As Malawians are heading for elections in 2019, the political landscape is getting active. Political parties are busy reorganising and identifying prospective candidates to stand on the party tickets. Political rallies, too, are all over. Their main agenda is to sell party ideals to the electorate.
The importance of 2019 elections cannot be overemphasised. Take it or leave it, 2019 will be a turning point to a better Malawi for all. It is not a secret that people in Malawi have indeed suffered under President Peter Mutharika’s policies and governance. Imagine, all the sectors of government even fail to use collective ideas within the system. For example, due to shortage of power supply generation the government procured some gensets to beef up the power supply. Before long, the government complained about the very high costs of running the gensets. It is surprising that the whole government can blindly procure gensets without knowing the running costs?
One cannot be completely wrong to suggest that this was a one-man decision and probably no technocrat or engineer was involved. If this was the case, the President must be reminded that Malawi is no longer a dictatorship, where decisions to run the country are from one person with power.
Meanwhile, it makes a lot of sense that before the gensets were procured the government should have gotten full information about them. Failing which, it is what it is now. Taxpayers’ money has been senselessly wasted.
So far, the bottom line to the problems Malawi is facing is that those people with power have no idea, while those without power have ideas, which cannot be taken on board of governance. President Mutharika likes talking in general terms that this country has seen a lot of development under his leadership, especially on road construction. Sadly, his idea of development seems to be different from the rest of Malawians, most of whom think if there is any development the lives of people at the grassroots must improve. Leaders must know that people’s needs are very basic. They should be able to access fertiliser to grow enough crops for food. and surplus for sale. Government must provide markets within reach. Schools for children must be of acceptable standards, not shacks.
Hospitals must have medicines and enough trained staff. The list of basic need goes on and all this under the Mutharika government is far from being achieved. Then, when he talks about his development is just a mockery to the poor Malawians. While the President is proud of the road construction under his government, there are drawbacks. Some of the roads are of substandard and some cannot even last for six months.
In addition, most of the roads are done in piece-meal style, whereby when the road is finally finished, half of it needs redoing. In short, there is no work done. To crown it all, the Mutharika government has no idea to stop corruption, nepotism, regionalism, stealing in government, insecurity—especially about the killing of albinos, etc. Why the President fails to invite other people to put their heads together to find solutions to all these problems, he knows better.
Prof. Patrick Lumumba of Kenya once said: “It is so amazing that most of the electoral [systems]in Africa prefer people without ideas to be in power”. Malawi is not an exception, and it has learnt lessons the hard way, with clueless people in power. One can only hope that Malawians are going to choose people with ideas in 2019. Failing which, and repeating the same clueless leaders, the country will be doomed.