This time last year, we were bubbling with hope of what we thought would be a great year for this country. President Peter Mutharika was only seven months old in office and was still full of promises. The floods that were later to cause enormous havoc had not happened. It was quite some good start to a year.
But as they say good things and times don’t often last long, it did not take too much time for us to start experiencing the usual hustle that comes with being Malawian. And nature wasn’t all that too kind to us. It all started with the floods that rudely reminded us how slow and susceptible we are even to the softest of blows. In just about three weeks, the whole country was running mad and hopeless. It looked like apocalypse to many.
The floods were simply a harbinger of the hard times that were to characterise the year that has just ended. Economically, socially, politically, religiously and even in sports we were just too awful to find something to celebrate about.
I f you ask around, save for surviving, a lot of Malawians will not tell you good things about last year. Most of us have been living on hand to mouth and we have had little to show that life is progressing. A lot of us are earning salaries that can be mistaken for water bills and there is no indication that change will come any time soon.
Our kwacha in on a dangerous downward spiral and it looks likely that the fall will continue for a longer period. I was left speechless on Wednesday when a friend asked me whether this country has any plan of getting out of the economic stagnation that we have been since independence. To be honest, there is simply nothing to show that we will be better off in five years time than we are now. What we have for the government is a band of gangsters that have been given a chance to loot whatever is remaining in the national purse , and they don’t even mind whether this country is developing or not.
This year, we will have fifty-two years of independence but I am afraid it will only be a confirmation of how stunted we have been. Only a measly nine percent of this country has electricity while the rest is living in darkness. And then, people are drinking from murky swamps yet our leaders have the cheek to tell us that they are doing a good job for the nation.
Today, you need to have a thousand kwacha to trade with the British Pound while the dollar is going at K670. And what is so scaring is that we do not seem to have any plan to change the status quo. Our Minister of Finance is old and tired and doesn’t look like the vibrant and bright guy he was about a decade ago. Simply put, there is no one who is there to inspire confidence that our economy will resurrect anytime soon.
If you look around, we are doing so badly than we were doing in the past. We do not have meaningful development that is taking place in this country. Our airports look like some bombed bases of a war torn country while our roads are the worse in this part of the globe that you can even think you would see someone fishing from the potholes that dot our roads.
We are not even doing well in simple things like sports. The national netball Queens, who previously gave people a respite, seem to be taking after their terrible brothers called the Flames. They went to the Netball World Cup and all they brought home were certificates of their plunge in form. But we still celebrated them being a country that is perennially starved of something to point at with pride.
And the Flames were at their usual boring and frustrating mood in the just ending year. They could not even compete at a tournament as cheap as Cecafa. Last time their brought something home was a Cosafa plate which in reality is a confirmation of failure.
We are failing in every respect to be honesty. Our education is stagnant and people are still learning in tobacco barns. Our health sector is a complete show of a nation that refuses to take care of its people. At times you will be shocked that hospitals lack things as basic as cotton or linen. But we still believe we have a government and people still pay tax.
To cut the story short, we have simply had a miserable year and we do not have that hope that things will be better this year. In the 52 years we have, illusorily been called independent, we have not seen good progress, infact we have taken a reverse flight.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues