Ways of dying
If we were to be honest with ourselves, we may want to accept that Malawi is a failed state. At the point we are at, there is no sense in living under illusions that we are on the right path or that we can miraculously achieve grand dreams by 2063, as politicians want to make us believe. There is something deeply wrong with our systems, and the way we do things in this country, that entrenches poverty. This cancer begins at the very top and drips down to affect everybody, to the very bottom.
Because of the laxity and incompetence of our systems, this country has become a death trap in several ways. It is very easy to die here than it is to live. In fact, you need to cultivate superhuman skills to survive in Malawi. Every day that you travel on our roads may just be your last day alive. The roads are not even worth that name. There are streams, dams and trenches on our roads that can kill you anytime. And, yet, those who are supposed to be in charge of things in this country travel on these same roads. Aren’t these people ashamed of themselves and their incompetence?
To make matters worse, most of these people in power are well travelled and know how things work in proper countries. There is no way you can have trenches on the M1 Road for months when we have a whole ministry and the roads authority who are paid to take care of that. It even becomes infuriating when you consider that road users are parting with their hard-earned money every time they cross a tollgate, and yet the roads remain in bad shape. In countries where people are serious with their lives, the government cannot wait for months before fixing a pond in the middle of a main road. We are just mediocre.
The issue of bad roads is just one example of the many things that are going wrong in this country. As stated before, ours is a systemic problem that demands urgent action. There is a sense of irresponsibility and laziness in most people here, and this has seen us failing in most areas. There are people who do not want to be held accountable for their deeds. There are people who do not want to do their work. And then there are people who want to make us believe that this is how things are in Malawi and that we cannot change. Such attitudes are the reason we failed to attain our Vision 2020. They will be the same reasons we will fail to achieve goals set out in the Malawi 2063 agenda.
You can just look at the state of our cities and you will realise that we joke too much to be considered a serious country. In Malawi, everybody is allowed to do as they please and they cannot be held accountable. City councils and district councils can build proper markets for vendors but these people will choose not to use those facilities and sell their merchandise on the streets. Every wall and every tree, even in the city centre, is a toilet, and nobody does anything about that. Lilongwe is perhaps the dirtiest city in Africa and we have just accepted that. How is it that we have people in offices to regulate these things and yet there seems to be nobody in control? One wonders why we pay these people as it is obvious that they are not working.
The laxity in our systems is something that must be strongly condemned and discouraged. We have lost so much to mediocrity in leadership and governance systems, and this must stop. We, as a country, cannot achieve anything worthwhile when we are contented with our nauseating conditions. Here, things are up-side-down and we have normalised this abnormality. As such, there are so many ways of dying in Malawi than there are ways of living. The poor average citizen has given up and is waiting for death or slowly killing themselves. Most young people see no future and are taking their lives. Those in charge do not know why they are in those positions and they cannot inspire any hope in the masses. We are in serious crises.