As 2019 elections are drawing near, aspiring candidates for various positions are gearing up showing their interests. Uniquely, each and every candidate is showing that he or she is the one that the constituency or the country has been waiting for.
Surprisingly enough, even those who are running again for the second time or more, they deliberately forget this. Instead, they are busy showing that their performance will be better than it has been in the past. Some even forget that after winning the 2014 elections, they abandoned their constituencies and lived in towns. As for the President, he tries to sugar-coat all the problems that Malawians have been facing in the past four years. Instead, he starts from a clean page and makes new promises. Unfortunately, these new promises cannot be accepted wholesale, without looking at the past performance, which has generally registered a fail.
Meanwhile, the common denominator of all aspiring candidates is that they do not want to spend time discussing people’s needs with people themselves before they come up with their wild promises which will unlikely be achieved. The danger of not discussing the needs with the people is that politicians prioritise their selfish desires and make them look like national interests. For example, it is loud and clear that the majority of Malawians want the farm input prices reduced across the board, instead of starter-packs which are given through coupons to the selected few. This practice has had no benefit to poor Malawians. Politicians keep the system because it is a campaign strategy.
Once again, it has been seen that people in an area have been forced to appreciate the President’s intention without being consulted. Needless to say that the Shire–Zambezi Waterway and Nsanje World Inland Port was just imposed on people. Hence, there is no progress. It is a mere white elephant on which a lot of taxpayers’ money have been spent.
It is so surprising that a number of 2019 aspiring candidates have no meaningful campaign strategies but they seem not to care. This is because of a home-boy tradition which is thriving in this country. What happens is that the electorate vote for a candidate because they come from the same area, tribe, related to him/her, he/she always has handouts in one way or the other to attract hangers-on and sycophants. It is rare that people vote for candidates because of their ideals. In fact, politicians as well as political parties can hardly explain their ideals. The danger in this case is that if a party gets into power without ideals, the end is a failed government and by extension leads people to suffering.
This is what is currently happening in Malawi. This is a wakeup call that Malawians before they vote they must scrutinise what the party is standing for, especially in terms of development.
Unfortunately, this is not the case due to abject poverty and lack of proper information. During election time, the electorate thinks it is time to be bribed, that it, time to get handouts. All candidates including presidential candidates do it.
Malawians must be aware that bribery which has led to corruption has destroyed the country. Cases are failing to be concluded in courts because of the home-boy tradition of those in power which has led to nepotism, tribalism, regionalism and all manner of favourtism.
All this has made government fail to rebuke culprits while taxpayers money is being wasted. In the final analysis, culprits too talk with authority as Malawians cannot tell which way the country is going.
Let 2019 be a year of change for leaders with meaningful development ideals. People are tired of mediocrity.