For anybody who has eyes to see and ears to hear, this country is treading on dangerous waters.
The food situation is getting worse by day and in villages people are literally sleeping on an empty stomach.
Despite proclaiming to the contrary, Admarc has failed miserably to supply maize in all its depots across the country in enough quantities that can go round to every hungry stomach.
In the end, the Admarc market is eschewed leading to corruption as unscrupulous vendors buy all the cheap maize to resell at exorbitant prices to desperate souls. No wonder the common sight at any Admarc depot these days is long winding queues of hungry people in search of the staple. An innocent child in Balaka lost its life after it fell from its mother’s back and crushed in the stampede for maize.
Then there is the majority of Malawians especially in the rural areas who have no money to show up at any Admarc depot. These are hopeless souls who are waiting for death unless somebody does something for them.
For anybody in doubt about the veracity of this statement, they should simply ask any salaried employee how many requests of money for food they are getting everyday from their desperate rural folks back home. There is just no food among our people.
But this is just the beginning of the beginning because at the rate and amount of rain the country is getting, this year is just a dress rehearsal of one to come.
Then there is the economy. The question
that business captains are asking is whether there is somebody who is in control.
The future is bleak and many companies face real closure that may lead to job losses
How can the companies do business in such a situation where the cost of production is on the rise almost every day?
Anywhere in the world if a currency loses more than five percent value against world currencies in a space of 20 days, there would be a crisis and those responsible would be up and down explaining what they are doing about the situation. Most importantly they would be held personally responsible.
Here there is deathly silence. The institution mandated to manage the monetary policy, the Reserve Bank of Malawi, is quiet.
The Ministry of Finance on the other hand is engaged in a web of lies and deceit, saying the economy would improve by May when the naked truth is that things are getting worse. The ministry officials wantonly cheat that they cannot settle the K155 billion that government owes the private sector, thereby choking it, because of tax liabilities when the truth is that government is dead broke as MRA is under collecting from an economy that is literally on its last gasp.
The Ministry of Agriculture, on the other hand, is giving misplaced advice to villagers, belatedly though, that they should be off three meals per day and instead should opt for one. What they do not know is that for rural folks they started doing this long time ago. Now they would be lucky even to get one meal.
The bottom line is that Malawians are craving for a government that is responsive to their needs and at the moment there is none.
Business is waiting for decisive action to restart the economy. Poor Malawians are waiting for food. The agriculture sector is ripe for radical changes with irrigation as the centre piece without which Malawians will perpetually starve.
Yet there is just fumbling and scratching of the surface by the DPP administration.
Is there someone listening in government?
- The article appeared in Malawi News on ‘Hitting the nail’ column