about Malawi … One day the citizenry will wake up. One day they will respect their time alive as opposed to hoping for the after life. One day they will realize that they are the abossi , the a biggie … Not the politicians. Until that day – forget it!

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