Malawi has of late been going through a series of industrial disobediences. It is anticipated that the trend will prolong in as far as reasons behind this development remain unresolved. Simply, our economy is not ticking and most of us have been pushed to the walls of poverty.
It is obvious that the current government inherited a sick economy from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government. Calls for former president Bingu wa Mutharikaâ€™s removal clearly implied that any government in waiting was expected to introduce both short and long term reforms which would see us out of this situation and, this is possible.
While this is the development, it appears the current government is more excited with trivial political issues than seeing that our calls for radical economical changes have been implemented. Typical of most African leaderships, we may, by now, comfortably conclude that the Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) led government is not an odd one out. It is, therefore, not surprising that most of us are sceptical as to what our economic future holds.
Some, who appear to have right facts, have called for the selection of a crisis Cabinet or resignation of the President Joyce Banda. Notably John Kapito, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director and Professor Wiseman Chijere Chirwa of University of Malawiâ€™s Chancellor College. It is unfortunate that the government and other stakeholders, through different avenues have trashed Kapitoâ€™s calls as being emotional.
While this may be the case, the fact remains that Malawi is sailing through troubled economic waters. Donors or no donors, we expected the PP government to introduce the most expected reforms.Â For instance, irregular domestic travel, prevention of illegal firing of civil servants who are thought to be Binguâ€™s sympathizers, cushioning of the economy after kwacha devaluation and its subsequent floatation.Â Unfortunately, the kwacha appears to silently continue devaluing.Â
Documentation from the Nation Publications Limited (NPL) of the much-touted donor support appears to be on paper only. So far, those who pushed for devaluation which Bingu, with proper reasons vehemently opposed, have only remitted less than 20 percent of what we expected. This is a sad situation indeed, but of course which in my reasoning, we have nurtured.
It is, therefore, necessary to appreciate why Kapitoâ€™s calls are justifiable. With examples cited above, for instance, domestic travel, why should the president and her vice with the whole entourage travel to Mangochi to open a flea market and in the process draining government coffers?
This is an economic obscene. Why should the president keep on illegally firing those who appeared to be Binguâ€™s sympathisers when she pretty well knows that eventually, she will drain our resources in paying their dues? Look at how much the former Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) former AlexiousNampota and Clerk of Parliament Matilda Katopola might walk away with? Already, how much is being wasted in legal battles in the two cases above?Â
As we are trying to tighten our financial belts, could we not avoid such scenarios? Whether the individuals mentioned in here are guilty or not, the fact remains that we could have handled these cases in a way that would not see us paying hefty sums. Should my rural siblings suffer simply because someone is disgruntled or cannot use their heads?
It is unfortunate that this arrogance is slowly surfacing if media reports are anything to go by. Recently, the Vice-president Khumbo Kachali was in Karonga opening a telecentre. In response to accusations levelled above, he defiantly spitted onto our faces and I quote, â€œmungoti ine ndi a pulezident tingokhalira kuyenda tikuyenda pakhomo pa amayi anuâ€. By the way, does Kachali understand the argument behind this cry? This is absurd and we ought to redefine our values as they have an implication on our economy.