Quite a week this one was and President Peter Mutharika and his ministers came out of their corner to fight for their political lives.
First the ministers were all over the place mostly courting civil society organisations (CSOs) through meetings and press conferences and, in the process, trying to divide them based on who is willing to parrot government’s line and who is not.
Yet this is another classic case in which the DPP government has missed the whole point.
You see, even if government were to take a survey today, Malawians would not say CSOs are the problem that they want their government to deal with.
If this is for the mere reason that some CSOs have been vocal on issues such as the bloated UN delegation, then courting them is not the answer.
CSOs or no CSOs, Malawians know for a fact that it was wrong for the poorest country in the world that is Malawi to take a whole village that would fill up a whole Boeing 707 to the UN General Assembly.
The President acknowledged that 106 people went to New York under the Malawi flag. This was wrong as it was extravagant for nothing. No matter what amount of justification the DPP administration can come up with, this is a misnomer and it has got nothing to do with CSOs.
All it needs is honest information on who funded who to the UN and an apology to Malawians with a promise that it will never happen and, I repeat, this has got nothing to do with CSOs.
They may speak on these things but it does not mean if they stopped due to government trying to meet or appease them, then the issues would cease to bother Malawians.
What Malawians want to hear is what their President and government are doing to solve their day to day problems and an example was clearly on display on Wednesday when the President announced a whole slew of projects, that includes a power generation deal worth K950 billion courtesy of the Oriental giant: China.
The Chinese are a different breed. They don’t patronise anybody when they give you a loan to build something but, more importantly, they do all the work by themselves leaving no room for thieving civil servants to dip their dirty fingers into the kitty.
They are hard workers unlike some lazy bone compatriots and they will deliver the projects within the specified time.
In short, when the Chinese promise and put pen to paper, they do not waste time but they deliver.
Evidence is there for all to see. The Lilongwe City Centre skyline is evidence enough. It has changed with Parliament, Bingu Conference Centre and the Presidential Hotel. Then you have the stadium in Area 47—massive structure that we can all be proud of.
It is never lost on me that, these are loans that as a country, we will have to pay back to the Chinese but by all standards, they are wise investments.
On the other hand, I am also aware that these projects are talking to our today’s needs and, I dare say, it is what the present government should be saying to Malawians.
This is a country that is badly in need of redemption, inspiration and good news. The economy is in bad state, the health sector on its knees, poverty getting worse, there is hunger looming, households are in constant blackouts, there is no water and the list can go until the cows come home.
But all these problems have nothing to do with CSOs, as I keep harping. Malawians want to hear any attempt, however feeble it maybe, by their President and government on how to solve them.
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