This government never ceases to amaze me


Malawi is going in a direction that few of its people know. Even with all efforts our leaders are making uncertainty has become Malawi’s permanent ally. It seems to me that our leaders have resigned to fate, believing that matters that cannot be changed must just be endured.

I have always believed that those who make wisdom their shield in life not only live long lives but that there is no wisdom in embracing the darkness of the past. But I must admit I do not know how well this applies to our leaders.

What I know is that there is tension in the air and that this will remain the case till the leaders resolve certain issues with finality, never to resurrect. I also know that there is a sour taste of disabling disillusionment, certainly among those who invested emotions in the present leadership.


As for those in opposition — I mean all those who invest time to offer checks, balances and positing alternative views — it is not just disillusionment; it is actual frustration.

Perhaps the work load is too great, which I doubt. In any case the wise say the hunter who plans to kill an elephant should be prepared to carry home a very large corpse.

Whether Malawi Savings Bank will be sold or not — and I am sure it will be now that pressure is high — it is neither here nor there. Fundamentally disturbing is government published admission to abusing the institution and the arrogant suggestion that abuse of state-owned banks — and I believe all state property too is as normal as it is universal.


This is most amazing. Corruption, abuse of power or theft cannot be normal nor should it be an expectation. If this is the psyche of a whole government hope of tackling corruption? I now understand the deadly determination of civil society in forcing answers and insisting that answers come from the top.

Such a statement is a mockery to the people of Malawi, and it comes from an attitude. The attitude of ‘let them talk there is nothing they can do’. This is the attitude that has destroyed the Malawian society — treating citizens with arrogant contempt! I fear government is evolving a dangerous morality of its own, not dissimilar from its predecessors.

Little wonder tax payers’ resources are committed to settling loans when the culprits are alive and well. As misfortune would have it, when the noose is tightened on the culprits the courts will grant injunctions even when it’s very clear that debtors are under legal obligation to pay back what they owe.

Recently, in reaction to the new budget, donors described it as a ‘tightrope’ but asked whether they assist, the language was a rehearsed constant: we need to see progress. Absolutely!

Yet for me the matter is not whether or not donors see progress, rather it is why government is not prioritising re-development of its financial management systems for the good of the country. It is Malawi and Malawians who need safe and sound systems not donors.

Indeed, why should reforms take too long — it has been one year this month — if the same government believes that such reforms are people’s life line and the only way to correct its inimical relations with development partners?

Reforms take long is the answer you get from experts. I agree. What I don’t agree with is the slow pace for a process already notorious for sluggard pace. Why the lack of feedback to an agonising citizenry and yes, why the exponential cost when the large part of it is re-engineering the human resources?

Remember the kindness of the donors when Malawi needed to audit the system after the Cash gate exploded? Why won’t government obtain technical assistants and financial systems development experts from its large pool of partners?

On another note, to what extent are private sector experts engaged? You see, I do not see why carrying out reforms that are seen as a matter of life and death should take years nor do I accept any suggestions that Malawians cannot do this alone. Why do we have universities then?

Meanwhile, can government explain where the zero-deficit policy has gone? All along I thought government would pursue the ideal — assistance or no assistance — because it must be the overarching goal for any sovereign developing state.

Rather than celebrate and idolise the attitude of the African Development Bank — which is African — why won’t the economists stay the course so Malawi can grow an economy from the roots and not become enslaved to an artificial existence without a backbone?

Let’s turn to subsidised farm inputs. Minister GoodalL Gondwe has reduced the budget from K60 to K40 billion. Perfect. Yet it is ‘boxed thinking’ to say that ‘Malawi cannot afford to do without Fisp’ as a Monarch Debate concluded recently, because she can through a cadre of professional farmers to produce for the country.

It is equally lame to say Malawi should sustain Fisp because China, America or India applies the facility. Fisp must serve a clear meaningful purpose in the economics of the country and it is that purpose that some of us contest.

How about the Cash gate trials?

It is not just about being faster — lawyers will be angry with you because theirs is always a slow job — it is about what size we are catching. Where are the ministers, the presidents and the people of the august house who should line up for legal grilling?

And of course, Bwana Goodall Gondwe removing 100 million budgeted for judges to hear the cases, is most regrettable. How should justice be dispensed? This government never ceases to amaze me — honestly!

My last word: a man who wants to tame his enemy must pretend to be dead.

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