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Poor decisions, poor country

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Problems rocking Africa today can be blamed both on the history of imperialism and on the poor leadership that has become synonymous with the continent.

We cannot ignore the fact that colonisation and other forms of disenfranchisement by the West have put Africa in a very precarious situation where most countries have failed to take off from where the bandits left them.

After the colonial period, the continent found itself ill-prepared for economic, social and political governance to the extent that post-independence states have failed.

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But it would be hypocritical to blame all our failures on foreigners when we have been on the driving seat for more than half a century.

While the West and other foreigners have their share of blame on the African disease, we must accept that we have also been too careless in running the affairs of our countries.

Our current problems can be blamed on the greed and selfishness of politicians, a very poor comprehension of political and state of affairs in most of the citizens, and some deplorable laxity in the general populace that is so disturbing.

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These, and more, have seen us going backwards instead of progressing like the rest of the world.

To give an example, there is no excuse for a country like South Africa to be struggling the way it is today.

When the oppressive apartheid regime was leaving office, the country had everything in place, with plans of even a more prosperous future.

Twenty-four years down the line, South Africa is experiencing power outages, high levels of unemployment, and their economy is on a deathbed.

All this is because of the poor decisions that the black-led government has been making over time.

Among other things, corruption has become the order of the day; political leaders connive with foreigners to steal from their country, and there is no accountability.

To add salt to the wound, the masses rally behind and protect politicians, preventing them from being prosecuted. That is just how you kill a country.

Malawi is not very different. As poor as we are, we have our politicians ganging up with foreign businesspeople to swindle us of the little resources we have.

Corruption scandals in this country have always involved those we thought were in offices to protect us. Just as is the case in South Africa, the poor in Malawi have been defeated in their minds to the point that they are ready to die for corrupt politicians.

We have a voting population that does not know their rights and they regard what they rightfully deserve as favours. In Malawi, politicians are treated as gods instead of seeing them for the villains that they really are.

This is why these people are at liberty to make decisions that will only benefit them at the expense of the rest of us. They know that they have the power and that we are clueless as to what is best for this country.

While we understand that this country is poor, our politicians continue to make decisions that drain resources instead of thinking about worthwhile investments or strategies for saving.

We are currently facing an economic crisis because we are consuming more than we are exporting, but nothing is being done to boost our exports. Instead, the government is looking for grants and loans, ignoring the huge potential for industrialisation that we have.

And amidst this crisis, Members of Parliament (MPs) have agreed to increase the number of constituencies from 193 to 229 so that we spend more on MPs who contribute very little, if anything, to this country.

It is insane that the people we call leaders only have the energy and guts for finding ways of pulling us as down as possible.

They have no solution to our ailing economy, no cure for our diseases, and no plans for an improved future. Being a politician in Malawi is an opportunity to enrich yourself and to make sure that you make room for others like you.

The poor decisions that are being reached at in parliament go to show that we are to blame for our poverty. Malawi, like most African countries, has chosen to be poor. Let us be lavish while praying for rains to survive.

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