Development is not a one man show. It must involve all citizens under the servant leader presidency. There are many levels of leaderships who must work in coordination.
Immediately below the presidency are Cabinet ministers, then members of Parliament (MPs), councillors and finally traditional leaders. All these need to know and follow the country’s development vision. Every level of leadership should show its positive results in terms of development.
It is a fact that every level of leadership is expected to deliver. It is not an exaggeration that the country failed to develop in a multiparty democracy, even though lack of development was previously blamed on the dictatorship, without knowing that in a democracy things would worsen.
With all due respect, Malawi has a good leadership setup of leaders. What is the problem is the bad mentality of our leaders who serve their bellies at the expense of national development.
To begin with, councillors are crucial for local development. Government provides development funds, but most councils can hardly show what they do with the money. There is massive abuse of the funds.
This is why Vice-President Saulos Chilima, through the reforms programme, is busy visiting councils to ensure they deliver development to people.
Probably the issue we should be discussing is the quality of our councillors. At the moment, I think, anything goes. Should we really be electing Form Four holders as councillors?
I would suggest people who have a clue on what development is all about such as property owners should contest for councillorship.
When it comes to MPs, not many can show how they have used the Constituency Development Fund in their constituencies. If there are infrastructures, then they are temporary bridges which leave a lot to be desired.
Both MPs and councillors do not seem to do well in terms of developing their areas. What to blame is the way we elect these people. Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba of Kenya once said: “There is no magic in the ballot box and if one is a dunderhead he will remain an elected dunderhead.”
In the end, it is the country that remains underdeveloped. The other group of leaders who should be scrutinised are Cabinet ministers. They are supposed to be advisers to the President. Unfortunately, one cannot see much performance from our MPs.
With all due respect, some ministers are still on familiarisation tours and what they have so far achieved, if any, is to open and close workshops.
How many ministers, if I may ask, can boldly show what they have contributed to the development of Malawi?
In this country, we have one record of a successful and hardworking minister. I am yet to learn of any minister who can surpass Aleke Banda in terms of hardworking. Aleke left a mark of success in every ministry he was assigned to.
He is remembered for his stellar performance as a Cabinet minister. Malawi would have progressed if it had many ministers of Aleke’s calibre.
So far, Malawi has been lacking servant leadership which Chakwera and Chilima promised in their manifesto.
Despite stumbling blocks of corruption and stealing of public resources which were institutionalised in the Democratic Progressive Party regime, the Tonse Alliance government seems to be making progress toward development. For example, at the moment, government is busy constructing roads, bridges, buildings and other development infrastructure.
I have also observed that there is no politicking in the current government which, in my opinion, is just a waste time.
Finally, if Malawi is to develop every citizen should play their part by working hard, refraining from corruption and abuse of public resources.