APRIL 23, 2012It is exactly 21 days since DPP fell from the ivory tower and Joyce Banda took over the reins of power in Malawi.
During this short period, Malawi has dramatically changed from being near a pariah State to a nation that neighbouring countries and the larger international community are willing to do business with.
Finance Minister Ken Lipenga missed the funeral of his former boss this week because he led a delegation to Washington, US to talk to IMF and World Bank about the plight of an economy that has gone bonkers.
Although the two bodies did not immediately open their cheque books, there is goodwill to work with the country. IMF is willing to get its stalled programme back on track as soon as possible after the 3-year $79.4 million facility for Malawi was hit by the DPP governmentâ€™s failure to devalue the kwacha and implement public finance management reforms, among other issues.
IMF has also given the all-important go ahead for donors to start coming back to us.
Not wishing to be outdone, World Bank says it will work hand in hand with the IMF in a rapid response operation to offer technical support and financing
to Malawi as it prepares its 2012/13 budget, crucial to restoring macro economic stability.
African Development Bank, on the other hand, has announced that it is ready to commit almost K7.5 billion in budget financing to help the new administration revive the countryâ€™s struggling economy after putting on hold budgetary support to Malawi for almost a year.
On the diplomatic front, Britain has restored the sour diplomatic relations with Malawi. Our former colonial masters are sending a new High Commissioner to Lilongwe just as the President is sending hers to London.
The US is also sending positive signals that the energy grant from the Millennium Challenge Account will be given to us.
Neighbours, too, are in the fray for a good measure with arch enemy Michael Sata of Zambia sending five million litres of fuel while Mozambique forgot the diplomatic spat over the Shire-Zambezi waterway and came to our rescue by donating fuel and foodstuffs towards the funeral of the former president.
As if that was not enough, the giant of the region, South Africa, came in with a US$35 million windfall that is expected to cater for the countryâ€™s fuel requirements for 30 days.
The question that we Malawians must reflect upon and answer is: Why is all this goodwill coming now? Were donors and countries so callous and cruel as to wait for Mutharikaâ€™s death before coming to our rescue?
The answer, fellow Malawians, is not the death of our President. Rather, it lies in something else. It is about how the fallen President and his DPP governed this nation in that they sacrificed the interests and well-being of all Malawians at the altar of egoism and philosophies that made sense in Africa during the independence movements of the late 1950s and 1960s.
In those years long gone, when leaders talked tough against imperialists and colonialists, it made sense to their people because they were, in fact, being ruled by foreign powers. It resonated well because it was what Africa wanted at any expense at that point.
Fast-forward this to almost 50 years later and it is all Chinese, if not a whole load of crap, to the dot.com generation because all it wants is good quality of life not some cowboy behaviour from national leaders.
For Christâ€™s sake, it is pure folly and madness that somebody would think in this day and era, he can go on the podium to justify peopleâ€™s suffering using talk about imperialism and some form of independence and then expect the people to buy it. That era is long gone!
But this is what the DPP tried to do and thereby missed the point by miles. The party simply lost the nation. While the rest of us were down on earth, the DPP and its leadership were in the ozones talking their own language, intoxicated with power while the house was burning.
The former president and his cohortsâ€™ tough-talking ended in punishing Malawians because the donors and the neighbours the party made a habit of insulting everyday, simply recoiled into a cocoon and let us suffer. We, the citizens, bore the full brunt of it all while our DPP leaders were swimming in obscene opulence and privilege.
This should be a lesson to this nation. We should never again allow any leader or ruling elite to use us for pre-colonial experiments. DPP should have known that Malawians are not guinea pigs for try-and-error experiments that end up in disaster for ourselves. We were sacrificed.