Where there is no vision, the people perish… Proverbs 29 verse 18 (King James Version)
I am now getting scared and real afraid as to where President Arthur Peter Mutharika is taking this country to. Four year ago when Peter Mutharika took over power from Joyce Banda, many of us thought that we are set to travel the same road that his elder brother Bingu Wa Mutharika took us through mainly in his first term of leadership; that is in as far as development is concerned. However, my hopes and I believe everybody’s hopes are now completely crushed.
The last four years have been years of promises and more promises, with little action on the ground. These past four years have been years of talking and more talking with nothing to show for the endless talking.
To be blunt and truthful it is clear that there is a glaring problem with the leadership of this country. The truth is, Arthur Peter Mutharika, might be a man of respected letters academically, but glaringly lacks a broader, coherent vision of where he would to see Malawi going and what Malawians can ultimately become.
Let us not cheat each other here, visionary leadership is a hallmark of nations that want to thrive, grow and develop and when leadership loses vision of where it seeks to take the people, the whole nation slowly perishes. After the four years of Arthur Peter Mutharika it is evident that this law professor has limited or no vision of where to lead this nation and is clearly devoid of any definitive plan for how to move this country forward.
At times I think that probably it is not Arthur Peter Mutharika who is a problem after all. Probably it is the many hand clappers that have surrounded him or it could be you and me magnifying the shame that has become our leader. Unfortunately, Malawi’s political divide is not based on ideologies but is between those with a bigger, loftier vision of what Malawi can become, against those with a smaller and limited vision.
And this is where I believe we are a problem as a people since we are unable to collectively move things in one direction as others are ready to clap hands for any mediocrity in exchange of cheap favors with only a few patriots trying to pinpoint what a shame we have come as a nation.
Honestly, visionary leadership should be concerned about the welfare of the people as a whole and how each citizen can realize his or her greatest potential and enable the country to rise higher and grow stronger. And if you ask me, I have not seen anything closer to this in our Arthur Peter Mutharika.
Sadly, if one takes time to go through the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 2014 election campaign manifesto, it is a good manuscript offering hope to Malawians with some believing that President Arthur Peter Mutharika would be, after his brother, the second best panacea since 1994 to Malawi’s hoard of challenges. But alas it seems the manifesto is just what it is-a booklet to give Arthur Peter Mutharika and his henchmen a lee way to plunder the country.
Just imagine, for the past two years Malawians have been crying of the persistent blackouts in this country and all that President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika could do, after four years of being in power is offering an assurance to Malawians that the country would soon start enjoying blackout–free nights due to proper measures government is ‘still’ implementing ‘towards’ improving the energy sector.
The question one would ask is: for how long would government be implementing measures towards such a blackout-free situation in this country? Now the measures being talked about, which unfortunately some of the hand clappers are now applauding, are diesel generators whose sustenance has already started raising goose pimples in many Malawians especially after ESCOM already effected a new 25 percent tariff hike. We already said here that diesel generators only mean Malawians paying more for electricity and nobody seemed to be listening.
Again, the deadline for this hopeless electricity situation has been endlessly shifted a number of times-at first it was said all this would come to an by October 2017 only to have the deadline shifted further to end of November 2017, then to December 2017 only to be moved further to early January 2018 then comes another shock and a comedy of contradictions: Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) says the problem will be over by April 2018 while our good President (without shame and a sense of remorse) says in fact by May 2018 this sorry and shameful situation will be over and become history.
Now we are being told that about 300 megawatts power generators would be installed by mid next year and 1400 others the next two to three years; meaning that we have no any long term plans in the bag, all we think is that the best we can do is procuring more generators regardless of the costs to Malawians. In short the generators are here to stay with Malawians continuing paying through the nose to have the power in their homes.
Now where I really get scared is when this DPP government really showed how lopsided its thinking is. The government believes that these expensive and unsustainable generators could even improve the operations of sectors like mining and agricultural sectors.
Now, you may join me to really get scared and afraid. It seems electricity and other real challenges that Malawians are facing are the least concerns to our President. Instead of looking at appropriate measures and solution to the many problems and at least making good investments in the power sector rather than these short-term solutions, Arthur Peter Mutharika and his government think that soccer stadia across the country is what Malawians most long for.
We are told that each of these new sports facilities, minus the one in Blantyre whose cost is higher than the rest, would cost more than MK2.5 billion. And we are told that one of them in Thyolo District is in honor of President Arthur Peter Mutharika. For what? I believe the nation is yet to be told what makes Arthur Peter Mutharika to get such an honor. Is it probably for taking this country 50 years backwards in just under four years.
Now, what scares me more is that Arthur Peter Mutharika does not seem to care or notice the irony of building such sports facilities at a time when the country needs serious investment in more pertinent sectors that could change the country’s economic position.
I don’t care where these structures will be constructed but this is the most senseless and ill-advised development. Although, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Aggrey Masi said government is prioritizing the energy sector as a catalyst for acceleration of socio-economic growth, certainly with the urgency that is attached to these sports facilities, such prioritization is just but a lip service aimed at again hoodwinking us to believe that this is a government with a vision; yet that vision is nonexistent.
Certainly, as said by ESCOM board chairperson Dr Perks Ligoya, we cannot at this time be talking of reducing blackouts as all what this country needs now is a long lasting solution to end the blackouts once and for ever. And this needs us to put all our energies, intelligence, resources and political will towards that drive instead of these useless projects whose main aim is just cheap propaganda.
To be honest, the launch of these diesel-powered generators as a source of electric power is not a moment of celebration, as it is a shame to the country. It is a symbol of our lack of vision and our downward spiral in as far as development is concerned. And to have a whole president found it worthwhile to commission such generators speaks volumes about his shoddy vision for the country. Sad.
Malawi already trekked this road in the 1960s when it used diesel-run generators and the fact is that we have gone back 50 years; and certainly only fools could be jumping all over and celebrating such an embarrassment.
I hate to say it but this is a clear sign that we have headless chickens leading citizens who are headless chickens themselves. Malawi, as a nation we keep running on a treadmill, going through the motions of moving forward but in reality we are expending enormous energy on useless endeavors that would in the end see us going nowhere.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :