A Ghana-based sociology and demgraphy professor, Francis Dodoo, has urged Malawi not to leave issues of national development in the hands of development partners.
Dodoo was speaking in Lilongwe on Friday during the third Mzotheka Eminent Speakers series organised by the National Planning Commission (NPC) under the theme ‘Towards Greater Accountability: Transforming Cultures of Organisations’.
Dodoo, who is chairperson of the African Institute for Policy Development, wondered why development partners would want the country’s development more than the citizens.
“The responsibility to develop our own land is no one else’s but ours. And if we choose not to do it for ourselves, let’s at least think of our children and our grandchildren,” Dodoo said.
According to Dodoo, leaders need to ask themselves a question on whether they would abuse the resources they are abusing today, if it were their own money.
Giving an example of a woman who goes to the market to buy tomatoes, Dodoo said people are more careful when they spend their own money than government money.
“You will find that the woman would pick up the tomato, turn it a number of times, complain about the quality and bargain for the lowest price possible. They do so because they have sweated for that money.
“But when it comes to spending national resources, people just spend it anyhow. They don’t care,” he said.
He also urged leaders to ensure that they prioritise doing what is right at all times to ensure that societies develop.
Dadoo also spoke against the behavior of tolerating bad habit such as corruption and fraud.
He said if countries, including Malawi are to move forward authorities must punishing bad behaviour and rewarding good deeds.
“Smiling at corrupt people who steal the whole road and the whole hospital would not take us anywhere,” Dadoo said.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Madalitso Kazombo, hailed Dadoo for the presentation.
He said time has come for Malawi to get more serious as far as planning for the future is concerned.
Malawi Congress P Member of Parliament, Sosten Gwengwe, said citizen participation is critical in ensuring that development plans are realised.
Gwengwe underscored the need for clear directions on the role of citizens in the planning process so that every Malawian plays their role.