Malawi is a democracy. By definition, democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The Peter Mutharika government might be that of the people and by the people, but very doubtful if it is for the people. Reasons to support the doubt are many. The question that whether or not the government is for the people can best be answered by saying that it all depends on how one has benefited from it. The majority of Malawians have not. All being equal, all Malawians, regardless of their tribes or party affiliations, should benefit from their government. This benefit must be at individual level and not just talking about economic improvement as the government is fond of saying, and yet no one feels it.
There is a common belief that any country, which is ruled by visionless leadership, people perish. This is not far from what is happening in Malawi. Some people may argue that the Mutharika government has a vision which might have just been destroyed by unprecedented levels of corruption and Cashgate. Such an argument does not make sense because allowing rampant corruption to take place is a leadership problem. In fact, it is mostly those people in the position of power who corruptly have access to lucrative government business contracts. This is evidently clear from the few cases taken to court so far. Ordinary Malawians have been watching the merciless plunder of their taxes while they suffer.
The plunder of taxpayers’ money, which runs in billions of kwacha, is really worrisome and scaring. It is as if there is no government for the people, and answerable to them.
Meanwhile, it is not as if the President is not aware that Malawians are suffering. On a number of occasions he has conceded about the suffering. But it is his inability to sort out the countless problems that Malawians are battling with. Imagine, due to the much talked about load shedding, which even lasts up to 36 hours in some area, has literally scrapped off many small businesses which rely on power. Furthermore, lack of power is a big challenge in hospitals. People lose their lives because hospital equipment cannot work without power. With such serious power problem, the President and his government would have seriously looked at the issue of acquiring generators with a lot of interest. The government should have closely supervised the process. Unfortunately, this seems not to be the case. Instead, the media has been awash with stories about corruption deals. It is sad that corruption in this country has no limit.
The government assured Malawians that load shedding will be a thing of the past soon with generators. Surprisingly, there are now stories that running generators is a very expensive exercise since each generator requires K500 million-plus of fuel per month. If government is worth its salt, it should have known about this much earlier, before thinking of acquiring the generators. Then they should have found a solution on how to go about it. The danger now is that Escom might decide to share the high running costs of the generators with its customers while forgetting that Malawians are already overburdened with poverty. So far, the government must realise that the so-called improving economy is a mirage to poor Malawians. In fact, poor Malawians are struggling on their own while the DPP-led government seems to be for the chosen few who are enriching themselves from the spoils of government. n