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Pitiable loss of political direction

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They are birds of the same feathers; politicians— if not piles of living clay who think of clay only in relation to themselves.

They may be different by the colour of their feathers; deep down, they are one.

After all, their aspiration is one; once they lay their hands on the joystick of power, line their pockets with hard cash in record time so that, when they fall sick, they can use the ill-gotten cash for paying bills when seeking medical attention abroad.

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I mean, unfortunate ones use their own money when taken ill; for the majority, it is the poor taxpayer that has to foot the bill.

The very poor man and woman who, when suffering from, say, kidney failure, which requires dialysis machines as a temporary measure while waiting for an organ transplant, will be left to die.

Just like that. One more faceless statistic and the world forgets— not necessarily the world, blood relations of the so-called faceless and voiceless individual will be forced to carry the heavy yoke of sadness for years to come because any preventable death is one too many. It is politicians that forget— and moves on.

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One hardly believes that the one man on the big stage is the same individual who was bowing down before the common man and woman in the great search for the mighty vote.

That is how things have always been with politicians; they look celebratory when searching for the vote that will elevate them to some potentate status; why not, when all they prefer are houses on some elevated ground to match their new-found status?

Instead of leaving footprints of development, all they do is leave behind mansions built will ill-gotten cash. Worse still, they will leave marks of posh car tyres bought through underhand dealings.

In terms of development, forget it. Development benefits all.

There is no benefit for the politician, who eyes nothing but personal wealth, personal glory and anything that signifies one at the expense of many.

That is why the cancer centre is as good as an idea.

This is the reason public hospitals do not have dialysis machines.

Just last week, one of the country’s greatest musicians Paul Banda raised the voice of reason to President Lazarus Chakwera.

The legendary musician asked the Tonse Alliance-led administration to make it a point to provide district hospitals with dialysis machines so that those with kidney problems can have something to fall on.

As we know, Paul and younger brother Lucius have kidney problems.

As such, they have come to understand that dialysis services do not come cheap. One has to part ways with K250,000 or more for one session.

Unfortunately, such services have become the exclusive of the rich, more so because the equipment is unavailable in district hospitals.

As such, Paul— ever considerate— made the logical call to the Central Government; spare something for dialysis machines’ purchase in district hospitals so that our brothers and sisters there should not be dying simply because they are too poor to have another go at life.

Unfortunately, and this happens so often, the call fell on deaf ears.

The Ministry of Health, in responding to that innocent call, said it would just increase the number of dialysis machines in central hospitals.

There is no money for the purchase of dialysis machines; just some money to spare on State residences!

Dear Pain; this is too much. Too much pain. Till when?

As things stand, the pain will linger on for some time. Just imagine, no public hospital has Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment as at now. The only equipment that is available is at a private facility, namely Care Africa Diagnostics Limited, as the one which was at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital expired two years ago.

And the Ministry of Health has, again, shot down Malawi Health Equity Network’s proposal that it should be footing the bill for MRI services when ordinary people like me seek services at the private facility. After all, it is not the taxpayers’ fault that the government they look up to is failking to do the needful; purchasing MRI equipment.

But, honestly speaking, MRI machines are a must-have as their magnetic fields and radio waves enable medical personnel to have a peep into a patient’s body. By using a combination of X-rays and computer to create pictures of organs, bones and other tissues, the patient is saved from the trouble of getting their bodies cut open [in surgical operations] so that doctors can ‘manually’ see the things the machines ‘see’ at the pressing of a button.

Dear Pain; it does not make sense that there is no money for the purchase of dialysis machines and, yet, there is money to spare on State residences!

Is it not just two weeks ago that the parliamentary cluster made up of members of the Public Appointments and Commissions, Statutory Corporations and State Enterprises committees recommended that the State residences’ budget allocation be hiked from K14.5 billion by an additional K8.1 billion?

Did the cluster, through its chairperson Joyce Chitsulo, not claim that State residences were in dilapidated state, with non-functioning cold rooms and lifts at both Sanjika and Kamuzu palace, hence the need for quick maintenance?

It had to take Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe to say, ‘no’ to the idea, as he prefers piece-meal allocations to State Residences because Malawi is not in a good financial position right now.

Why could the lawmakers not spare a thought on the patient battling kidney failure and the cash-stranded individual in need of MRI scanning services.

They are one, Dear Pain, they are one; politicians!

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