There is nothing here
Cyclone Freddy has revealed to us that our country is incapacitated in several areas. Not only did we fail to prepare properly when we were warned about the impending disaster, but we have also failed to assist those affected.
It has taken efforts of others, including our neighbours and colonisers, to breathe some life into our situation. While we should be thankful to these well-meaning people, we must also ask ourselves what is wrong with us.
When Brian Banda asked an army officer how it felt to fly a borrowed helicopter, some took offense and others took it as a joke. But that question ought to be a point of reflection and a moment of embarrassment for our leaders.
We cannot have a country without facilities and equipment as if we have been at war. We have all the resources in this country to live better and yet politicians love to waste them on trivia.
As we speak, people are still dying of hunger and others have left their houses to seek food and refuge in the camps that were meant for flood victims. That should tell you how the average person is living in this country.
Sometimes when we sit in our houses, we forget that not many things are working in this country. We only get to see the face of crisis when there are huge upheavals like shortage of fuels, but be assured that nothing is really working.
If you go to the Immigration Department today, they will more likely tell you that they are not printing passports because they are out of consumables.
The Road Traffic Department is not issuing driving licence cards because they say they run out of cards and they are not even sure when the situation will normalise.
You can hardly make online transactions or buy toilet paper on any website if you have not obtained permission from the bank because they are trying to ration forex. The country is in a state of emergency and yet we continue to live and laugh as if everything is normal.
What is frustrating is that we know we can do better but we have deliberately chosen to be mediocre. Those in power know what our ailments are but they deliberately look the other way for as long as their bellies are full.
The fact that somebody rushes to fix the road when the President is travelling to Area 25 tells you that that person knows exactly what to do but they choose not to do their job.
This mediocre attitude is almost in every sector and that is why the country never progresses. When you try to do the right thing in Malawi, people will look at you with scorn and they will ridicule you.
They will ask who you think you are and they will tell you that you cannot change anything. We are that pathetic.
When President Lazarus Chakwera was in opposition, he had all the right things to say. When given a chance to speak, he would tear Peter Mutharika apart and in him we saw some hope. The moment he got into power, something happened and he forgot everything that he was saying.
To make matters worse, he started doing some of the things he was castigating in his predecessor for. Today, it is people from the Democratic Progressive Party who are wiser than anyone else in this country.
They are able to mock the failure of the Tonse Alliance and suggest solutions to our problems. They have all the answers now that they are in opposition but they failed to deliver when they have the chance to.
In the end, we go back to the same question: What is wrong with us? As citizens, we need to stand up and demand better. Since the British left this country in our hands, we have failed to do anything for ourselves as if we are incapacitated.
Our education system is in shambles, the health sector is a mess, and the economy is on its deathbed. Political leaders have failed to uplift the lives of Malawians but we have remained quiet and watched in silence. It is our docility that has made us victims of failed systems.