Happy New Year to everyone!
I hope and pray that all that you had hoped to do in this brand New Year get achieved. I know you may also have some carry-over to-do-list from 2016, work on it.
The year gone by got the best of most people. There was the good and the bad, but I hope you leave the bad behind and take the positives with you. It’s hard, but not impossible. I know it’s hard to forget such things as the maize scarcity, persistent power cuts and of course the thievery that rocked the nation in the year gone by.
I spent the festive season in the dark. It didn’t come as a surprise, it was expected. This was Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) being true to what it is, and knows best. We had interested conversations in the dark with family. One of my aunties had a very good observation that I felt perfectly described Malawians. She asked whether there is anything that will make us, Malawians, angry and get to a point where we demand better services and accountability from our leaders.
In her observation, Malawians are too warm for her liking. The ‘I-don’t-care’ attitude is what is making our leaders not to honour their promises because they know no-one is going to hold them accountable. “Malawians are selfish and don’t care about others. They don’t care whether someone has what they have or not so long they have it they are contented. Many of us can’t fight for others,” she said.
I totally agree with her. Unless we all stand up and demand what we deserve, we will continue to get mediocre services and leadership. This is no time for resigning to fate like most people have done by buying generators to counter the power blackouts. It’s a good thing yes, but it makes one feel they have electricity in their home, hence no need to march when the likes of Billy Mayaya call for a demonstration. Think of the people who cannot afford a genset. You do not have to only fight when you have nothing, but even when you have plenty because there is always someone somewhere who has nothing and may even have lost the fighting spirit. Fight for them.
The spirit of being contented with what you are given even when you know you can get the best is what makes leaders contented and sometimes even pompous thinking they are doing their work.
It is my prayer that one of your New Year resolutions is to ensure that you stand up and fight for what’s yours and demand better services and leadership. It is my prayer that you will not let Mayaya and John Kapito look like mad men when they march alone in the streets.
This year, I pray that you think of national interests as opposed to personal interests. May you be the voice for the voiceless and fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. n