The paradox of Malawi maize: Malawi is lacking sober economists who can be custodians of accountability

When I sit down and make a reflection on what is happening in our Warm Heart of Africa (Malawi), though no longer warm, I feel somehow baffled, betrayed and suspicious about the affairs of the land.

A man carries food aid distributed by the United Nations World Food Progamme (WFP) in Mzumazi village near Malawi’s capital Lilongwe – REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

Building a case on James Martin’s observations pasted on Facebook on 1st April, 2017, there are a lot of commonalities in his articulation than differences can try to hold in this articulation.

Few days passed, if my medulla oblongata cannot betray me, there was a state declaration that our Malawi Defense Force (MDF) should leave their barracks and tighten our porous borders following the syndicate that maize and tobacco have grown legs and try to cross borders illegally. The most noticeable pathways are Chitipa and Songwe borders of northern Malawi.

As a matter of reminding one another, this is not the first time that MDF career has been misallocated, misplaced and misused. They were at one point sent to guard forests of treeless Chikangawa and Dzalanyama (I hope they are still there).

A question or two to pose here: what is the role of forest guards in such a situation? Or – Has the MDF training school incorporated forest protection in their curriculum under the neo-system of reforms? Even unschooled villager in my home area in Mpherembe can see the misallocation of human resource without necessarily telling him. What is the rationale of training police officers and MRA staff if soldiers bypass them? Does it portray that we have more soldiers than police officers in the country? If yes, then alternate the intake.

The second thing which has baffled me to the extreme is the maize found on the seventeen trucks impounded in Chitipa. Very recently we were talking about the shortage of maize and we hurriedly borrowed huge sums of money to procure the disputed grain in Zambia (I hope we have not cleared all the grain from Zambia).

Within a very thin space of time we are found exporting the very scarce commodity. Where is the logic? Who did the survey that we have no grain in Malawi to courageously conclude the findings and start borrowing without any form of remorse?

In a matter of analysis, Malawi is lacking the Joseph of Egypt to read the events (sober economists who can be custodians of accountability) in crucial times like these. Where are we going? A prudent act in this scam is to return the scarce grain to silos for the next hunger season. Even street dogs can laugh at our strategic plan.

  • Writer: Colby Kumwenda is a doctoral student in South Korea doing Theology and Economics. For more details, write him on [email protected]

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masa masina
masa masina
5 years ago

This maize is not stolen property. It is private property. It is the owners of this maize that are looking for good market where they can make profit. Malawian market is not favourable for dealing in maize because the government interferes too much with the markets. The president dictates the price of maize. And yet we claim Malawi is free market. Everyone in this country should be free to grow maize and sell it where they can make profit. That is what freedom/rights implies.

5 years ago

what can we do when we have a bunch of economists who have sacrificed their intellectual credibility over money. We are, indeed, all dead in the long-run—i beg to agree with Mr Keynes

mango zapya
mango zapya
5 years ago

Unfortunately, even the Joseph of Egypt was not a sober economist. He used the grain to dominate over the people, even his own. Why did he not empower the people to keep the grain by themselves? He deliberately created a dependency syndrome.

Chigwere Pa Euthini
Chigwere Pa Euthini
5 years ago

Mr Kumwenda!a forest alephela kuteteza nkhalango zathu,boma silinalakwitse kuyika asilikali mkhalango,a Malawi democracy timayitengela pena.

Economic Advisor
Economic Advisor
5 years ago

If this article is indeed written by a doctoral student in economics then we have a raw deal. There is nothing that shows analytical and probity skills required of a PhD student. It’s so basic. A waste of time and space. This should be a social studies essay by a Form 3 student.

Nyambi the Revolutionary

The writer is ignorant: Armies usually operate in Forests for the very purpose of cover and Military training has cartography, map analysis as one way of knowing terrain where combatants usually operate in warfare.MAFCO is located in Sengabay North Forest Reserve,Parachute Battalion is located in North Senga Forest Reserve,Chilumba Garrison is in Vinthukutu Forest Reserve and so are Support and ordnance depot on the foot of Thuma Forest Reserve. These forests are Gazetted and under the Department of Forestry but leased permanently to MDF who also protect the ecosystems. To them its solely for tactical cover so u author of… Read more »

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