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That’s my President: is this a case of déjà vu?

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Malawi has been at peace, albeit peace that has not translated into significant development for all people. Much damage has been done by few affecting many despite peace

Malawi has been most unlucky regarding consistency of quality of leadership. One leader comes to develop and another enters to destroy. One lays down a foundation and another shakes it to create enough confusion to cannibalise what little development is achieved.

You are right Mr President Malawi needs unity across ethnic, faith and political differences, but Malawians must learn to celebrate diversity. Ethnic divisions have denied many citizens making contributions to their own land. Many have been psychologically traumatised, others ejected from their country by persecution.

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Such victimizations if assessed from 1964 have had a toll on the quality and course of national development as leadership in many institutions has been left to politically aligned, but incompetent people, some of them criminals worth prosecution but protected by corrupt lawyers, tribesmen and or political godfathers.

The best crops of experts that should have moved the development agenda of the country from the 1970s have had no space to do so due to biased thinking, discriminatory decisions and exclusionary practices.

Many public institutions are today stuck with some desperately mediocre leaders because our political history has consistently scattered the best. Present systems continue to exclude fine experts in favour of morons for no logical reasons other than petty socio-political affinities.

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If you ask me, I sometimes believe that the present leadership structure and performance in major institutions would have been completely different had Malawi moved on as a meritorious society unadulterated by deranged ethno-political policies and practices.

Malawians have been incredibly unlucky because in politics, public administration, business and even civil society they have been led by either autocrats or by intensely myopic people pre-occupied with meeting personal interests with no sense of the nation. In all sectors – not least in politics – leaders have sustained parasitic relationships with institutions and with people they should serve fairly.

Mr President, today you lead a country whose economy is in a Cashgate-induced comma not because people do not know what happened, but either because a conspiracy of silence is the only protection for all or as you should know Malawians do not have a ‘reporting culture’. Malawians ‘do not want to put people in trouble’.

I entreat you to take serious note Mr President that you might have a civil service that is ‘too holy to cause trouble even for sinners’ – the very people who should be flushed out. We will pursue this subject separately in detail now that Your Excellency has decided to adopt values-led governance and society

Of course Malawi is no basket case. Only the country has not developed as much as it should have because its citizens have been in perpetual survival mode competing with and destroying itself and departing steadily from the basic values that make nations.

You’re perfectly right Mr President about the urgent need for Malawi to cultivate values for a national character; the way things were once upon a time.

Yes, Malawians must become a more patriotic people. Patriotisms exercised nationally will not only protect essential resources and assure fair distribution, it will teach personal sacrifice, dedication to a common cause and generate pride in a new sense of nation. Patriotism will create collective responsibility and duty to report irregular practices without fear or guilt.

No one faults a President who demands integrity, certainly not in a country where integrity is deliberately suppressed to perpetuate a free for all culture; where corruptly rich people are venerated for being clever; and where young people understand leadership not as a high order call but as deception, abuse of resources and sharing the ‘national cake’

Bishop Thomas Msusa is right in saying that the only way to develop this nation is to develop the right moral standards; to build moral capital, not least a willingness to work.

Mr President not one will fault your call for hard work, for re-instatement of a work ethic lost to hand-outs and to tolerated reliance on government for everything! Malawians must work. Each Malawian of working age must do the best in what they do wherever they are. It’s time we realised that countries develop when its citizens work.

Malawians have to understand that governments have a responsibility to create the right environment for people to achieve what they seek. But people must work to develop their families and communities. Ultimately people must solve their own problems.

Mr President yours is a tall order for which I believe you are a match.

The ultimate is to build a nation which is at peace with itself; a nation which is free and democratic yet loyal to respectful of its leaders; a society disciplined in body and mind and ready to sacrifice and to work both for individual and national development.

Your major route in building such a nation is constant reform, constant adaptation and sustainability.

First, Malawi must achieve social sustainability thorough strong families, coherent self-governing communities and functional social services particularly in health and education. Second, Malawi needs to ensure a sustainable environment by improving natural resources management, effective linkages between environmental management and the agriculture industry.

In the same manner leadership must assure citizens sustainable economic growth through achieving the highest levels of production in the productive sectors, open inclusive development and fair distribution of outcomes of growth.

I am glad Mr President that you actually referred to UMunthu. Déjà vu!

UMunthu is the bottom line. It is the essence of values. I believe that people must be led by people with human feelings; egotistic leaders without human feelings are extremely dangerous to peace and development. Testimonies abound the world over.

In closing: whether it is the presidency, civil service, civil society or private enterprise, Malawians must invest in a metamorphosis towards humanity and humanness or we are damned; completely dammed.

You have my support.

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