When he came into office, the State President did not mince words on the fight against corruption.

He acknowledged that this evil is one of our greatest weaknesses and it has seen the country fall back on several occasions.

It is only good that our leaders recognise and accept that we cannot go further if we do not address this problem; however, the question remains on whether the leadership has put in place the right structures to address its wishes.


The problem with corruption is that it is a culture that permeates the most important angles of society. It is a practice that is nurtured over time until it attains some semblance of a norm.

In countries like Malawi, ineffective systems are what enable cultures of corruption, and when the entire system rots under the weight, it becomes almost impossible to uproot the evil.

As we speak, corruption is deep-rooted in our country to the extent that those who do not engage in it become the odd ones out.


Poor governance and management systems, ineffective institutions and unnecessary bureaucratic structures are some of the things that have created room for corruption in this country.

Because most of our systems do not function properly, cultures of favours and kickbacks have found fertile grounds on which to thrive.

To give examples, for several months now the country is struggling with generating forex, which is the backbone of all trade.

People have to wait for months before they can access United States dollars and other foreign currencies from banks. Sometimes it becomes almost impossible to get the money.

As such, one would not be surprised to see a growing black market of foreign currency – people have to survive. One would also understand if bank officials demand kickbacks.

The same is the situation with the immigration department where you have to cough gold for you to get a passport. It is only a few weeks ago when they restarted printing passports, but still you have to be a “white man” for you to get one.

Such are conditions where corruption thrives. In a place where the main roads are blocked, one has no choice but to create some shortcuts that will get them to their destination.

The point is that we live in a place where circumstances sometimes force people to do what they would not normally do.

As of this week, queues on filling stations are back in our cities. We are back to where we were some months ago. It is very difficult to imagine an economy that can function when transportation is at a standstill.

In the next few days, black market operators will start selling us petrol and diesel at very exorbitant prices and the government will do nothing but watch.

The powers that be have failed to provide such a basic commodity for their people and there will always be others who will take advantage of the situation.

The most disheartening thing is that, when parliament was meeting, it was hinted that our fuel reserves were running low but it seems nothing was done about this. We waited until the wells run dry.

It is wrong for us to continue living as if everything is normal in this country. If we are to be honest with ourselves, the country is in a state of emergency.

We do not have the most basic of things and we may just collapse unceremoniously. Our leaders needed to switch to panic mode and resolve these crises with the urgency that they demand.

But, unfortunately, politicians want to make us believe that everything is in order. We should not be surprised when we wake up one day to find our hospitals closed.

Our problems are of our own making and the onus is on us to find solutions. When they were campaigning for power, the Tonse Alliance had all the answers to our questions and we are failing to understand why they are failing to act.

Industrialisation and commercialisation of agriculture are the cure to our diseases, but we only talk about these things. All talk and no action has killed this country and we are in a situation where people can do anything just to survive. Can the leadership please stand up?

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