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Dancing to mediocre tunes

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When you consider how business is conducted in this country – from the way state affairs are run, the calibre of our leaders, to the attitude of the masses towards things that matter – one would think that we are not ambitious enough as a people.

It always hits you in the face that most Malawians have very low standards and they do not expect much from the world around them. This loser mentality is what is leading to declining standards of living in this country as politicians have capitalised on it to willingly abuse our resources. Malawian politicians know that they are not answerable to anyone, and that is why they have their way to ensure that we are poor.

It is a shame that almost six decades after independence, the country is still failing to afford basic needs for its people. It becomes embarrassing to always see your country at the bottom of lists when it comes to important things like gross domestic product (GDP), income per capita, economic growth, investment potential, and the like, knowing that we have more than enough resources to rise from that bottom.

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But when it comes to theft and other useless things like showing our allegiance to our colonizer, we come out tops. We are quick to fly our flags at half-mast in honour of a foreign monarch then we can raise the flag of prosperity for our own people.

As stated above, one of our biggest problems is a lack of accountability. The fact that politicians are not held accountable by anyone has led to a malaise that has seen them corrupting the entire public service. A politician in power can appoint their friend to a crucial position in public service – even if they don’t qualify – and nobody will do anything about it.

The politicians know that a few people will make noise on social media, and that will be it. It is time for them and their friends to eat while they drag the country into the mud with their madness. And these people who are hand-picked by politicians are also not answerable to anyone – the king’s dog is the king of all dogs.

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Case in point, Malawi is sinking in an energy crisis and those in charge of that sector felt entitled enough to play games with our lives. It is insulting to Malawians for public institutions like the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) and National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) to fail to provide answers and/ or lie to Malawians about the energy crisis.

Mera and Nocma lied to us that we had a shortage of fuel because there were entertainment events in Lilongwe some three weeks ago. Weeks later, the crisis is countrywide. When asked to present herself before the parliamentary committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism, the Nocma acting Chief Executive Officer, Helen Buluma, initially did not show up. She then showed up and made jokes about our fuel reserves – saying she cannot tell us how much fuel we have lest Malawi is attacked! It’s just amazing how relaxed Malawians are, listening to that garbage from a public servant.

It is only a few days ago that the woman admitted that we have a crisis and that they have been rationing fuel since January. But why is it that she and her friends in the sector feel entitled to keep important information from Malawians, and to lie to them? Their conduct is highly unethical and it should not be condoned in public service delivery. Resources in this country are owned by Malawians and nobody should feel too big to patronise us just because most of the citizens are uneducated. Ignorance has been our greatest challenge as a country and that is why those who have studied a little look down on us and treat us like insects. But not all Malawians are foolish.

As citizens of this country, we must demand accountability from politicians and their friends whom they put in places of power so that they can eat together. We cannot have Mera, Nocma, Egenco, Escom, and other parastatals, playing games with our lives and futures and not being answerable to that. If the people in charge of these entities are failing to do their work, then they must resign. If the problem is beyond them, then they must direct us to the right office so that the bearer of that office gives us answers. We are tired of dancing to tunes of mediocrity.

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