We on the streets are not surprised by the results of a survey conducted by Institute of Public Opinion and Research (Ipor) released on Monday, November 5. The poll results reflect the views of the local man on the ground.
Dismiss it as fake at your own peril. But in the words of one Nicholas Dausi of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the poll should be an eye-opener to political parties, especially the big three: DPP, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM or United Transformation Movement.
That DPP would won the polls had they been held in September and MCP would be second is not a surprising finding. DPP as a party in government is in a pole position with the vast State instruments and resources to retain government.
But what has come as a surprise is the finding that 78 percent of Malawians (DPP supporters included) believe that under Peter Mutharika, Malawi has underperformed.
We are relieved that even those on the blue-side see what every Malawian is seeing in Mutharika’s regime; worthlessness. You see, one does not need a poll to know that life has been hard under Mutharika and DPP. One has to look at the general economic outlook to know that we are in a bad place.
The economy is tinkering. Poverty has worsened. Over 4 million people have to receive food aid while 80 percent of those in the rural areas hardly find safe water to drink. The country’s public hospitals are but death camps due to lack of drugs and the cost of living is beyond reach for half the population.
Under Mutharika, corruption has worsened and the quality of service from the civil service has reached the lowest level in a decade. Statutory organisations are cash-cows for the ruling elite while water boards service the few yet are perpetual loss makers who have to be bailed out by taxpayer’s. Malawi is in a terrible state of disrepair and no one seems to care.
Not so long ago, Malawi was a country globally admired. But in four years under the DPP, Malawi has retrogressed not only on the local front but on the international arena as well.
Our lack of ambition to achieve on the continental stage is shocking to say the least. There is no vision and dreams to achieve anything. I am not surprised only one foreign leader attended the just ended AU-C10 Summit. So far, we are satisfied by being called a peace-loving nation. We are satisfied by ending child marriages and arresting a sexual cleanser (fisi).
As a nation we have failed to achieve ‘big things’ like ending hunger (albeit having vast water resources in Shire and Lake Malawi) and our efforts to empower women are faltering. The tag we are associated with is Malawi is the poorest nation on the continent.
Yet, Africa’s other poor countries are taking steps to stand out apart from ending cultural vices. Rwanda and Mauritius are great examples.
Take a look at last week’s World Doing Business report and see how these two countries have fared. Rwanda and Mauritius both recorded big reform wins—rising 11 places and five places, respectively.
In the case of Mauritius, it broke Africa’s record to make it to the top 20 in the World. Rwanda rose 11 places to 29 and is the only low-income economy ranked among the top 30 globally—recording improvements on all but one of the ten Doing Business indicators. What a feat!
Malawi, on the other hand has once again failed to make the top ten in Africa. The country slipped one step down on the index. We have failed to sustain the gains made over the years and erratic electricity supply still tops the list of challenges that impact on business.
Facts speak for themselves. Malawi has underperformed under Mutharika. You can’t call Ipor as fake.