One of the things that most Malawians expected to come out of a multiparty democracy is successive successful government with ever-growing economy. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Instead, governments after governments have been coming up with their own lame excuses as to why Malawi is not making any progress.
What is deliberately not said is that the government itself is to blame for ignoring whistle-blowers and the voice of reason from other people. This has been the case because what seems to matter in government is to make sure that the leadership of a ruling party remains in power. This triggers non-stop political campaign from one election to the other. Development of the country seems not really necessary and this seems to be the case even now.
If the so-called ‘development rallies’ by the President are indeed about development, the country would have seen meaningful progress. Sadly, political and government officials present at rallies only talk of development in a campaigning way to portray the success story of government which is mostly imaginary.
Government should have known better that listening to voices of reason is fundamental to development which Malawi desperately needs. There is no shortage of advice in the country but the government fails to use it because they think it is politically motivated by the opposition parties.
As it were, there are so many government watchdogs that can be taken as whistle-blowers for the good of all Malawians. In fact, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government might not notice that some of the whistle-blowers are within their party. For example, what the DPP secretary general Jeffrey wa Jeffrey has been quoted as saying recently was an indication that the party condones violence. She was allegedly quoted at a political meeting in Karonga, saying that no northerner can be a President till Jesus comes again. Obviously, this annoyed most people from the north.
Then, recently, she addressed another meeting in Mulanje where she was allegedly quoted as asking DPP cadets to stone Michael Usi and Sidik Mia whenever they show up in Mulanje. Meanwhile, it does not take a genius to know that such statements can easily incite violence and people can even conclude that what she was saying was the party and government policy. Surprisingly, President Peter Mutharika is yet to comment on or condemn such statements which can bring political instability—more especially as the country draws near to the 2019 elections.
The other warning signs about how the country is faring has come from the Afrobarometer research findings. Apart from other parameters, the research results showed that the President and other politicians are the least trusted in the country. Instead of improving on their trust, the government spokesperson came out to discredit the results, saying that they were not genuine. Such a comment is laughable because it was the same DPP which higly praised Afrobarometer when its research predicted that DPP was to win the 2014 elections. The hypocrisy shown here cannot help this country at all.
Malawi is failing to progress because government is so impervious to other suggestions. Civil society organisations, individual commentators and even church groups have come forward with suggestions but to no avail. All these groups are taken as agents of the opposition parties, which government seems to feel are here by default. Government should know better that the opposition parties are legal and are there to offer checks and balances to government.