It is a known fact that the Malawi economy was once doing well under the leadership of Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda. This did not just happen. Kamuzu had instilled a spirit of hard work in whatever Malawians were doing.
Hard work was supported by the discipline every Malawian was expected to show at every level. Those days, going to work late and knocking off earlier than the gazetted time was totally unacceptable. Hence Malawians were known to be the most hard-working people in this part of Africa.
When Malawians got a multiparty system of government in 1994, there was a lot of celebrations. Unfortunately, it is this euphoria which misled many into thinking that there was no more need for working hard as the government was to provide everything. Most civil servants and those working in parastatals started going and coming back from work at their own convenient time.
There has also been discipline breakdown and no respect for government policies. The country had been on auto-pilot with docile leadership which just watched people with power making themselves busy converting public resources into personal fortunes. In the process, the country’s economy went from bad to worse during the first 26 years of multiparty democracy.
The other contributing factor to bad economy has been the failure of people not to know when to stop politicking and start to work hard. Even those who are already in power they have been doubting their capabilities and; therefore, find it necessary to remind Malawians every now and again that power is in their hands. They have not been realising that in doing so they do not know what to do with power. In fact, there is time to do politics and time to work.
So far, it has been proved in Malawi that people gain nothing by politicking all the time. For example, during the Mutharika era unless one belonged to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) he/she was considered worthless for promotion or any government appointment. This segregation was retrogressive as more capable people were left out and the government had to lose in the end; hence, some people called it a failed government.
So far, both President Chakwera and Vice-President Saulos Chilima are very willing to change most negative policies. They want to concentrate on productive policies. Those people who want Chakwera’s government to fail are misleading people. Chakwera is being blamed for failing to fulfil some of his promises. The most used example is that he promised that people will afford three meals a day.
Any sensible person should know that what the President and the Vice-President meant was that if their policies are followed, people are likely to afford three meals a day and this will be the measure of success. It is naïve for anyone to think government will be dishing out food.
It must be noted that food will not just come down like manna from heaven. Everyone has to work hard and the government will provide affordable supplies of fertiliser and seed. Honestly, blaming the Tonse Alliance Government for being a failure after being in power for only four-and-a-half months is unfair and senseless.
Needless to emphasise that the change that Malawians achieved needs hard work for it to be productive. Everyone has to participate in the works of government. This the Veep is up and down making sure that government reforms are being adopted. Obviously, he will be checking from time to time on how productive the reforms have been. Therefore, it is not time to lazy about and just wait for pay day. It is time to work hard.