Governments come and go but failure to do the right thing points at the huge problem about our country which has been aggravated by politicians who benefit from the chaos.
In mind is the Phalombe District Hospital project which was supposed to take off 16 years ago but, today, there is nothing to show for the money allocated to the project both in 2008 and 2013. The money might have been used or not but that is not our main concern right now.
What should concern every Malawian is that if such projects take forever to complete, the cost will be huge. We are convinced that for a project to be conceived, its importance is established first. One wonders whether government attaches importance to such projects, especially when it is well known that ordinary Malawians ought to benefit from projects of that magnitude.
With a view that democracy enhances participation and the fact that human-centred approaches to development have proved effective, we believe the country should start enjoying the fruits of democracy now.
Unfortunately, democracy in Malawi has only given politicians the leeway to politicise projects. This has only created fertile ground for corruption to thrive. That is why questions are raised on the way contracts are awarded.
Going forward, the country should learn from the mistakes in the past and start doing things the right way. The Phalombe Hospital project can offer lessons but it would mean nothing if those in power do not learn from that experience.
We emphasise that handing over the construction site for the hospital is in itself, not an achievement. What will be deemed a success is when government enforces a mechanism to ensure that similar projects are completed in time.
For a country determined to achieve meaningful development, investment in the health sector is a must. But such investments are in danger of being wasted if the attitude does not change.
We believe that change will come when politicians learn to be patriotic. Politicians should lead by example and everyone will follow suit.
This is an opportunity to do things differently and we believe the people of Phalombe will finally smile. They deserve that smile after years of waiting.
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