There is a tendency among our politicians and non-politicians in Malawi to assess issues based on who has said them rather than what the issue is. It has become a norm that the party in government does not take any suggestion from those in opposition. Similarly, those in opposition will always doubt or find fault with what the party in government does. The debates in Parliament and even on the streets among most of us are based on who said what, rather than what was said. The analysis of the what is contaminated with lenses of different shades. Shades of political party affiliation, region of origin, tribe and even sex lead us to not to see clearly the facts and the issues at hand. This is a very worrying trend. Maybe it is time we began to see the wisdom in the saying that sometimes there is sense in a madman’s nonsense. To the political leaders of our various parties, remember that there is some sense in the nonsense that Bon Kalindo of Democratic Progressive Party shouts, there is some sense in the nonsense of Mzomera Ngwira for People’s Party, there is some sense in then nonsense of Jessie Kabwira to Malawi Congress Party, and there is still some sense in the nonsense of the disgruntled United Democratic Front supports who feel their party has lost it.
As we get to the end of the year, I hope all the leaders of the many political parties in Malawi realise that among their followers there is always a breed of praise-singing psychopaths whose empty stomachs have made them experts at telling the leader what the leader wants to hear and not the truth. Is it not the same people who a few months ago were convincing us that there is nothing good about the leader of the other party are now busy studying dictionaries to find new adjectives to describe the opposite of what they said about the same leader?
Whatever way we look at it, this county, our Malawi is at a crossroads. As we draw to the end of the year, we would be doing ourselves a great favour and honour if for once we can put our superficial differences aside and concentrate on things that matter. Things like the longstanding structural imbalances and overdependence on imports that choke the industries in Malawi. The paradox of food shortage while sitting on the ninth largest fresh water body in the world, the third largest and the second deepest lake in Africa with a total surface area of about 30,000km2. What is the sense in being an agricultural dependent economy, where over 80 percent of its population relies for their livelihood on farming and imports most of our basic food staples? This is simply not acceptable or sustainable. Should we not be focusing on these challenges and their proportionate solutions? Instead of debating the superiority of any tribe over the other, the importance of one region over the other, instead of arguing about personalities, let us debate how we can we ensure quality health care to all Malawians, quality education, good infrastructure and investing in the creation of jobs.
In 2017, let us not waste any more time with plundering public resources, rewarding political handclappers who have made a career out of threatening to “reveal” and never do anything beyond the threat, and making speeches or indeed press statements and press conferences. Speeches or press statements without actions are just speeches. Whether they are made by the President or the leader of opposition, in fact they just take away the resources that should be spent on doing the actual work that Malawi needs. There is urgent work to be done. The other distraction is that we then spend or energies trying to defend or criticise the statements meanwhile what needs to be done never gets done.
The efforts made in the fight against corruption have been a mixture of successes, failures and confusion. The commendable work on convictions in the Cahsgate have been tainted by revelations of new corruption, rumours of interference in some investigations and public fights between some government organs and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). What is the sense in having the name of the director of ACB being splashed in newspapers as the one stifling the work of his own institution? There is sense, therefore, in tackling the endemic corruption and mismanagement that is crippling our economy and corroding trust in our institutions. It will be nonsensical to only focus on fighting corruption without having an accountable government and a public sector that can do more with less.
There is sense in rebalance the nation’s economy by empowering entrepreneurs and producers to create more of goods and services. There is some sense in the efforts to develop small businesses and eliminate bureaucracy to bring the informal economy into the fold of mainstream economic activities. There is some sense in providing development funding for priority sectors such as agriculture, health and education. It is now time to stop this nonsense of focusing on who has who has said what and find sense in what is being said.
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