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How we miss it

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A woman decides to strongly make the case for women emancipation during a march against gender based violence by using an explicit placard and it sends the whole country agog.

We, as Malawians, get angry and endlessly talk about the placard’s pros and cons as if all our lives depend on it.

In the end, it drowns the good thing that the march was supposed to achieve, which was basically to sensitize the country against the evils of inflicting violence on women which tends to limit their ability to achieve their full potential.

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This is the tragedy about this country. We concentrate and get angry with the periphery when the real issues that make a difference to the quality of life we are leading as Malawians are raging somewhere, unattended.

And this week the issues came thick and fast.

President Peter Mutharika is currently in the United States attending to the annual jamboree called United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

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Women and Gender Minister Jean Kalilani decides to embarrass us all by welcoming the President in New York clad in partisan DPP colours as if he is coming to the party’s rally at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre or Masintha Ground in Lilongwe.

I am the least surprised because her action just confirms one thing and it is the culture in the DPP government of taking this country as party fiefdom.

When will these people get it that when they travel to represent Malawi, they represent all Malawians and not just their party and should be seen to behave so?

When will they get civilized for once to think about their responsibility to all Malawians and not just the zealots that belong to their party?

They are in the United States on taxpayers’ money and representing us all and not just their party members and must do so with all the dignity it must carry.

Then you have the DPP government refusal to be accountable to the people of Malawi by hiding how much of their tax kwachas they are burning in Manhattan in the name of attending UNGA when patients are dying in hospitals because there are no drugs.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Emmanuel Fabiano and his counterpart at Information Nicholas Dausi have held some press conferences on this year’s UNGA where they have cheated us by saying nothing.

During the latest press conference on the matter last week, Dausi decided to insult Malawians who want to know how much of taxpayers’ money they are burning in New York by referring them to Treasury when he is government spokesperson who should give that information to Malawians.

This is a clear refusal by the DPP government to be accountable to Malawians. It is arrogance by a bunch of politicians who think they are Alpha and Omega of this country and free to do with it whatever they want.

But this has become a trademark of all annual jamborees that President Peter Mutharika undertakes every year to the US at the pretext of speaking on behalf of Malawians when reality is that it is an attempt to reward loyalists at the expense of poor Malawians.

Last year Francis Kasaila duped us all when he was Minister of Foreign Affairs by telling us that government will account for the UNGA tab but upon return he told journalists that he does not report to them but Parliament.

When Parliament met, no UNGA report was tabled.

These are the things that should make Malawians angry because they centre on the very key basic principles on which our second republic was found, namely transparency and accountability by those who live on the public purse.

This refusal of elected officers to account to the public should make Malawians burn with anger and not some placard which is simply calling a spade by its rightful name.

Malawians should get worried that while bodies such as European Union (EU) are sending delegations just to remind us of what we should be doing after lessons learnt in past elections, our leaders do not seem to care but are bent on repeating the same in 2019 because they believe they will benefit from it.

Elections, if badly handled, can be destructive to our country.

It is intolerable that the DPP government is reluctant to reform electoral laws, because that is tantamount to gambling with our lives.

We, Malawians, lose it because we do not get angry with issues but choose to endlessly debate senseless things on Facebook.

That is how we miss it.

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