It is a well-known fact that development is severely lacking in Malawi. President Peter Mutharika tries to convince people that he has delivered lots of development, which he usually mentions.
What he does not realise is that each time he talks about the same things, with nothing new.
In fact, most of the times, when the President talks about a new project, he qualifies it by saying that funds are already available. For example, the Mzuzu Youth Centre has been in the offing for ages.
Although it has always been said that it has a K30 million approved in the budget, there is nothing on the ground to show for it and it just leaves people to wonder about where the budgeted money has gone. Government should know better that it makes no sense to just talk and feel positive about a project which cannot be implemented.
Development in a country is not a one-man show. The government should be inclusive and accommodative to opposition parties and technocrats when it comes to national programmes. The spirit which is usually demonstrated by government, that anyone outside government circles is a failure and their suggestions cannot be taken, is very retrogressive. Hence, has not achieved much development.
The other thing to mention is that the Mutharika government seems to waste a lot of time thinking about counteracting systems which are already in place helping Malawians. For example, there is Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) in the country.
HRDC is helping Malawians to know about their rights and how to reclaim them once violated. This group also courageously exposes corruption and other abuses in government. At the moment, the government seems to have problems with HRDC and; therefore, there is another group which is pro-government and claims to be better than HRDC. In real sense, the group just wants to counteract what HRDC is doing and make it unpopular.
Currently, another organisation called Interfaith Forum for Peace, Justice and Dialogue has been formed. Already some of the members have pulled out, which is a sign that the organisation was formed without proper consultation with members.
This organisation is a flip side of PAC (Public Affairs Committee), which most of the times has been at loggerheads with Mutharika and his government. Experience has shown that rarely has the President accepted suggestions by PAC, let alone, dialogue. The question is what special techniques will the interfaith forum put in place to dialogue with the President and his government, let alone, give advice for the benefit of Malawians.
People have also seen a group demonstrating against nationwide demonstrations organised by HRDC. Any sensible Malawian should have already known the reason for demonstrating against the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah. In short, MEC is alleged to have run fraudulent elections.
It is likely that maybe some people are being bribed through government agents to form organisations to oppose already established human rights groups and others which are government watchdogs and critics. What they must know is that anyone bribed by government becomes a political slave. Dr Ben Carson from USA once said: “There is a difference between being a supporter of a politician and being a slave. Many have crossed to slavery without knowing it. A supporter will point out mistakes to the leader. A slave continues shouting oh yes, oh yes!”
Meanwhile, government should know that bribery is as good as stealing taxpayers’ money. Let government stop the bribery culture, which is unproductive.