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Development is us

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With Lorraine Lusinje:

Development is change of attitude and values; it is deriving joy from hard honest work. Development comes only with positive thinking, readiness to change, mutually supportive collegial relationships, and a sense of patriotism. Unfortunately, a streak of fear of change seems to run through the civil service and the entire society.—Roy Hauya.

These were some of the lines on development from one of Roy Hauya’s column pieces

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The tendency to sit down and expect development miracles from someone else, and most of the time our leaders is counter-productive at most. Development starts with our own attitudes towards it and how much effort we are willing to put in moving forward.

We should not expect miracles from our presidents and members of Parliament and our chief executive officers in the country if we do not engage in development works ourselves. We have been talking about the country not moving forward. I tend to fall towards the thought that this is because of our own attitudes other than the leaders and our superiors failing us.

One cannot just sit down and expect their manager to work miracles on their behalf just because he or she is the big boss. It will be silly of you to go to work every day expecting the manager to tell you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, where to do it. That will mean I am not being a competitive employee or person at all. Direction is good and essential, once in a while, but it works better with the initiative from the other party.

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We recently had the most anticipated May 21 elections which came at a time when the country is in a poor economic state and Malawians are fighting continuously to make ends meet. The situation in the country is deeply concerning so to say. The elections being marred by anomalies does not help the situation. But the desire for change remains strong.

Imagine, just three to five years ago, one would walk into a store with K20,000 and come out with a substantial amount of groceries. Nowadays you walk into a shop with K40,000 and come out with a few items that will hardly last long. For people with full families, K40,000 will get groceries enough for a day or two. I mean, even basic necessities have become a luxury, affording to eat a proper mean three times a day meal one is doing considerably well.

So, it is not surprising that people are looking up to the change in government to doctor the economy and the state of the country and perform some life-changing operations on this body called Malawi that is languishing in the Intensive Care Unit of the world. It is an expected expectation, the least one can do is hope for the best.

But, let us not get carried away in our hopes and forget that our leaders are not gods and that miracles are most unlikely to happen. We should also remember that a father can work to develop his family but, if the wife and children are not doing their part, the family will not prosper. In a game of truth versus fact, we also know that the father does not always know what his wife and kids are up to behind his back, so he cannot always be faulted for everything that goes wrong around the house and with his family.

In this case, we should remember that development stems from us and the ones at grassroots level. Our actions and attitudes are what will drive development in this country. We the ordinary people are the engine that drives the vehicle that is Malawi, our leaders just help with the steering at the forefront.

Development, fighting corruption, achieving peace and prosperity are matters that lie in our hands. The big dogs do not work single-handedly; they work alongside us, the ordinary people day in and day out; hence, change should culminate from the ordinary Malawian citizen.

We all have a role to play. Development is us and we have the power to steer Malawi on a new course regardless of which president is sworn in.

I rest my case.

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