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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Leadership is about sacrifices

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Economically and socially, Malawi is standing exactly where it was two decades ago, and there are telling signs the country will stagnate economically in probably another 100 years from now.

The reason is simple.

The quality of life and success of a nation depend on the quality of its leaders’ visions.

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Whenever a nation lacks visionary leadership, it cannot escape national stagnation and deterioration, underdevelopment and impoverishment: the nation and the people cannot prosper.

They are at the mercy of all manner of tribulations and exploitations; it is all doom and gloom for the country and the people, the glue and bonds of nationhood are weak and fragile and the people and the nation have no destiny.

But national visions should always be for the benefit of others and not be personal. Any national vision involves all manner of sacrifices.

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Unfortunately, most sacrifices of poor Malawians have been to propel leaders’ personal selfish ambitions clothed as national visions.

It is not news in Malawi that some hospitals are running without essential drugs, schools are lacking essential teaching and learning materials, some roads are impassable and civil servants continue grumbling because of meagre salaries.

In its poverty assessment report released in 2017, the World Bank said overrepresentation of poverty in rural areas has kept national poverty levels stagnant, declining only from 52 percent to 51 percent, whereas the share of extreme poor has risen from 22 percent to 25 percent since 2004.

More ink can be spilt on paper to let somebody see that poverty in Malawi remains deep, widespread and severe while the gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening.

Such being the case, it beats the reasoning of many that the government has spent about K420 million to buy Land Cruiser Prado VXs for three Cabinet ministers said to have had no vehicles.

On the local market, a top-of-the-range Toyota Prado VX is selling at K140 million each with duty paid.

Of course, K420 million could have assisted in alleviating some of the challenges the country is facing.

So the purchase of the three luxurious vehicles only shows that the country’s democracy is visionless and heartless.

Great leaders do not build themselves up. They build others up and they build multitudes out of poverty, misery and hopelessness. It is all about sacrifice.

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