Opposition People’s Transformation Party (Petra) recently launched what it calls Malawi’s 3rd Liberation Movement. The following is the unedited statement made by Petra’s president Kamuzu Chibambo at the launch:
Malawi has for many decades now been gripped in economic bondage of gigantic magnitude. This pathetic and heart-rending reality has been fastened to the people of Malawi despite the country changing leaders and governments since 1964, 1994, 2004 and most recently 2012. The country notwithstanding that it is richly endowed with a vast body of fresh water, exquisite scenic sites, good soil and natural resources to date remains classified as one of the poorest in the world with the majority living on less than 1 dollar a day as economists have pronounced.
Economic Plight of the Average Malawian
Poverty among the majority of our people has terribly worsened and continues to do so with each passing day. Even before the massive devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha in May 2012, life for most of the people had already become extremely hard.
The huge devaluation of May 2012 by the JB administration which has been reinforced by an automatic devaluation mechanism known as ‘flotation of the Kwacha’ not only has aggravated an already fragile economy but further pushed up the economic hardships of many of our people. As of today, what used to be K100 in April 2012 is only worth 90 tambala. The Kwacha has lost value by over 100%.
Truth of the matter is when these fiscal measures were being introduced, there was virtually nothing on the ground to shore up the Kwacha and more importantly to mitigate the impact of the measures on poor households both in the peri-urban areas and rural communities which constitute the majority of the Electorate in Malawi.
Stark Inconsistency of Policies
While countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal have been given generous bail-out packages, the IMF and international partners strangely have prescribed differently here. It must also be questioned why the economic balm from other nations was delayed even when it was obvious to all the economic gurus that our situation was already desperate from inception? In May 2012, our economy could well have been likened to a patient in ICU. These inconsistencies to a large extent account for the immensely weak economies of Malawi and other African nations which is why it cannot be prudent for any leader to swallow such prescriptions hook, line and sinker. It is therefore extremely dangerous and injurious on society for any national leader to say ‘we will do whatever they tell us to do’ unless of course one does not quite grasp rules of the game. Their interests however noble they may appear on the surface are not necessarily consistent with ours nor are they always innocuous.
Malawi has had liberations in the past which came at a hugely high cost. Sadly some lost their lives while others were thrown into jail or exile and in the process were against their own will jettisoned into exile and painfully separated from their home country, relations and property. Indeed their suffering came in different forms. Sons and daughters of Malawi sacrificed for those of us alive today although they are rarely acknowledged. For that reason, we stand guilty as a Nation for that. We choose to wait until they die that’s when in hypocritical fashion we pour accolades upon them. This is shameful to say the least. We remain indefinitely indebted to the martyrs and the rest that sacrificed one way or another. We salute you all today.
The 1964 Liberation
The struggle for this Liberation which we call the 1st Liberation started well before 1964. The Chilembwes and many others had for a long time agitated for change and gallantly fought against the injustices and abuses of their time. The people of Malawi came to defining moment when they said “Enough is enough”. The Malawian people were galvanized into a mighty and sustained force which eventually led to Malawi attaining Political Independence in 1964. A nation was born. The country soon evolved into a one party state.
The 1994 Liberation
This is what we refer to as the 2nd Liberation. The one party state rule continued until in the early nineties. Rampant human rights violations and abuses reached the tipping point in 1993 when the people of Malawi again said “Enough is enough”; they mobilized themselves to mount a formidable challenge to the single party system. The same people who from time to time are taken for granted have demonstrated remarkable ability at critical moments to put aside their artificial differences and come together in one accord to fight the common enemy. It was incredible. I see that happening this time again.
The people of Malawi overwhelmingly embraced multiparty democracy. A new Constitution with a chapter on a Bill of Rights came into being. Aspirations of Malawians once again became alight. New possibilities became palpable. Malawian people started to redeem themselves from the yoke of fear and other forms of bondages.
Brief Analysis of the 1st and 2nd Liberations
While noticeable progress has been made with the advent of the above two Liberations, sadly the country has earned itself the repugnant title of one of the poorest nations in the world. The country has failed to emerge as a strong world economic player not even at regional level. The economy remains caged n the dark ages. The country continues to be firmly dependent upon the international community for up to 40% of its budget 49 years after attaining Independence. When that budgetary support is withheld, we soon realize we are not sovereign enough. Unlike other nations, our ‘independence’ still makes us dependent. Further, the country is being exploited by organized syndicates both on the local and international stage. Its natural resources continue to be plundered and smuggled out of the nation with and without official knowledge. The level of neglect is disheartening. Truly Malawi has for many years been like a nation without a shepherd. How could all this rampant exploitation happen as if Malawi has had no President, Cabinet Ministers, MPs, CEOs of various Government agencies?
Some Top Government/PARTY officials, their sons and daughters and their respective friends both local and international have become multi-millionaires while others have entered the rare club of billionaires through means which predominantly can best be described as obscene and contemptuous. This has happened with alarming speed. Check their life styles and bank accounts if you can. Within short spaces of time, they have amassed massive wealth and control. Their children and friends undertake external travel as if they are moving from City Center to Kawale in Lilongwe, Ndirande in Blantyre or Zolozolo in Mzuzu.
The Major Victim
Most distressingly one major stakeholder has come out the worst and badly ruined. It is the average Malawian who has continued to live in abject poverty. He/she has been forgotten once voting has taken place. He can hardly make it from one day to another. Poverty has become a perpetual chain to which he is painfully shackled with no one in sight to bring him to economic freedom. He is left on his own to unshackle himself. On the other hand, Exploitation and looting of resources both natural and otherwise continue unabated under various administrations.
Where are the sons and daughters of Malawi who have earned an education and have access to some financial means albeit perhaps not as one would wish but better off all the same? Where are the sons and daughters of Malawi with a business that is giving them some reasonable income?
There are the sons and daughters of Malawi with a decent job or business outside the country and have gained tremendous expertise that can help redeem this nation from total collapse which is very near? Someone sacrificed for you to be where you are. Don’t you see the need to do something for your brothers and sisters being exploited right here in the country? Why should Malawian people live like refugees in their own country? Matter of fact a refugee may be better off as things stand in Malawi today because he/she receives some assistance from the international community. Not so with the majority of our people. It is now or never to embrace and run with the Movement.
It is for this reason that PETRA calls for a 3rd Liberation today. This is an Economic Liberation. Our Vision is for Malawi to become Economically Independent and Exploitation-free. The Economic Key that has been hidden from the majority of our people must be found. Fellow Malawians, the 3rd Liberation is not an option. It is a must. It is our lifeline. It is either we become economically Independent or we die. We must quickly lay hold of this Key which certain top Government/Party Officials, their children and respective friends both local and international have kept to themselves.
They do not care what happens to the average Malawian. No wonder they re-garb themselves in seemingly new clothes and claim they have come back reformed to redeem Malawian people when inside they are the same old sharks. They come with handouts with the intention to deceive the people into thinking ‘these guys are nice’
Truth of the matter they simply want to perpetuate their exploitation of the poor masses. They are cheats and want to continue to use the poor as their benefactors. Enough is enough. We want Economic Liberation and not handouts. Malawi needs an Economic Revolution and not an Economic Recovery. And hence the 3rd Liberation Movement we are launching today.
Join Hands Now
All Malawian people wherever you are who are saying we need this 3rd Liberation to be freed from the yoke of poverty, lets join hands now. All Malawian sons and daughters who can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch the country being plundered, we say to you let’s join hands. All Malawian people who are saying we must do something for our brothers and sisters caught in the poverty trap, let’s join hands. We also extend an invitation to well wishers with genuine intentions to help this country. We are convinced this Movement shall wrest the Key from both local and international cartels. Of course as the cartels hear about this Movement, they will be most unhappy. I also know big risks attach to me and fellow leaders as we start this Movement but ladies and gentlemen I am ready to die for this Cause.
We shall in the coming days, weeks and months be sharing with the Malawian people the various strategies we have developed for achieving the 3rd Liberation. PETRA has the solutions. It’s our country; it’s our destiny.
Demand on Paladin and Govt. of Malawi
Meanwhile we give Paladin and Government of Malawi 14 days from today to show cause why the deal cannot be renegotiated for the benefit of the people of Malawi for a 40% stake and selling rights in respect thereof. We in PETRA do not believe a single bit that Kayelekera Mine in Karonga is a loss making venture. It should have been long closed down if that were so.
We demand the shareholders thereof to disclose the price our uranium is fetching when it is finally sold to the ultimate buyer in Australia or Switzerland? That will clearly prove the veracity of the claims that continue to be made locally. Within 10 days, we want to know from Paladin and Malawi Govt. as to which health facility our brothers and sisters are being taken for treatment whenever they are exposed to radiation which we know is happening? Is the treatment adequate?
What measures have been put in place to stop pollution seeping into Lake Malawi? Has this been certified by the international Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Malawi must become Economically Independent and Exploitation free.
Ladies and gentlemen, I now declare the 3rd Liberation Movement formally launched. It’s the right way to go for Malawi now. IT MUST BE DONE. NZOTHEKA(It’s doable). The time to engage is now. May the gracious and merciful Lord God bless Malawi and help us all make Malawi an economically better place for the Malawian first.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :