A hunter, not very bold, was searching for the tracks of a lion.
He asked a man felling trees in the forest if he had seen any marks of its footsteps or knew where the lion was.
“I will,” said the man, “at once show you the lion himself.”
The hunter, turning pale and chattering with his teeth from fear, replied: “No, thank you. I did not ask that; it is its track only I am in search of, not the lion itself.”
In fact, a hero is brave in deeds as well as words.
Unfortunately, Malawi has failed to make much headway on the road to purposeful political and economical development because the country has had no bold enough Presidents to use its resources for that end.
The leaders have used the country’s resources for the greater development of themselves and few cronies.
More worrisome is also the obvious insensitivity to the short-termism of most of our decisions — at all levels of the organs of the State – that give minuscule weight to the broader and shared long-term considerations.
More than 50 years down the independence road, for example, government is unable to provide adequate and quality health care.
But it is reported one of the reasons for the so-called Cabinet Crisis in 1964 was that some Cabinet ministers rejected a proposal to implement mechanisms which would have required the public to slightly contribute towards their medical care.
The unfounded fear then was that the public would be angry against that policy.
As a result, the initiative was dropped just for few individuals’ political gain.
Then came United Democratic Front’s Bakili Muluzi, who ran almost all sectors of life into ground, culminating into his government selling 42 of its companies by 2002.
The privatisation model has over the years proved to be disastrous resulting in government failing to generate own funds for its projects and programmes and to create jobs for its citizens.
As if that was not enough, the country recently witnessed its whole chief executive officer, Joyce Banda, going out in the rural areas every other day to give out freebies such as nkhunda, nkhuku, nkhumba, mbuzi, ng’ombe, ufa, chimanga, mbeu, mabulangeti, malata and elevate chiefs day in, day out in the name of ‘bringing rural development’.
And President Peter Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration’s insistence on the Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (popularly known as Malata and Cement Subsidy) – amid scorching economic weather – is a clear manifestation that our crop of leaders continue to be strong-armed by a blinding lack of vision for the country and its people into making decisions that least help the people they claim to best serve.
The Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament has proposed that allocations for the Malata and Cement Subsidy, among others, should be suspended.
But while it is common knowledge that no country has developed through ‘village economics’ of handouts, DPP government, through its spokesperson Jappie Mhango, has hit back at Parliament in a series of kindergarten fallacies.
If wisdom, courage and sanity had prevailed in Mutharika and DPP, they would not insist on this non-essential programme just for the sake of 2019 votes at the expense of ruining the country’s economy further.
But it appears Mutharika and DPP are just not bold hunters who do not know that the President’s job is to formulate policies, assisted by his Cabinet, that if implemented successfully, will allow the rural masses to acquire by and for themselves such livelihood requirements as malata and cement.