It was on Thursday, 1st July when the government brought to the public domain the budget for Malawi’s Independence Day celebrations as a test for the reaction of Malawians. Really, this was a test to Malawians because whoever sat in the meeting working on such a just one day Independence celebration meant to take place in three towns of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu, already knew that they were passing a very headless decision for Malawians. So, they were already taking Malawians to a bitter test!
For starters, the Independence Day is a very memorable day for any country which attained self rule after so many years of being governed by the white supremacists. Back home, the day is a great one for all Malawians; young or old to celebrate in it and remember that it is such a day that gave birth to the democracy and even all these rights and freedoms which are now retarding the nation’s development; taking it back to the very dark age.
By the present day, it is not even an error in reasoning to conclude that an Independence Day celebration is but just a waste of both time and money; bearing in mind the fact that what we get together for is but a robber of our hard earned resources.
For this year, Malawi has more reasons to forgo the day; knowing so well that what we have at stake is so much. Right now, Covid-19 cases in the country and the whole globe are sharply increasing and yet our hospitals are inadequately equipped with such machines as flow meters and other essential resources to support Covid-19 victims and other critically bedridden patients.
Besides, at the moment, Malawi’s economy is performing so poorly. So many people are jobless; and even those who are employed, more of them are underemployed. Another clear evidence is that civil servants continue to receive their salaries late. During the previous campaign period, the current administration promised jobs to one million of Malawians within the first one year of its rule. However, that was just a mere political gimmick and yet the K50 million for the one day feasting would be better directed to extending the period for temporary primary school teachers, and the government interns whose contracts came to an end last month.
Factually, it is no-brainer for the country to blow such a lump sum of money for a single day event, when there are no adequate teaching and learning resources including Covid-19 preventive resources in the schools. Truth be told here that this grand total of money whose breakdown is very obscure, is a means to a selfish end in form of unexplainable allowances at the expense of a more lasting national development.
The reduction of the budget and the cancelation of the event in Blantyre and Mzuzu are a government’s systematic concession of defeat from the public. Malawi is at a hopeless stage where even the leadership has no idea what to do next. Imagine the President expressing shock about how prices of commodities are skyrocketing insensitively, whilst at the same time, poverty levels continue to drown Malawians.
Whichever figure; K50 million or K244 million, what comes out undisputed is that Malawians are shortchanged. Such whopping amounts of money, just for a one day; touted for nothing celebrations; meant for politicians and their bellies, is utter mockery to Malawians. There are much better things which such lofty money would have served better than the so called Independence Day celebrations. In all reasonableness, no logical father would put on his suit and go for a dance at a ball leaving his family back home starving from hungry.
What the current leadership is propagating is typical of clueless and visionless administration. Is it worth it to waste all that money in a day when the country is reeling from serious shocks of Covid-19? I mean, what can we lose as a nation if we do not observe the Independence Day and divert the financial resources meant for the event to some better thing like procuring Covid-19 vaccines or resources meant for the prevention against the ruthless pandemic?
For once, let us be serious as a nation!