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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Malawi is independent yes, but…

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Fifty three years ago, Malawians woke up to news that the country was independent from the British colonial masters. The day remains significant to all Malawians.

This signalled the fact that in all affairs, the country was a sovereign state that did not require British rule anymore.

This is why jubilation engulfed the then virgin country under the leadership of first head of state Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

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During his time, Kamuzu did a lot in bringing development in areas of health, road network, education and agriculture, to mention but a few, to all Malawians.

Agriculture was championed as the backbone of the economy to steer growth on the ground considering that Lilongwe did not have any mineral resources as was the case in other countries.

But as we celebrate the day today, there are many issues that do not reflect the independence which Kamuzu and our forefathers fought for from 1915 to 1964 before becoming a Republic in 1966.

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For example, many policies that helped Malawi to stand out, regionally and globally, have been abandoned in the name of the new democratic dispensation by leaders that have led the country since 1994.

To this day, the country is rooted in poor public service delivery coupled with laziness, corruption and abuse of public offices by those entrusted to lead and serve us.

Issues of plunder of public financial resources at Capital Hill in 2013 under the leadership of Joyce Banda, poor educational standards, strikes in various public institutions, bad democratic and governance policies, theft and shortage of drugs in public health facilities, nepotism, corruption, among others, by the ruling elite speak volumes that Malawians are not independent as compared to the time before the new democratic era.

What the ruling class or parliamentarians forget is that as Malawians, we will remain citizens of this country. We are not passers-by, hence the need for leaders to value all tenets of democracy for the country to grow socially and economically.

Talk of being financially independent is good but there is need to walk the talk and to explain as to how that will be achieved.

Even if Kamuzu and those patriots that fought for independence were to resurrect today, they would not be happy to see that Malawians are subjected to various challenges such as lack of basic needs.

This means that leaders should also avoid the tendency of abusing the powers of the voters, they have to bring development to all people with no strings attached and be visionary about what the country would need in future.

Finally, as we celebrate the 53rd Independence Day, let us remember that Malawi remains our country and needs to be cared for. Let us work together so that we deal with hunger, diseases and envy which are still major problems as stipulated in the National Anthem.

Happy Independency Day to all Malawians and residents of Malawi!!

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