If as a nation, we are serious about stopping President Peter Mutharika and his cronies from decimating the country’s resources- whatever is left of them, then we need to stop thinking that talk alone will achieve this objective. Talk is cheap, but what we really need is action.Understand this:Impunity responds only to drastic action, not just words.
Otherwise, as I sit here pondering the corruption and general governance calamity that has befallen my beloved country, I hate to break it to you fellow Malawians that I have to come face to face with a very important truth: As Malawians, we are a nation of whiners, and nothing else!
It has been argued that Cashgate and rampant corruption is perhaps the most disastrous tragedy ever to hit this country’s ambitions and struggles for economic independence. I have myself been a proponent of this view for a while.
As I observe, ponder, and reconsider my nation’s plight more frankly and objectively, however, I have no choice but to come to the conclusion that the biggest tragedy that has befallen our nation since the dawn of independence has been our reluctance – no, our unwillingness – to react decisively and deal with situations and individuals that threaten our nation’s economic and social welfare.
There are only three times that Malawians have collectively risen up to stand against the oppression of the masses and bad governance.
The first was when the pioneers of Malawians patriotism, the Chipemberes and the KanyamaChiumes rose up against the oppression of the colonialists.
The second was when Malawians collectively decided to tell KamuzuBanda that they had had enough of his and the MCP’s one party dictatorship.
The third time was 20 July 2012 when Malawians were fed up with the late BinguwaMutharika’s arrogance that had resulted in forex problems and fuel shortages.
I would suggest that all these three instances fail to compare against the present corruption and looting that is reducing Malawi to being simply a gold mine for DPP cronies.
Consider this. Cashgate, in its various forms has robbed ordinary and poor Malawians of MK577 billion kwacha. This is the official figure from one or two audit reports. But besides from this mind-boggling sum, there are other lootings that have also been reported. For instance, there have been reports of looting at the Malawi Electoral Commission and at the Malawi Defence Force. There have been various cases of fiscal mismanagement that have resulted in taxpayer funds going into the pockets of the few in various government departments.
But what has the current crop of ‘patriotic’ Malawians done about this serious travesty? We have whined and whined and done nothing.
There have been companies named and shamed for being involved inCashgate. At least 14 of them have been decisively fingered by investigative reporters. What have “patriotic’ Malawians done after learning of these findings from online sources, social and local print media? They have expressed disgust and anger in their comments on Nyasa Timesand on Facebook. But that is all!
As I have said elsewhere before, I am appalled that we as a people that profess to love our country and want to see it achieving economic progress can so underestimate the determination of a thief who knows that being in government is his only guarantee for great riches. A thief and who knows that as soon as he is out of government, he will be facing a real possibility of prison, accompanied perhaps with the confiscation of all his ill-gotten gains should never be underestimated.
I do not believe that in our efforts to ensure an end to corruption and to usher in good governance, our only option is to Tweet about how the Anti-corruption Bureau director has become a tool for perpetuating corruption by the executive- no matter how true and frightening a prospect that may be.
I do not believe that it matters anymore to a government and a party that went into government with looting in mind that a few people protest here and there about their looting. This kind of amateurish whining will do nothing to change the status quo.
In the grand scheme of things, At a time when we need action the most, it is depressing and damning to the Malawian spirit that the most we can do is talk and complain about the evils and injustices that we see in stead of doing something about them.
I wonder where Malawi would have been had MasaukoChupembere and KanyamaChiume decided simply to complain and tweet their disapproval of the colonialist regime and the oppression to Malawians that was brought about by the federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
I wonder where Malawi would have been had ChakufwaChihana simply decided that talking about Kamuzu Banda’s human rights excesses on the radio and television was enough and not decided to actually act upon his convictions and face Banda.
The solutions are well known to us. To put it clearly, the only constitutionally supported solution to this plight is to invoke the original purpose of the constitution and the very basis upon which the republic of Malawi was founded: Giving power to the people; giving power to the governed, and not the governing especially when the governing have all become corrupt.
It is important that all patriotic Malawians angry and whining out there against the many failures that this looting government is demonstrating should support the initiatives that will be action oriented and aimed at ensuring that this corruption and one way trip into oblivion is resolved and fast.
Our actions will speak louder to this DPP administration than our tweeting, status updates, and columns.
I guarantee you that!