It can be said without any contradiction that in Malawi there is politics of the people and not politics of ideology. Hence, party manifestos talk about similar things, as parties do not follow particular ideologies.
Supporters follow particular parties either because of the home-boy syndrome or leaders say what supporters want to hear. What is stated here is one of the reasons Malawi is not progressing in development.
Meanwhile, as political leaders are facing elections this month, they have suddenly realised that underrating the voting power of Malawians can make them lose political power. It is a well known fact that Malawians are very tolerant, but experience has shown that if they say ‘enough is enough’, there is no turning back. What follows is that they show their citizenry power.
One can remember that president Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda was one of the most feared Head of State. His policy of detention without trial was enough to scare anyone. No one would cross his path. Above all, there was a lot of mystery surrounding his presidency. To be fair to him, despite the atrocities, the Malawi economy was booming and most Malawians had money to spend.
In short, Kamuzu knew how to run a government to benefit all Malawians. Dislodging Kamuzu from power was once a far-fetched idea. But when Malawians finally became fed up with the atrocities of his single party government, they got organised and called for a multiparty government. There was no going back. The referendum was set and after that multiparty system of government came in 1994 under the leadership of president Bakili Muluzi of UDF. As it were, people expected a multiparty government which has watchdogs to achieve an economic boom.
Sadly, after 25 years of democracy, Malawians are worse off than before. The economy is totally failing to grow. At the moment, the Professor Peter Mutharika government is talking about some indication of economic growth. This is very abstract to most poor Malawians. The only change they are experiencing is negative growth as their lives are unbearable.
Reading between the lines, the message from most Malawians is that enough is enough with the suffering. Obviously, they are talking about change of government.
There is nothing wrong in asking for a change of government. In fact, it is human nature that if something does not work, you try to change the style. What is wrong is for government to try and convince people that all is well and that better things will come once President Mutharika is voted back into power.
Honestly speaking, the better things being promised now are long overdue. People are aware that some of the promises the President made in 2014, such as building five Universities, have not been fulfilled. Therefore, it really becomes difficult for one to believe that this time around Mutharika will deliver all the promises, including the bizarre one which he promises to change Malawi to look like a European country once he is voted for a second-term.
As preparations for second-term, the President would have first decisively dealt with corruption and stealing in his government, stop the killings of people with albinism, deal with violence by DPP cadets and other youths and finally bring sanity to the country as security agents such as the police to deal with culprits without fear or favour.
Nothing of this sort is happening, and many more out there, are not being done. Therefore, people, with their abject poverty, are being encouraged to vote for change. They did it when changing from dictatorship to democracy and they can also do it now, failing which Malawians will be history.