I am South African businessperson, based in Francistown in Botswana but have, over the past 10 years, been doing business in Malawi.
As an IT dealer with investments in 8 African countries, I can challenge that there is no country close to my heart than Malawi.
But, unfortunately, Malawi is still very poor and its people, among the ten poorest in the world.
The question is: with all the resources and enormous donor support, why is Malawi still among the five poorest in the world?
Well, having done business in this country for about ten years and, again, having interacted with several strands of both influential and local people—I think I have an idea of what is wrong with Malawi and how it can be fixed.
For a country to develop you need two things: One, money to fund your development projects and, two, leadership to manage the money prudently and efficiently.
Truth be told, Malawi has enough money—both from domestic revenue and external support—it needs to fund its development programmes. What Malawi doesn’t have is the committed leadership to manage its money prudently.
What is happening in Malawi, from the 10 years I have been in this country, is that government is always captured by a self-serving interest group with a principal aim of primitive accumulation and self-enrichment.
Let me honest here: It’s a norm for people who run governments to serve self-interest at the expense of their people. For instance, a minister in South Africa awarded a water project to his friend and despite doing the job, it was not of expected standards because they pocketed part of the money.
Malawi, however, is a different case: They take money to buy medicine and they don’t even supply anything; they register companies to build roads and, after getting the money from government, they deregister it and get away.
In other ways, in Malawi, they have leadership that, literally, dries up government coffers with no apology. They steal everything—which is quite a curious case.
To solve this challenge, Malawi does not need a political party with good policies. Malawi, now, needs personalities with proven track record of leadership integrity and experience; someone who will lead to serve.
Who can that person be?
I know there are several Malawians with great intentions but few, according to my research, have interest in public affairs.
Out of the few, I have been quite observant of Shepherd Bushiri, the spiritual leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church.
Look here, at 36, Bushiri has built a big brand for himself as a globally renowned spiritual leader, shrewd businessperson and an erudite philanthropist.
Well, I am not a spiritual person and I don’t desire to be one, shortly; and because of that, I will not waste a line here to attribute his success to supernatural powers.
Leadership is about making people believe in you. Whatever you do, if you are able to make people see hope in what you tell them, then you are a great leader.
Bushiri has proved that. Against all odds, he has—in less than 5 years—built a movement from the shacks in Mzuzu to Africa’s greatest Pretoria. Besides, he has cut himself as a great entrepreneur and, also, a benevolent philanthropist.
Wherever I go, whenever I mention Malawi, the first question I am asked is: Do you know Bushiri? This speaks volume regarding the impact Bushiri has exerted on a global scale—something that must be celebrated and cherished.
For somebody who rose from scratches and built a billion on his own and, interestingly, he has been steadfast and focused despite raging forces to bring him down, I feel Malawi has a human resource in Bushiri needed to manage its broken politics.
Bushiri has money—he won’t steal from you. Bushiri is young—he knows the needs of the time. Bushiri is an entrepreneur—he will advance that culture. Bushiri gives—he will support the weak further. Bushiri is already famous—he won’t be in government to make a name.
I am certain that if Malawi, whichever way, considers Bushiri as their president, this country will move for the better.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :