By Dr Daniel Dube
This year’s independence holiday represents a watershed in our country’s consciousness. It is the first time that we as a people are openly asking the structures that govern our society.
Perhaps more poignantly, we are beginning to ask questions of the competence and character of the people running our lives. There is an infamous saying that goes; every country deserves its leaders.
We Malawians have celebrated thieves and crooks and mediocre civil servants and politicians. We have become accustomed to worshiping people because of their public positions and in so doing we have been giving a seal of approval to incompetence that is retarding the country.
At this time as we are discussing those whom we deem incompetent, and people who are mumbling no new Ideas, sowing division and plundering public wealth, let us also discuss the structures of leadership in our society and see how we all are performing.
The small list that I am compiling includes, chiefs, academics, sportsmen, businessmen, church leaders, civil society, youth leaders, civil servants and their masters.
Malawi has become so corrupt that the human structures of public administration have collapsed. Those who are at the top have no responsibility. They do not respond to the public needs. Those who are supposed to check instruments of power such as the justice system, public servants, civil society, law officers have no authority.
You have to shake your head and ask how does parliament debate that Malawians get a certain percentage in procurement of public goods and services in their own country? Who were we bargaining with? Imagine England having such a debate? Donald Trump or even Barack Obama’s? Nothing puzzles us anymore. Are we foreigners in our own land that our own parliament has to discuss how much our own people can participate in the economy?
The favoring of foreigners is legendary in Malawi . This is a mark of a leadership that has no pride and no love of country!
We have a country restless for change and an insensitive leadership . We have Local private schools, Universities and 90000 people looking for University and higher level training and yet we can not help our local initiatives to promote the development of our own society.
Poor Chancellor College was built when the population of Malawi was less than3 million yet it is there looking smaller than an American primary school and ever more wanting in lecturers, lecture theaters, student accommodation and resources.
Banda College Infrastructure is even more pathetic. Our secondary schools lack toilets and recreational resources. Between 1980 and 2000 we have regressed from a country that was offering technical education in public schools to a system where the education on offer is irrelevant to modern life.
At a time when the world is talking internet, robotics we are talking about hunting People with Albinism, last time I checked we were hunting vampires. Bald men were next in line. That did not go very far.
The social infrastructure that holds hope for public order is Justice. We are publicly whispering about this acquittal and that acquittal, that appeal , that burning office. Ohh Malawi! The poor are just gazing as the decadence of leadership and arrogance on display mocks by the law itself.
An ordained priest murdering an albino in cahoots with a police officer. A businessman child trafficking given a lenient sentence because it was a first time offense. Breaking the central medical stores and stealing thousands of surgical gloves for sell in private pharmacies! How?
Check our news feeds and the number of young people dying from treatable diseases is beyond comprehension. Malawian remains silent passionately following and not challenging the current order.
We Malawians respect each other too much. We have no courage to say enough. We have a leadership without vision. In Europe, every city has a cathedral the bed rock of European civilization: Christianity! In 54 year old Malawi, when you start start a church, it is about worshiping the leader! Really?
Let’s start businesses…. between paying the procurement officer, inflating the price of the tender and paying every body most legitimate Mala Ian businesses are struggling. This is lending credence to the notion that you have to be corrupt to succeed in Malawi. Then there is the demoralizing impact of Malawian corruption. The open display of stolen goods..
Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique are trying and rising. Malawi is busy worshiping people who do not care for the country!
We need passionate leaders to carry Malawi’s Century. We need the type of leader that rises up and says I am finishing off child marriages and I am firing incompetent chiefs who condone stupid practices. We need leaders who understand power.
We need leaders who love country. We need leaders who can unite us and build hope. We all need to take leadership very seriously. If you are a leader at Maneb and you leak exams, this children who buy the exams will one day be your incompetent doctors, nurses or MPs!
Malawi risks being the Lebanon of East Africa. Someone from Tanzania just comes and moves the boundaries because they can. Someone from Mozambique just moves the boundaries in the East because they can. Well the Zambians are not innocent either …why? The most frightening thing is that most instruments of power and public administration are now self saving.
Most public servants you meet they are a law unto themselves! How is this possible? Malawians should be scared of the danger of lack of leadership. The possibility of spontaneous leaderless revolt of the masses. The rise of Mafia style politics, criminal syndicates, flight of the young and becoming an attractive investment destination.
I understand that not everyone is corrupt. I understand that there are honest people who are striving in Malawi. The relationship between the ruler and his subjects is a contract. A marriage- Banja sikupilila- Banja lidzikoma”.
Happy Birthday Malawi!!!!!!