By now, everyone must have become accustomed to excuses.
By saying now, I mean for the past two years— of largely unfulfilled promises if you may like.
If half of the promises made were fulfilled, we would not be panicking over Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) fertiliser deals now. Whatever deal it may be, whether botched or not.
By now, fertiliser would have been fetching less than K5,000 per bag and everyone, including those that have been benefitting from AIP over the past two years, would be busy doing piecework to raise K5,000 with which to buy a bag of fertiliser.
A bag of fertiliser would, at least, give an individual a number of bags of, say, maize per hectare, even if the land were less than a hectare.
After all, a promise is a credit.
But, then, nothing of that sort has happened, with no one willing to own up to their words.
Instead, all we hear are excuses, including that Russia and Ukraine’s conflict is all to blame for our level of helplessness.
If the excuse does not touch on the issue of the Russia- Ukraine conflict, then it is about the Covid pandemic. It is as if the Covid pandemic was designed to wreak havoc in Malawi and Malawi only.
But, then, other countries are thriving. I mean their economies.
Once upon a time, Zambia’s currency was the joke of the continent. Wads of cash could not even buy a pair of mice, that famous delicacy in this part of Africa.
Once upon a time, the Zambian Kwacha was the disdained currency on the continent.
Fast-forward to 2022 and everything has fallen into place in Zembo, as some Mchinji people call Zambia. Today, the Kwacha of Zambia is the pride of Southern Africa, along with the South African Rand, Botswana Pula, among others.
And, yet, the Covid pandemic has not spared Zambia. And, yet, Zambia is also feeling the pangs of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
For sure, there must be something we can learn from Zambia. The good thing is President Lazarus Chakwera has made it a point to make friends with leaders of neighbouring countries, such that Zambia and Mozambique’s presidents have become real friends to Malawi.
In fact, the acrimony that was there between Malawi and Mozambique when former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika launched a barge on the Shire River without discussing properly with Mozambican officials has died a natural death.
But, thanks to Chakwera’s charm, all that is water under the bridge. As such, this is the right time to share ideas with leaders of neighbouring countries so that, as their countries prosper, Malawi should prosper, too.
The other unfulfilled promise pertains to the construction of main roads. Just this week, one irate Cabinet minister was up in arms against the foreign company that was awarded the contract to construct the road that has, for so long now, been an eyesore in the Northern Region.
Need I say that the cost of a passport is still high for the ordinary Malawian. And people are resigning to fate.
No wonder, no one is no longer talking about reduced passport costs. People have, sort of, given up on some of the promises.
They could be waiting for their turn which, no matter how long it takes, comes.
It is as if everyone knows that, all of a sudden, excuses have become a part of the game of people management.
However, it will be a sad day for Malawi if people became used to excuses. This is because, when people are fed bluff meals, exposed to false promises and given no opportunity to fulfil their full potential, they stop believing in things, no matter how true.
And it would be a sad moment for the next generation, which will grow up believing that to lie is to achieve. Dear Pain, may such days be far from us.