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Was it state of the nation address?

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As a patriotic Malawian, I was forced to listen to President Peter Mutharika’s speech on Monday on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).

I thought there was some breaking news that he wanted to tell the nation and thought of using MBC instead of his tradition political rallies.

However, let me be frank here, I was disappointed and felt like I just wasted time for nothing; I could have done much better and productive things.

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The President seemed not to know what to say, seemed he was forced to be on air without any agenda.

His speech, I am sorry to say, was empty and repetitive and it took the direction of the state of the nation address.

He murmured something like how his government is dealing with electricity and water problems, he repeated what he has been saying a 100 times, blaming the past governments, blaming God for lack of water in the Shire River, blaming this and that.

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Then he talked of development projects and programmes his administration has lined up, as usual and expected, dull stuff, the usual stuff my ears have heard for over 100 times, nothing new at all.

What we, patriotic Malawians wanted to hear is how he is going to deal with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials who are swindling Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), water boards, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority and other government departments.

There are people who have given evidence how DPP officials have created briefcase companies, tendered at Escom, before even providing the unneeded things, Escom made all the payments.

The director of finance at Esom resigned because he said he was being forced to make such payments.

APM touched on the economy. He told us the good side of it, what positives his government is doing to improve the situation, that now there are bank reconciliations done blah blah blah.

He, however, failed to tell us what his government is doing to reduce expenditure blamed partly for the fall of the economy and shows that this government has its priorities upside down.

Malawians also expected the President to tell us what his government is doing to reduce the bloated civil and public service, staff or rather stuffed most by DPP cadres.

It was surprising that he heaped praise on the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB), very very surprising that the President thinks the graft-busting body is doing an excellent job when the rest of Malawians say the ACB is dead.

I wonder if the President is in real touch with realities on the ground because there have been calls to fire the Director of ACB, Lucas Kondowe, whom some Malawians on social media are describing as the worst ACB director since the graft-busting body’s inception

.I laughed when APM asked for suggestions from all sections of Malawians on how best to improve the economy.

I laughed because almost anybody in Malawi now has turned to be an economist and is advising the government on how best to improve the economy.

Tune to phone-in programmes, read posts on Facebook, read editorial comments in newspapers, hear from opposition members in Parliament in the august House including Leader of Opposition, Lazarus Chakwera, you would be surprised that the government is soliciting views on the economy.

Apart from this, there are renowned economists in the country who the government can invite for a cup of tea and discuss on how best the economy can be improved.

The situation as of now remains dire and the silence from Malawians is not golden, they are speaking words in bold words and one day those bold words will explode and the government will not be able to handle the situation.

I am not a prophet of doom, neither am I a pessimist but that is the situation on the ground.

The problem is that the government seems not to be doing anything on the economy. We have heard of the economy songs for long since DPP was voted into government in 2014 but things seem not to be moving at all.

Some civil society groups and the opposition leaders have in the past tried to force Mutharika to step down because the country is not moving in a right direction but some of us have argued that this is not a solution to the problem.

The problem is that the President is not seeing himself as a solution to our problems, no wonder he told public universities that although he is their chancellor, he is a solution to their problems.

Just as I am confused if the recent speech made by the President was supposed to be the state of the nation address, I am as well confused if our President can deal with the problems currently facing Malawi or he is also part of the problem.

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