Honourable folks on Thursday Malawian daily papers carried shocking news to all who wish this country well.
The papers reported that Malawi has plunged 19 steps on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) computed by the global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International.
The country, precisely, has dropped from 91 last year to 110 this year during a period that Cashgate—the fraud and corruption scam that has hit the country— went off. The news from this year’s CPI, therefore, is a testimony of how stuck the country is in the rut of iniquity called corruption.
Honourable folks, Malawi this year clocked 50 years of independence, but the reality on the ground does not reflect that.
Studies in human psychology show that there is an increase in wisdom in human beings at 50 due to, among others, the decrease in some hormones.
Which means Malawi should now have been in a better position to analyse factors that are affecting its life, solve its problems and improve its cognitive performance; in the process arrest the increase in corrupt practices among its populace.
Honourable folks, however, economically and socially Malawi is standing exactly where it was 50 years ago, and this year’s CPI score is one of the many telling signs that the country will stagnate economically in probably another 50 years from now.
And more ink can be spilt on paper to let somebody see that poverty in Malawi remains deep, widespread and severe while the gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening.
Yet our neighbours, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique have made tremendous economic advancement. Mozambique—a country once embroiled in a 16-year-old civil war— is hitting headlines for having experienced growth rates at or above seven percent for more than 10 years.
Smaller countries such as Mauritius and Singapore that were as poor as Malawi is, if not worse, when they attained independence, are now prosperous.
Today, Mauritius has the largest bank in eastern Africa.
But it is clear that dearth of the senses of pride and shame springing from greed from the general populace has given rise to the many vices such as corruption the country is grappling with.
Again, the quality of life and success of a nation depends on the quality of its leaders’ visions. Whenever a nation lacks visionary leadership, it cannot escape national stagnation and deterioration, underdevelopment and impoverishment.
The CPI score points towards Malawian leaders’ lack of vision for the nation. The country has been beset with leaders with only personal selfish ambitions to ascend to positions of political influence and enrich themselves on the backs of the millions of the poor.
Almost without exception, all our post-independence leaders shamelessly followed that path and insanely so in the post-one-party period.
Honourable folks, not to belabour the point, the nation and the people cannot prosper, let alone improve on CPI if it continues being steered with visionless leadership and the populace do not won their country. It is all doom and gloom for the country and the people!