Malawi: Home of insecurity, moral decay

Ancient empires often fell after being attacked by external adversaries. Malawi is declining because she is fighting herself, at least, in large part. A country that had been standing firmly for as long as we can remember is gradually being knocked to its knees. It may soon be brought to the ground, but we should pray that shouldn’t happen.

Our country has been the epitome of peace and order, and this is something the world knows. But, recently reservations and discontent among Malawians have led to strikes and demonstrations that continue threatening our peaceful progress. It hasn’t started in the Joyce Banda administration; it has been there since the last days of late Bingu wa Mutharika, and now it is slowly coming in full force, perhaps, because there are those who want to frustrate JB.

It is a perfect arrangement to attack the security system of a country if you want to bring the administration down. It is even a proper tactic to mobilize citizens to express their discontent with an administration by unprecedented strikes and protests. These things are happening in Malawi but the president herself cannot be taken as the innocent slaughter lamb that is in the midst of angry wolves. In fact, she is taking a principal part in making sure our progress as a country stalls or retrogress.

Picture depicting a hooded bank robber

Malawi as a country has registered the worst number of armed robberies, burglaries and other criminal cases since JB came into power. Should this be construed as some coincidence that fate has bestowed upon our country so that we should lose confidence in our president? Are there people out there who are striving with every fibre of their being to fund the robberies so as to frustrate JB? Perhaps, in a way, the president herself should be blamed for the robberies because of her soft stance towards the offenders.

You don’t really need to have been attacked by thugs, to have your house broken into by armed robbers, to be raped by a gang of muggers or to have your brother or sister mauled to death by those undertaking enrichment rituals. You simply have to be in Malawi and listen to the radio, read the newspapers and view the horrendous pictures and read the heartrending stories on social sites and other online media. In fact, even if you are outside Malawi, you simply need to be digitally connected and you will know the plight that our country is rolling in.

You just need to have Malawi at the centre of your heart and you will hear the faint cries of citizens who seem to have nowhere else to raise their voices to, except heavenwards. But, there as well, our Father seems to have turned his eyes to the other side. God Himself seems to be shocked with our pitiful and horrible progress, a progress that is threatening to shatter our lives. It is a progress that forces us to think it would be better if we stalled, for our strides in democracy and liberty, in a sense seems, to have borne for us horror and uncertainty.

But, we can’t blame our progress in terms of liberty, for there are countries whose democracy is very advanced, but still, they can live and sleep without fearing their houses could be broken into; and travel with hard cash without casting their eyes behind their shoulders. The situation in Malawi is strange and different, and oftentimes, can’t be clearly explained. The only attractive explanation for the numerous armed robberies and other criminal cases is the president’s declaration that suspects must be treated with soft gloves in line with an ironic provision that states that an accused person is innocent until proven otherwise.

What more with the persistent allegations that there were some inmates who were pardoned by the president simply because they are related to her. Yet these are said to be criminals who had not committed crimes involving moral turpitude, but felonies which involved murder and rape. This is a case that obviously sets a very wrong precedent, especially that it involves a leader who felt the presence of the Holy Spirit during the first ever cabinet meeting she held. The president’s relations who ‘have the capacity’ to commit crimes may have nothing as a deterrent because they are ‘assured’ of a presidential pardon at any opportune time.

On the other hand, the president can’t be blamed for our country’s terrific decline in terms of morality. The malady was there in the past, but now it has shot to surmounting heights. Girls as young – or as old – as fifteen years are engaging in prostitution. They are selling their bodies in a country that appears so hopeless. They are dying young, and it is difficult to identify who to blame other than themselves.

Some have reached the point of dumping their newly-born babies in pit latrines and other dumping sites because they don’t need to have any ‘object’ to feed and clothe. Others simply terminate the lives of their unborn babies. They never sit down to think about what human life is. They never spare a few seconds to consider the noble lives of those little ones who never chose to be borne. Above all, they never spare a thought for God, the author of life, who gives according to his will.

Mother Malawi is weeping; and weeping hard. She is weeping for the decline in its security, the decline in its morality. Yet, this is a country which was scoring very high in these areas until recently; until fate or human design fell on us and corrupted our mindsets. Even those who advocate for a return to our roots lack all conviction. They are caught up in a web of money and power, and Mother Malawi continues bleeding.

Well, there is hope for our country. There is hope that we will be able to retain our admirable moral standing. There even is hope that the president will take some time to let all Malawians be treated equally even if they are related to her or not. Our good leader should even reconsider her stand on the treatment of accused robbers and other criminals. She may not resuscitate our late leader’s policy of shooting to kill, but she should let the police do their job – yes their job.

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