IN April this year, when government and the United Nations Development Programme launched the 2016 Human Development Report, the most striking statement was that Malawi is moving out of the low human development category at a rather slow pace despite being a conflict-free country.
Perhaps the most important part of the statement was that Malawi is conflict-free, which means Malawians are united. The assumption is that a united country should enjoy steady development but the picture for Malawi is rather gloomy.
Of what use would our peace, which is a result of unity, be if it is not utilised to transform the lives of Malawians and improve the standards of living? If indeed there is little progress, President Peter Mutharika’s call that we should be united in order to develop the country should be taken seriously.
This should start with the President, who should show commitment in fighting against vices such as nepotism and corruption, which have derailed the country’s development drive. It is only a united nation that can work towards achieving a common goal.
In Malawi, corruption has thrived because we, as a nation, do not have a common goal. If indeed we were united, corruption in Malawi– which is a mark of greed – would not have been that rampant. Sadly, the systems that are in place have not been effective in getting rid of corruption, which has been accepted as normal in our society.
It is sad that the biggest loser, due to corruption, is the ordinary individual in the village who cannot access drugs at the hospital. Instead, the under-serviced population still drinks water from unsafe sources and does not enjoy public services.
As such, Mutharika’s call for unity recognises that a united people would love their nation more. Indeed, no foreigner will come to develop our country if citizens do not do enough to establish a common goal.
We, therefore, believe that unity would be meaningless if it cannot be used to eliminate the vices that have held the country back since independence. The peace that we enjoy would be meaningless if we cannot make use of it.
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