There is an illness developing in this country which I will call the “Blame-the-Chinese Syndrome.” What I mean by this is the usual reference to the Chinese as coming here to rob the native (read black Malawian) their â€˜God-given jobsâ€™. Some Malawians seem to think that people who come here to look for and exploit the opportunities that exist are a menace. Now, people are blaming the Chinese, the Nigerians, the Burundians and other ethnic groups and nationalities for one evil on top of another.
Now, let me also say that this attitude is the same that is forcing us to continue blaming Bingu as the cause of all the problems that we have faced and will continue to face in the future. Bingu is deep in the crypt at Ndata. He will not come back to haunt us. He controlled our lives for a period but he will not continue to do so; he is dead for goodness sake.
Every time I hear about the police or immigration authorities having intercepted some illegal immigrants into this country, when I hear that people from China, India, Pakistan and elsewhere want to come into this country, it reminds me of the enormous opportunities that exist in this small country of ours. No one in their right senses would want to come to a country where opportunities are hard to come by. Our African neighbours, Chinese friends, Indian brothers and others can only want to come here if opportunities exist, otherwise they go elsewhere.
Let me start by what I read on Blantyre Water Board (BWB). The story is that BWB is trying all it can to ensure that residents of Blantyre City and the surrounding areas have tap water. But the board has accepted that due to high demand, it is unable to meet the demand. It is not like the main source of the water at Shire is dry. No. In history, we hear that Lake Malawi, the main source of water into Shire River, dried once but not anymore. On its own admission, BWB says it will not be able to meet the demand for the foreseeable future. And yet we sit phwiii without thinking how people with the money to buy clean water can be satisfied. Is this an opportunity? I would have been concerned if BWB were to say that they have more water than demand needs. Having a bigger market, is this bad news? Of course not, unless you are BWB.
I read all those interesting press releases from Ministry of Trade or Agriculture warning culprits that selling maize across the borders is illegal. Think about Economic Recovery Programme (ERP). I am not saying that we should be selling maize to other nations when we are starving ourselves. I am just saying that this year in, year out ban is obsolete. Let us capitalise from the opportunity. Grow all the maize that we can and sell it to whoever wants to buy. Is this hard?
I agree with Joyce Bandaâ€™s criticism of the media. It is not bad. No institution should be beyond reproach.