Pain is the first solution


We do not like pain but we have to live with it. The choice is, we accept pain now as a country and have more pleasure later for ourselves and generations to come or we maximise pleasure and bring misery on ourselves later and dent the well being of generations to come.

We live in one of the poorest of countries on earth yet we live possibly the most luxurious life, use resources only just to satisfy our insatiable appetite for short term luxury at the expense of the suffering of millions of our countrymen and women.

Our resource base is so thin to steer the growth of the country to remarkable heights. Now is the time that we sacrifice more for the sake of our country. Our cabinet ministers do not need the luxury of cruising through the length and breadth of our tattered roads in highly expensive vehicles. Why should a minister be driven in a K100 million vehicle in one of the poorest countries on earth? Why should they have two or more officials cars? For what?


How many billions in total do we spend just to procure vehicles for cabinet ministers? Is it indeed justifiable that they be accorded 1,500 litres of fuel a month? For what? Can’t some of their travels be restricted? We need them in offices and not just crossing the length and breadth of the country. The head of state and his cabinet should lead the nation in accepting pain for the sake of our country.

It is imperative that we start looking at being a cabinet minister as a service to your nation rather than an avenue to self enrichment and a five-star lifestyle. A cabinet minister should be a servant of the people and not the lord of the

people. They should be the first ones to sacrifice their salaries and some benefits to channel them to the poorest of the poor or to support some projects. It is no wonder that people jostle for any incumbent president’s attention all just to be appointed cabinet ministers. We have, in this country, made ministerial positions more luxurious such that people jostle for them to ‘eat’ rather than to serve the country.


Our public servants, especially those at the top should have their contracts reviewed in such a way that we take into account some drastic austerity measures in drafting their new contracts. Do we need multi-million kwacha vehicles for our principal secretaries who we just appoint needlessly and they are more than what our country requires? Do we need top of the range vehicles for senior government officials and CEO of different parastatals, some of them which just drain government coffers? How do we explain to the common man that our country is undergoing an economic patch when some people within the very same government system are living a five-star life style?

Probably now is the time we adopt a zero fleet policy just as Rwanda did in 2005. This can certainly help our poor country to reduce expenditure on public servants and to encourage them to develop a culture of using public transport. It is on record that since Rwanda adopted the zero fleet policy in 2005, and sold most public-service vehicles to introduce a subsidised loan and allowance scheme for senior officials, it saved US $28 million over seven years.

It is such type of savings that have been used to transform Rwanda into one of the e c o n o m i c hubs in the sub-Saharan Africa. It is good to note that Rwanda is one country which was on a blink of being declared a failed state due to the genocide yet through sacrifices and taking more pain, it is now becoming a shining star, eclipsing countries like Malawi that have had peace for over half a century.

India, one of the strongest economies on earth has taken measures to endure pain all just to boost its economy. Ministers are now banned from holding meetings in five-star hotels and travelling in first class of airlines, a move to cut non-plan or discretionary expenditure by 10 percent. Under the austerity measures, the ministers have also been asked to use video conferencing as much as possible.

We need to take more pain, we need to teach and make our people to become self-reliant. Until when shall we, a poorest country, keep on with the fertilizer input subsidy programme? It is time we developed a time frame for exiting the project. Our people will suffer but at the very same time they will become self-reliant and will be working hard and have the capability to procure fertilizer using their own resources.

Malawians were able to do that and Malawi was not worse off in terms of food security than even now. The chunk of money we are heaping on subsidised fertilizer can go into other sectors which would eventually benefit the country more. We can build more universities every year if we are to channel what we are spending on fertilizer subsidy towards tertiary education.

This country needs a good dosage of pain so that it heals from the disease of economic plunder to economic reliability. It is time we say enough is enough to our unquenchable thirst for opulence.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker