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ColumnsHitting The NailUncategorized

Malawi is not in the right hands

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The much awaited address to the nation that President Peter Mutharika delivered on Monday evening sounded like a scratched record that we have listened to so many times over the past two to three years, high on promises but little happening on the ground.

It was not the sort of speech that would inspire a broken nation such as ours. On the contrary it was a speech that simply reminds you that in case you had doubts, your country is indeed in deep trouble and on highway to self annihilation.

Save for the acceptance that a majority of Malawians are living in grinding poverty, the rest of the talk consisted at best of false campaign promises we have already heard so many times before without reciprocal action on the ground and at worst the speech was abrogation of personal responsibility by Mutharika as he pushed all the blame for Malawi’s perennial woes to others.

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Let me elaborate. It has been two years since this President came to power on a platform of a rafter of promises to Malawians that hinged on making a dent on our poverty and our quality of lives changing for the better.

Today nothing of that sort has happened. On the contrary things are getting worse. The economy is down, energy down, water down, general infrastructure down… the list can go on until the cows come home.

Yet despite this, Mutharika has taken no personal responsibility, a fact that was well reflected even in the much anticipated speech on Monday.

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In the President’s view, part of our problems emanates from the Cashgate and he postulated in this country as nobody is stopping it.

I submit that as I am writing this, the country is undergoing a worst form of Cashgate. The President knows this and he has done thing about it. His speech on Monday was completely silent on it because he has refused to take responsibility like Joyce Banda did, a fact that had enabled prosecution of the thieves.

On the contrary Mutharika is doing nothing on the K577 billion theft of money under the watch of the DPP. Thirteen files of corrupt dealings of his government are with ACB and the body is doing nothing about them.

ACB is shielding the corrupt in this country and muzzling investigation at Escom, for example, yet the President is only happy to talk about Cashgate during Joyce Banda’s time and refuses to take responsibility for the malfeasance happening under his own nose.

Simply put, the speech was an example of the President being happy to talk about others who are no longer in power and blame everything on them and on them only.

The rest of it was empty and devoid of action of how to dig Malawi out of the bottomless pit of trouble it is in.

Many Malawians—official figure is 6.5 million and rising by the day– have no food to take them to the next harvest season which should be May.

In the speech the President merely repeated his favourite mantra that no one will die of hunger as Admarc has procured enough maize and that those who cannot afford will be fed through social transfer programmes as well as free food distribution.

He did not say where this free food is and who is getting it now as people are already starving in the rural areas and are desperately in need of this help.

The rural folks might not have died yet but certainly the families there need help and now. The President merely talked in general terms without specifics to those who need food.

He conveniently forgot to soothe even the lowly paid town folks who will unable to buy a 50 kg bag of maize at K12,500 when some of get as low as K21,000 as salary. What happens to these?

Let me conclude like this and it is the way I started. This country is a disaster waiting to happen. There is only one person who can avert it and it is a man or woman we elect into State House.

But the present occupant of the State House inspires no such confidence that he is up to this gargantuan task.

This was reflected so well even in the speech that he made to us on Monday. Little on vision, plan and action as well as devoid of taking personal responsibility, the speech did not inspire that Malawi is in the right hands.

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