26 August 2021
It appears Malawians are, today, an angry lot. It is all over the place. The anger is everywhere: at the marketplace, in Sientas, and even the churches.
For one, that anger at some point gripped me. Indeed, at that point it dawned on me that Admarc was more rotten than its maize. It may have been going too far, but then revelations by the grain trader’s general manager Rhino Chiphiko, that there is a curtail with some Admarc officials, commercial bank stalwarts and even those from Reserve Bank of Malawi.
How can anger simmer like that? And then, you hear some proposals being thrown around that if fertiliser prices are to be kept at sensible prices, the grain trader should be involved.
Talking about fertilizers, there are some things that are not adding up. Should we understand that principal secretary for irrigation Sandram Maweru just woke up from this not-so-good side of the bed to write district commissioners that the number of beneficiaries was being trimmed from 3.7 million to 2.7 million due to lack of funds and high fertiliser costs?
It gets even more confounding to see that apparently President Lazarus Chakwera was nowhere near the brooding of the idea that the number of beneficiaries was being trimmed.
If it were so, why has the President not taken the PS to task for trying to throw spanners in the works he champions?
You would think the anger ends there. But no, see what the gazzeting of fees road users were expected to pay at the tollgates! People were foaming at the rates, until government decided to hold on a bit.
Either this is a listening government, or a government that has no clues about the situation on the ground that it is very slippery! Or else, it may be a government that is so much into experimentation and testing the people’s patience. If the people do not react, they seem to be saying deep down their hearts, we will continue with the oppressive acts.
You will see the anger boiling in Malawians that they want to vent it on whoever they find prey. Economist Henry Kachaje was a victim during the week. The tones of bricks were on his head as some claimed he led them astray with his motivational talks that pointed into the direction that jobs keep you back. That was after Kachaje secured the top job at the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority.
There was no peace at all, especially when some posted that Kachaje did not meet the needed qualification. The anger displayed shows that either something is awkwardly wrong, or people have so much time to waste doing nothing!
The anger out there makes me think Michael Usi, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, would join musician Lawi into Mulanje Mountain where they would attempt to reach the Sapitwa Peak. This, I should presume, will be a three-day or so blackout from whatever is happening ‘pa dziko lapansi’ ku Malawi!
I only wish Forestry and Natural Resources Minister Nancy Tembo could join the Voice of the Mountain Hike. She would not have to go up the mountain for two hours. Even some 20 minutes would show her the kind of degradation that has occurred on the mountain.
Tembo would see how much damage and plunder has been done during the previous regimes that it is totally irreparable. This is the case with all the hills and mountains since Bakili Muluzi let it that forestry care be left in the hands of traditional leaders. Something like putting a mouse into a sack of peanuts.
Last week, I did indicate that Chakwera may be acting with nonchalance on some issues because he knows that he is barred by a Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Article 36. That was not accurate as this was a clause in the party’s old constitution. In fact, the new MCP constitution Article 35 provides that if a sitting president of the republic has one more constitutional term for the office, they can still seek re-election for a third term.