It is amazing how the National Planning Commission (NPC) keeps splashing awards and certificates of achievement to questionable people when the nation has not achieved anything since it came into existence. It is as if these people do not know their mandate. It seems that people heading this commission have no idea that they are stepping into the shoes of failures – those who failed to deliver the much-taunted Vision 2020. From the look of things, we may just have a new crop of failures waiting for the years to go by.
If we were to be critical, we should not have jumped into Malawi 2063 vision, having not healed from the bruises of Vision 2020. It is good to dream and there is nobody who has achieved great things without ambition. But dreams are dreams, and reality always hits when you least expect it. Malawians once visualised that, by 2020, we would be a self-reliant middle-income economy without the shame of begging or the curse of poverty.
And here we are, two years past that target, still begging and dying of cholera. The average Malawian still lives on unfulfilled political promises and hopes of a better future that may never be.
And because politicians have realised that we eat hope, they have capitalised on this and want to make the most of it. In normal countries, we needed to have a convincing explanation on why Vision 2020 failed and how the 2063 dream can then be achieved. But here, in Malawi,, those who live on lies do not care to explain. They know that they would rather lie to us than let us live with the reality of our hopelessness.
The fact that our political leaders postpone good things just goes to show us that they are not good enough for us. We cannot continue to live in a place that champions utopia over practical targets and gains. Those who believe that the 2063 vision may materialise are either too naïve or are politicians capitalising on the ignorance of the masses.
To make matters worse, NPC set up to steer the lie that is Malawi 2063 vision is doing a very bad job. This commission cannot spend all its energies awarding certificates to people who have failed us.
They recognised the former president Peter Mutharika, the incumbent Lazarus Chakwera, his vice Saulos Chilima and, lately, Bakili Muluzi. The justification behind the awards has all the symptoms of a commission that doesn’t know what it is doing or what it ought to achieve. It is simply a grouping of people who have found themselves eating and want to please the masters who make that feast possible.
To be where we, as a country, are, we had to be betrayed by others. We can blame colonialists for some of our problems, but our latest enemies have been people we elect as political leaders. The political figures mentioned above cannot run away from being hanged for these atrocities. Almost all of them have learned from Bakili Muluzi on how not to do things right. Among other things, Muluzi was hailed for giving us free education and establishing organs like the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), for example. But the planning commission seems to be blind to the farcical nature of these “achievements”.
It is during the Muluzi reign that education standards plummeted and the ACB is nothing but a barking dog. The privatisation that Muluzi championed robbed us of the best public capital we had and reduced us to nothing but beggars. And in what way is the man an intergenerational champion? We do not even have to talk about the other awardees.
The point here is that the NPC needs to get its act together before Malawians go running to their doors.
We are living in the information age and people know exactly what is going on. If the Malawi 2063 vision is to yield some salt, handclappers and bootlickers must not be at the helm of its implementation.
We do not need a commission that comes here to remind us of defeat and count our losses when we can do better. Perhaps relocate NPC management to some award-giving body and do not leave the future of the next generation in their hands. We have no time to play with the future.