Theodore Roosevelt of America defined patriotism as a stand with the country and it does not mean a stand with the President.
Some of Malawi’s previous leaders used to claim that most people in this country were not patriotic, just because they were not standing with them. Usually, people do not stand with the President because of his poor performance which can lead the country to nowhere.
Meanwhile, for patriotism to be complete, the citizens should show interest in the affairs of the country. People should be aware that one of the reasons Malawi is failing to progress is the ‘I don’t care’ attitude that most people have.
The problem is that people are brainwashed in their political parties, where their support is based on bribes they get while they feel there is nothing for them whether or not they show interest in the country. What they forget is that once the country is stable and doing well, the political parties, too, will flourish.
There are also a number of other reasons people have not been taking interest in the country, one of which is the reception by the leaders, especially those who are not accommodating. One can remember that in the previous regime people outside government and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were called failures.
Therefore, there was no away the president could give a chance to such people to suggest anything. This was done despite Malawi having no shortage of intelligent people in various fields. These so-called ‘failures’ when they go and work in the other countries they are star performers.
On the other hand, people who give intelligent suggestions are said to be looking for power. Meanwhile, one can appeal to the Tonse Alliance administration to welcome suggestions from people across the board, who are willing to share. So far, the government has started well with the reforms, which might be allowing people to come up with new ideas.
This habit of always looking for personal rewards is unproductive. Malawians can borrow a leaf from the country’s freedom fighters. They got nothing at individual level, but they were all satisfied with getting independent. When Malawi will be developed by the contribution of all Malawians, everyone will be happy. Those in power must stop being greedy. Malawi belongs to all Malawians.
In taking interest with the country, some Malawians have shown a very good example. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, they have come out in groups and make cash or material contributions to the suffering public through government. This is, indeed, service to the nation. Unfortunately, some greedy people have taken advantage of the Covid-19 donations, and have been stealing the money and items. This is shameful.
It is not an exaggeration to say that this is due to people’s lack of interest in the country. People take too long tolerating leaders who are not performing at all. Waiting for five years to remove such a leader is equal to 20 years’ destructions, especially when they are surrounded by people who might have no idea as to why the country has to develop.
Performance of leaders should be checked time and again. Even before a leader gets into power, he or she must be known by the majority.
Indeed, it is time for all Malawians to take interest in the country. When people travel to other countries, they should just bring back ideas that can improve the country, and not those that can impoverish it. People should take advantage of the coming of Tonse Alliance administration to help in developing the country. Our slogan should be “Stand with the country for progress”.