ColumnsHitting The Nail

Now it has come to this?


I have made this confession before here and I will make it again today. I value and cherish the sovereignty, freedom and independence of my country so much.

Put simply, everybody is ruling themselves and so should Malawians.

There is nothing, therefore, that I cherish more than Malawians making decisions independently on important matters without the interference of outsiders though they have helped us since time immemorial which I appreciate with all my heart and soul as it has made a difference to our lives.


In fact, I have personally benefitted from such aid and I shall be eternally grateful.

I remember the other day how I was reminded by one member of the diplomatic community of the impact the Western aid on this country when I wrote that the West does not want us in their countries hence their decision to institute stringent measures to get their visas but they want to get free ones when coming here because we are Malawi.

That said, I still fancy a Malawi where only Malawians have a say on issues that matter to them including enactment of laws such as citizens’ Access to Information (ATI).


It is all about fairness and sovereignty. It is simple. We don’t interfere in the sovereign affairs of others, why should they do into ours?

You can imagine how I felt the other day when the EU ambassador to Malawi, Marcell Germann, was telling journalists that donors have decided to put the tabling of ATI in Parliament, which all three previous governments have been afraid to do, as condition to any resumption of direct aid suspended after thieves at Capital Hill stole plentiful taxpayers’ money.

It was quite ambivalent. On one hand, it is some satisfaction that the DPP government is getting the right pressure from the right places to make sure that this bill sees light of day in Parliament. On the other hand, I was somehow livid and the anger is not directed at the esteemed ambassador but rather at the doorstep of our politicians.

They are a confused lot whose minds are always driven by selfish narrow interests.

Should it really take foreigners to hold us to ransom over our own law that can empower common citizens to check whether public officials are running their affairs in the most transparent and accountable manner?

Isn’t it shameful that one must wait for a foreigner to tell them what is good for them?

Politicians have embarrassed and messed this country for long and it is the only reason that we have mortgaged our independence and freedom to foreigners for them to freely meddle into our affairs.

That is why 51 years after independence we are still poor and the foreigners have used our poverty to tell us what is black and what is white and the simple lever they have used to squeeze us is money.

It is not nice at all and it should not be to any well meaning Malawian that wishes well for this country. It should make us angry.

As for the present DPP government, they should spare us the nonsense of pointing out this inconsistency and that inconsistency about the bill. Where was Cabinet all this time to start rubbishing the bill only at this time when Parliament is sitting so as to justify its decision of not taking it for debate in the House?

Common Malawians needed this law yesterday. When will politicians, especially those on the ruling side, get it, simple as it is?

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