Whenever a government comes into power it has a tendency of thinking that whatever it does is right. But what it forgets is that people will always judge its motive of doing things. As it were, the government comes into power on the platform of promising to take care of the people, in addition to being responsible. The Peter Mutharika administration did the same in 2014.
Malawi is now a hub of so many problems which are happening without any proper direction. All this boils down to the current bad economy, of which government does not seem to have an immediate solution.
Unfortunately, in some cases government seems to use the desperate situations Malawians are going through so that it is seen to be doing something and yet there is nothing positive. For example, it is true that people are desperately in need of maize. It is also equally true that people are failing to access the maize despite claims by government that it is available.
The only snag is transport logistics to ship the maize to where it is needed, so says government. For goodness’ sake, who can buy this story? The logistics excuses make no sense because maize shortage predictions were known way back in early 2015, during crop estimates. So, what has the government been waiting for? One might not be wrong to conclude that the statement by government that there is enough maize was just for building a political image of the ruling party.
It is unfortunate that political leaders try to use public resources to prop up their image. Imagine, there have been cases whereby despite people failing to buy maize at Admarc, a political leader can buy a seven-tonne load of maize in the same area to donate to a hospital. Donating food to hospital is welcome, but it is the motive in this case which is questionable. If the political leader was using his personal status, it would have made much more sense. But this idea of using political power and deny ordinary people access to food is totally unacceptable.
Even the directive from the President that people must report to the authorities about vendors who buy maize from Admarc is just a face-saver for government. With all the facilities it has, would government have failed to curb the vendor malpractice much earlier?
With the numerous problems that Malawi if facing, no genuine leader should waste time building his political image. The APM government must take note of this, failing which, problems in the country will get worse.
Meanwhile, it is common knowledge that climate change problems have affected Malawi in terms of floods and drought. The talk now is tree planting, which brings a lot of hype when a political leader is presiding over it. There are flamboyant speeches to show that the leader is concerned and cares about the welfare of the country. But what happens after the planting exercise is a different story. There is literally no follow-up on progress of the trees planted. Instead, the trees are just left to die. This is why there is nothing much to show for the trees planted in the past.
It is time for government to accept responsibility for the situation in the country. Surprisingly, some Cabinet ministers detest the idea of pointing an accusing finger at government. One wonders who else such ministers think can shoulder the blame. n