Social Musings: Demand a better Malawi
There was a campaign that vigorously trended online for a while and still comes up from time to time. It is under very bold tagline #DemandABetterMalawi. However, in the modern age, a lot of things look colorful and vibrant on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter profiles yet what we see in person is actually rather dull.
Why do we fail to stand up for our rights when someone violates them in public or in private? Why do we fail to take responsibility for ourselves but expect someone else to work wonders in our lives? Why do we fail to demand good services from various service providers but choose to complain on the sidelines?
Come to think of it, we are ‘polite’ about poor services; about being squashed like sacks in public transport, about gender based violence, about children being raped, about living in poverty and the list is endless. Meanwhile development projects are coming apart because people refuse to work together and remain accountable
We fail to stand against what is going wrong and choose to be timid and wear the victim cap. I remember Henry Kachaje once wrote that as Malawians, we are just too passive.The article with this sentiment came out in his Mindpower column in The Sunday Times in April last year, and it was titled: This is beyond “peace-loving”.
My stand is; if we are to demand a better Malawi, let us not chant colorful songs on our social media profiles but instead demand a better Malawi starting with ourselves. Let us also not demand a better Malawi by just pointing fingers at others and the government but by consistent action that actually demands a better Malawi. In short, let us not demand a better Malawi passively.
I firmly believe that we cannot point fingers at the people squandering government money when we are getting paid allowances for trips we did not take and functions we did not attend. We cannot demand a better economy when we are bearing child after child with no means of taking care of these numerous children.
We cannot demand a better Malawi when we give customers poor services but expect to leave our offices and receive good services somewhere else. We cannot demand a better Malawi when we look the other way when we see injustices taking place right in front of us.
On the other hand, others have deviated from the passive route and have become aggressive by blatantly perpetuating a state of anarchy in the country. Wreaking havoc when the opportunity arises is now the order of the day.
Think about this, 150 people can come together to vandalise the trains passing along the multi-billion kwacha rail way line from Moatize to the Indian Ocean port of Nacala in Mozambique through Malawi just to siphon diesel and steal other items.
So we can mobilise ourselves in such large numbers to siphon diesel from something of such national value but we cannot mobilize ourselves to work earnestly to fight hunger and feed our families without government handouts.
The narration on the train attacks indicated cunning calculation and planning which could go along way if used for development projects and in the fight against poverty. Unfortunately, as a country, the most intelligent and calculated efforts are directed towards the wrong things like theft, vandalism, political propaganda and immoral conduct.
A few weeks ago, a mob of irate minibus drivers and conductors harassed the police for trying to arrest a minibus driver that had parked in the wrong place. The police where stoned and their car was smashed. For starters, in developed countries people adhere to the rules of the road including wrong parking and there is always a fine to pay for breaking such rules.
Secondly, these very same police that are being chased and this very same vehicle that has been smashed will be expected to be used to fight crime when these very same people who are harassing the police find themselves in dangerous and vulnerable situations.
Unfortunately, people in the country seem to have developed an attitude where it is assumed that any citizen can do whatever they please. However, freedom comes with responsibility and this country will not develop with the air of barbaric insolence that seems to be holding the country under siege.
We need to #DemandABetterMalawi and we need to do it diligently and earnestly. Demanding a better Malawi starts with our own efforts and actions
I rest my case
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