Could someone please nudge the Malawi Presidency before it’s too late 

A recent Mail & Guardian Africa article reporting on a new survey findings by a US-based pollster, Gallup, which hinted that even though the traditional economic indicators such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), household income and unemployment stats are ‘the most heavily relied on by policy-makers, these measures underplay the importance of people’s happiness.

Mutharika accompanied by Malawi Defence Force and Police chiefs

Mutharika accompanied by Malawi Defence Force and Police chiefs

Looking at citizen’s happiness levels and an indicator of a nation’s stability, the report says Botswana (surprisingly), Senegal and Malawi are sub-Saharan African countries where people are likely to revolt against their governments. Burkina Faso, where people power recently brought to an end 27 years of Blaise Campaoré presidency toped the list of the most likely countries to have an uprising.
A common analysis of the Burkinabe uprising is that Campaoré attempt to stay in power beyond the current term limits is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Yet, the Gallup study indicates that Burkina Faso’s uprising may have more to do with poor public service delivery as lack of job creation – people’s livelihoods, more than presidential term limits.
It is the latter point that has got Malawi on this unwanted list.
According to the report, nine of the 10 countries of the world with the lowest employment rates are in Africa. It makes grim reading for Malawi. The country is only 1% better than Burkina Faso, which tops the list with 5% lowest payroll to population rate in this part of the world.
In Malawi we have a very bad tendency of disregarding polls and findings such as these because majority of Malawians have been blinded by partisan politics. Folks see everything through partisan politics, blinded by political party colours. Thusly, findings such as these are most likely to be denied and criticised by a party in power and its sympathisers. While those in opposition will use it to discredited the incumbency.
Yet, the findings being discussed here would not come as a surprised to those who have been following events in Malawi closely. The economic situation in Malawi is pathetic at the moment. I will not list the number of industrial strikes and numerous grievances that Malawians have against their government and its subsidiaries – they are too many.
Meanwhile, Malawians are made to believe that the government is running on a shoestring budget because donors are withholding up to 40% of annual budgetary support.
Yet, the actions of government suggest the ‘business as usual’ way of doing things. Exemplified by the lack of fiscal discipline and its petulance.
Malawians knew form the onset that the frozen aid meant limited government spending – even on essential services. Most Malawians would give the government some leeway as a result. What Malawians will not take are patronising government policies, appearing in whatever guise, the current one being the “harmonisation” of civil service salaries.
The truth is that well-meaning sounding words like the salary “Harmonisation” means nothing for a graduate who cannot find a job and cannot access any loan facilities to set-up businesses. “Harmonisation” is nothing when people are going weeks without running water and the government is silent nothing about it. Under this environment, it is provoking people’s anger when the government announces pay increase for the presidency, cabinet ministers and the legislature while denying others demanding the same.
What the civil service salary “harmonisation” debacle show is a government out of sync reality. The presidency has a luxury of having limitless ‘advisors’. This is the time these advisors earn their wages. Someone must nudge the president before it is too late, I don’t think he has a full picture of what is going on in Malawi. Malawi might not go the Burkina Faso way, as Gallup speculates but there is a danger when people lose confidence of their leaders and can no longer trust their government – consequences can be dire.
It happened with Ebola – a deadly virus that has affected devastated parts of West Africa. Liberia has a specific lesson. Liberia has a very corrupt government (and so is Malawi) and service delivery is very poor. The citizenly have no trust in their government. So when Ebola struck, Liberians never took any advice from the government and authorities on how to stay away and contain the deadly virus. As argued by Daily Maverick’s Simon Allison, Ebola not just a devastating virus, it is also a case of shambolic governance and poor service delivery, especially in Liberia.
As it is, Malawi government is losing trust of its people. There are more questions than answers. For instance, how could the presidency turn down the salary increase only after it had been publicly announced? Was the presidency not a part of that decision making? If not, who is really in charge? Or is it that the government is playing politics with what should be a governance issue? Should Malawians trust the people in charge? And who are they?
At the bottom of all these issues is a government lacking transparency. Transparent governments are not only better placed to provide essential public service but it is also clear and apparent to the citizenly when the government genuinely lack resources to meet some public services. Governments must be seen working to meet people’s expectations, or be prepared to lead an angry nation.”
  • Jimmy Kainja
Twitter: @jkainja
Skype: jkainja
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Yesterday, 20th Dec 2014, someone nudged APM to address the nation on the economic problems facing the country. From what the man managed to say, I have the following truth to say: MALAWI HAS NO PRESIDENT. The man just gathered ministerial reports and used them to address the nation. The man seemed to live out of touch of the economic misery Malawians are going through. He could not talk of NACGATE, why he increased salaries and other perks for his cabinet and MPs and latter deferred getting them, what he was doing to get donors back, why he is not… Read more »

trying to force urself into something that u can be,we r not watching but god leader of the people.


Peter is not a politician is given wrong job. MEC is to be blamed for what we are experiencing today. Malawian are suffering because of incompentence of our MEC. Mbendera has put Malawi in problem for lack of patriotism. Most Malawian whether educated behaves as if they have never gone to school and never have they see other countries how they develop.

Getu opanda Matako

I said it and will it again. Peter muntharika is not fit ro rule malawi. He has failed in all aspects of life. If not for the rigging we still would have had JB as our beloved leader. Malawians we have been taken for a fool for quite a longer time. It is time we showed this bastard that they belong to hell. They are are cowards.
Aunt Getu ngwakuba heavy. Shame on you thieves.


Fathara umapembedza satana pitalayu afaso uyu, mulungu samenyera nkhondo anthu obera masankho. Alomwe munatsutsana ndi chifunilo chamulungu akunyetsani. Mulungu adamuchotsa yekha bingu pampando inu nkubwezerapo.Kodi alipo munthu amalimbana ndi mulungu napambana? Kodi ulipo brunch umalimbana ndi mulungu nupambana?? Alomwe ndi pitala wanuyo ndinu otembereredwa upulezidenti uwu wotembereredwa ndipo muwona zakudaaa kudzagwila kunkhongo nkumati eeee tinkayesanji ifeee lero tapusa chitani pheee muwone mkwiyo wa yehova

The only thing that can save this country at this point is an all out revolt or a military coup. While the later is less likely to happen which leaves us with the only option which is to take to the streets and ask this government to go. Malawians are tired of being taken for a ride by greedy , inept corrupt leaders who are more interested in filling their pockets with stolen state resources. While countries around us are prospering the president is not ashamed to go around begging instead of urging the citizens to work hard. Like his… Read more »

Just look at what the countries around Malawi are doing. All countries but Malawi are getting better at everything. Mlomwe uyu zamukanika. Chokolo ndi mpando wa President. Mavuto ku Nyasaland basi. asaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaH

Gerald Viola

Mr. President you have failed just accept. You are clueless your excellency. Im tired of defending your madness called government. Wake up from the slumber sir otherwise we can be toppled.


I must say all the respect i had for this old man is eroded. Apm doesnt take advise from anyone apart from ben phiri. This has affected performance of government as ideas are debated between two people only. You cant run a govt like that.


Joyce Banda is tried and tested. She proved her worthness to be our President. Peter mutharika has failed beyond measure. His leadership is lucklustre. Pack up and go Mr. Before its too late.

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