55 years of blood, sweat, tears

On Saturday, July 6, Malawi commemorated the 55th Independence Day. I would like to take this opportunity to again wish fellow Malawians a happy independence. I am hopeful that the commemorations will run for the whole month. To our forefathers and the heroes and heroines who put up a gallant fight and paid for the freedom we now enjoy with their blood, I say we shall forever be indebted to you.

Those who fought the independence of this country envisioned a country that is liberated, politically, economically and socially. They also envisioned a country that was united, a Malawi that is not divided along tribal or ethnic lines. They, in their vision, saw a country that was prosperous and progressive, where no child goes to bed hungry, the wealth of country is shared among all Malawians equally and not just for the a few people or tribe.

Many of those who fought for this country, never had a chance a taste what it means to be free from colonizers who had enslaved them and their people. Many died fighting for the freedom, while some, who survived, were left out in the cold and never got recognised for the ultimate sacrifice they made to this country.

Greed, corruption and the quest to fill up their bellies and those of their cronies, has blurred the vision that our forefathers had for this beautiful country. The freedom fighter never envisioned a country Malawians fight amongst themselves, where a selected few individuals enslave their own people are have been impoverished beyond recognition. They would be at pains to see that 55 years after they paid the ultimate prize for the freedom of this country, Malawi can’t stand on its own two feet and still kneels and begs from the very same people that they fought against many years ago. This is disheartening.

The heroes and heroines of this country who emancipated us from the colonial bondage would weep to see that Malawi is a country with nothing that holds its people together. People no longer fight for the national pride, but for their tribesmen and friends—in the end more and more people continue to wallow in poverty as resources are corruptly being shared among a selected few individuals with connections to the powers that be. Some who dare to stand up and challenge the status quo often do so after being sidelined from partaking in the plunder of the public resources but once they get their cut, they strangely lose their voice. I salute a few patriotic Malawians who still love and are ready to die for this country.

It is clear however, that many Malawians have lost hope and trust in the leaders who everyday grace the front pages of newspapers for all the wrong reasons—stealing from the people they ought to be helping. It is sad that 55 years later, there is nothing to show for as a country and there are very few people who feel proud to be Malawians. This is all because the leaders have plundered this country to the bone. Public schools, hospitals and public institutions are no longer the pride of the nation as it were years ago.

This country needs leaders like the heroes and heroines who fought for the independence of this country—they didn’t fight to see a few individuals enjoy while the rest die of hunger and diseases that can be prevented and cured. They did not fight for the freedom to be enjoyed by a selected tribe, it was for all Malawians. They were not selfish as our current leaders who only worry about maintaining power at all cost even when they are no longer needed.

In the spirit of this year’s commemoration, I will, belatedly, say happy independence fellow Malawians, but sorry that there is nothing to celebrate for. I pray that we all take a part in bettering this country. And our leaders must learn to listen to voice of reason for the good of the nation.

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