Salima Central Parliamentarian, Felix Jumbe, says it is overstretched expectation that a leader can turn around Malawi’s economy overnight without nipping out what he has described as backward culture and religion, colonial mentality and tribal politics that are deeply entrenched in the country’s governance system.
“These four key factors make what we are, make the default system we follow and make the structure of our economy. If we are to transform for the better, we need to look at how we can change the DNA of these four key factors,” Jumbe told Nyasa Times in an exclusive interview.
Malawi, a landlocked country in Central Africa, was once a partition of various tribal kingdoms that later merged to become one nation under British colonial rule.
The white missionaries that invaded the country towards the end of the 18th century with their persuasive bible teachings, largely influenced the unification of the kingdoms.
According to Jumbe, the kingdom culture with an embodiment of colonial systems is still prevalent in modern democratic Malawi which is slowing the country’s progress.
“One of the beliefs in Kingdom system is that people are subjects and not citizens. And subjects are no better than the king,” he said.
Jumbe, a successful farmer and seed businessman who once served as President of the influential Farmers Union of Malawi, proposes industrialization as one of the key means of shrugging off the past which is haunting Malawi.
He said Malawi must industrialize its agriculture economy so that the country becomes a reliable producer and exporter of agricultural products that respond to the world’s needs.
“We need a gallant leader like the late Bingu wa Mutharika to lead the nation in bringing about that industrialization. For instance, Bingu prohibited street vending. Goods were sold in designated markets which enabled everyone to realize expected profit. We need revolutions such as these,” Jumbe eulogized Bingu who suddenly died in office seven years ago.
He added: “We need to restructure our settlements in such a way that there is enough land for activities that would add value to our economy. Otherwise, Villages are just using the land for cultural purposes.”
Moving forward, Jumbe showered praise on the current President, Peter Mutharika, saying he is headed for attainment of the much needed economic revolution for Malawi.
“It is a 1000 kilometers journey for Mutharika. And in his first one kilometer, he has initiated reforms in the public sector and brought the country out of macro-economic problems,” Jumbe pampered Mutharika.
However, some quarters have laughed off Mutharika’s purported improved macro-economic outlook, describing it as “cooked up” economics which is meaningless to ordinary Malawians.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :