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Country in dire straits

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Puludzu

It was only a matter of time before people started showing their frustration over how the state of affairs are in this country. While the poor man continues to grapple with the challenge of high cost of living, epitomised by high fuel prices and its erratic supply, constant electricity blackouts, rising cost of basic necessities like food, house rentals, the political leaders in government seem unperturbed as they continue to subject the ordinary citizen to hefty taxes.

Sadly, that tax is not doing enough to fix the stuttering economy because instead of being channelled to the right areas of need, it is ending up lining the pockets of some individuals through unduly sanctioned allowances. It is a pity to see that the big Kahunas who are the biggest culprit are roaming around freely while the small boys at Capital Hill, one after the other, are taking the heat.

Speaking of the battle against corruption, nothing seems to be working because the more the authorities attempt to clear the rubble, the more the dirt keeps piling up and sadly, it is those under the current administration who keep getting entangled in the mess and somehow the system somehow appears to move slowly when it is one of the chaps within the ruling elite involved. This perhaps is one of the reasons why those who wanted to demonstrate were so resolute last Wednesday, as were members of that tribal group in the Lhomwe belt who took to the streets on Tuesday in Phalombe.

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Just last week, we heard, through this very paper that there were all kinds of professionals, including 10 from my very own sector, that were trapped under the web of corrupt dealings with a London-based businessperson. That is a sign of a country that is rotten.

That is beside the point; what I wanted to buttress is that the attempts at staging protests which we saw in Lilongwe last Wednesday, though some might argue had the invisible hand of some politicians in opposition ranks, were a timely reminder to the Tonse Alliance-led administration that time is ticking and what the people would like to see are results on the ground, considering that the Tonse Alliance has clocked two years now in government.

By now, we should have started seeing our efforts in the agricultural sector paying dividends if we were serious and not the sad tale of the price of maize, which is regarded as the country’s staple food, shooting through the roof and worrying about how we will secure vital agricultural inputs such as fertiliser for the subsidy programme. Does the subsidy even make any difference? How come then we do not see any farmers graduating from it after a season?

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We should have moved from La-la- land to reality by pursuing value addition but here we are at the starting end once again; trying to figure out how exactly the mega farms concept would work.

I noticed that a majority of those who were agitating to take to the streets on Wednesday were the youth. Is that not ironic, coming just a day after President Lazarus Chakwera launched a national youth programme? That should give you a clue of how unemployment is still a major problem.

We cannot continue to amplify the devastating effects of Covid-19 or the cyclones we experienced as the reasons behind the sluggishness in getting our act together as a people and as a country in dire straits. We need to find lasting solutions to our problems otherwise things might just go haywire.

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