It is clear even to a primary school pupil that Malawi is sailing in economic and political turmoil. The problems we are facing are many and serious. More importantly that we need to collectively come up with solutions and get back to the road of prosperity is what any Malawian of good will expects. I am totally convinced that government is equally concerned with the situation at hand. Conversely, government seems to be stranded, indeed it is stranded.
Surprisingly, what I observe from government critics is blame shifting game – opposition entities in Malawi are rather not inspiring; even an inch promising that if given a chance they can take our beloved nation to the Promised Land. They take pleasure in castigating the president left, right and centre; calling him all sorts of unpalatable names. After that, we Malawians praise them and describe them as ones having the welfare of the people at heart. If it’s a fierce “objective” article critical of the government emanating from my mentor (Wise one from the East, enough respect!), flies on this forum- then comments will flow like- “a well written article; enlight them these dunderheads!” and someone will say “no more DPP in 2014; it has failed us- Bingu should be handed over to the ICC (International Criminal Court) for this economic hardships”.
Since Malawi was plunged into this fuel-forex problem, what solutions have government cynics provided on the scene that Malawians can appreciate that this is the way to go! What is the former ruling party saying on the solutions? Absolutely nothing, except making headlines in the newspapers blasting government; some of us are expressing confidence in one youthful presidential aspirant of UDF Atupele Muluzi; what is he saying on these problems if it’s not for the already programmed codes of speeches dubbed “agenda for change”.
Done with him; what is the vice president offering during rallies with her PP if it’s not the usual game of pointing the ills the government is committing without offering alternatives? You will more often hear honourable John Tembo on the popular Zodiak Broadcasting Station saying “I have solutions to these problems but only that government does not consult me!” what’s that fellow countrymen at a time when a common person like myself is suffering out here? Opposition parties’ specialisation in the art of critiquing the government is not only way to win the hearts of us the electorates but more importantly they must strive to give us hope and summon our spirits with the best approaches of handling the problems the country is facing . We expect them to articulate issues on how they will take this country move in the right direction.
I know by now that apart from poor governance record registered so far by the Bingu administration, the phasing out of tobacco- Malawi’s economic backbone on the market and the global economic meltdown- is one of the factors that have chiefly brought Malawians into this untold misery. Well- let’s take only the issue of tobacco alternative; what are the opposition gurus proposing? Literally nothing! If no best alternative crop will be identified; Malawi will continue to experience some of the same problems we are facing even if we are determined to change regime in 2014.
My fellow compatriots; what is the benefit of only speaking the ills of our government if it’s not taking a leading role in suggesting the best way forward? Are we saying we do not have the brains in UDF, MCP and PP who can bang heads and come up with solutions to the problems rocking the country? Just imagine a situation where the president of UDF, MCP or PP buys airtime on Zodiak radio or Capital FM outlining to the nation what their party thinks on the way forward. I believe by that way, the opposition parties could be gaining more respect from the public and would stand greater chances to be viewed indeed as government in waiting.
Some of us were following with keen interest the just ended parliamentary deliberations where we saw the minister of finance inviting MPs from the opposition side to help in finding solutions. Down the period, no single solution was provided from the opposition side. This means that these crop of leaders have no ideas; in other words, they have nothing to offer to the country- they are chaffs (Madeya) if am to borrow words from one time powerful regional governor of UDF Davies Kapito (RIP).
Let me wind up by mentioning that I was impressed by one James Nyondo (President of NASAF party in Malawi) in Weekend Nation newspaper of 17th December to learn from his claim that he is a doer of things and not just a mere critic and that he is a solution finder and do not take pleasure in just making empty rhetorics. He continued to say Malawians should expect NASAF party to provide some alternative solutions to government in as far as this crisis is concerned. I told myself that “C’mon; this is the way to go! Thumbs up NASAF; this is a welcome development!”
My fellow countrymen; I strongly believe that if we all invest our energies in speaking less and engage our brain in finding solutions to the challenges facing the country; I cannot be naive to declare that we can and will continue to come out of dark chapters like this stronger and more united as a nation.
*Henry Mvula, (final year Land Management student at Mzuzu University)
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