Advice to the Malawi government

There is nothing to laugh, smile and rejoice about DPP’s victory in May 2009 – more than two years down the line. Seriously! It is time this government rolled up its sleeves and started working for the good of all Malawians – otherwise they are leading us on a path to nowhere. All I can see, at least in my view, is a rare breed of arrogance, stubbornness and insensitivity to the plight of many Malawians.

I am Malawian and I have enough confidence to think that I can advise my government, a government I can, with confidence, say I helped wing into power – in my small ways.

Since the DPP swept to its landslide and confidence-giving victory in 2009, their agenda has been different from what we all thought, or at least what I thought, would be the proper government’s agenda. I remember on the day of DPP’s victory I was on Television Malawi – way after midnight trying to explain to Malawians what the victory meant – i.e. a stable government with an agenda of the people at heart.

Mutharika: Free advice

I remember one of my statements then – at which my colleagues kind of got surprised – was “Malawians have spoken! Amalawi ayankhula? Bina Malawia wayowoya!; however, DPP’s big victory was as big, great and good news as it was BAD news for DPP and its supporters.: It was “big, great and good news because the election would stabilize a government that was significantly shaky between 2004 and 2009 (and the party appeared to have a serious and positive agenda for the nation at the material time). I also said it was BAD news because it meant “work, work and more work for the DPP and its supporters”. I meant it and I would say those words even today, November 2011.

The DPP, in my seriously considered view, has not yet gone to work for the Malawian people, if anything they have engaged in some sort of reverse gears on multiple fronts – and on the whole, they appear to have lost the trust and confidence of the Malawia population. It would appear the DPP has remained drunk on the victory so much that they have forgotten the task to which we elected them – to govern and govern properly.

They have left us, all Malawians, on long queues of fuel heading towards fuel pumps that have no fuel; they have left us on long queues into banking halls in search for forex – and that forex is hardly existent; they have left us on long queues, queuing for water towards our Water Boards  and sadly that water is anemically available to the population; they have left us on long queues in search for power and energy – and unfortunately that energy is more absent than present – soft drinks appear to be heading that way too; they have left us on long queues in search for more education space at all levels – and particularly University education – but all they could manage there is the quota system, closure of Chancellor College on flimsy reasons – and now Mzuzu University is also headed that way. DPP has left us on long queues in search for good laws – and sadly all we find that side are what everybody thinks are bad laws except DPP itself.

DPP has left us on long queues, queuing for good governance and respect for human rights unfortunately for Malawians all they find at the end of that queue are brutalities, bad governance, impunity and mediocrity. DPP has left Malawians on long queues, queuing for friendship with other nations and good neighborliness with neighboring countries – sadly all Malawians get in return are sour relationships with many many nations including the UK, Zambia, Mozambique etc. Malawians have been left on long queues, queuing for information, balanced information on many things that affect their lives – and all they get are heaps of lies peddling the government as if they were pure than pure and as white as snow. So sad for a nation that was so enthusiastic! Conspiring & Conspiracy are the order of the day instead of inspiring and inspiration – inspiring the nation to greater heights of socio-economic and political development.

WHERE THE PROBLEM LIES, IN MY VIEW.

If I am to opine, the problem, squarely rests with the president. I think he has very little time to pay attention to the plight of Malawians – and above that he, each time he talks, sounds very insensitive to all the problems that we are facing as a country. Over and above that the president displays a rare breed of arrogance, stubbornness and insensitivity to the plight of Malawians. He so much, in my view, believes in his abilities that he has not time to, probably, listen to constructive criticism. This sounds so obvious to many, but it may not be something that the president and his army of advisers would agree with – but I am ok, I can live with that. After all, I do believe I am a democrat and in a democracy divergent of opinions on these things can only be a healthy occurrence.

ADVICE

I think the president, for some time, needs to stop speaking to the public. He should busy himself in the office and let his Ministers speak and articulate his government policies and plans to solve Malawi’s myriad problems. I would want to suggest and opine that Professor Arthur Peter wa Muntharika has the potential to mend fences on the international and diplomatic gaffes that we have committed as a country; I believe Ken Lipenga has the guts, audacity and gusto, to pull it off on the financial and economic front; I also do believe that Goodall Gondwe has the ability to pull it off on the energy front and I also believe that George Chaponda has the temerity to pull it off on the educational front. Let these four people be the face of this government and I do get tempted to believe that things may just begin to turn round for Malawi and Malawians in particular.

We aspire, as a Malawian people, for a political front that gives us hope, a political front that makes us set the pace for greater goals for our people. We aspire for a Malawi that provides opportunities and platforms to an improved quality of life for its people – a Malawi that builds the nation other than breaking it into smaller parts. We are bigger, greater and formidable as one nation with a positive political front.

We can do it & COME-ON, let’s do it!

Isaac Cheke Ziba

(Lecturer – Faculty of Social Sciences – Catholic University of Malawi) – but writing in my personal capacity).

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