Every government in Malawi has left behind a legacy to learn from and improve upon for the future of the country.
Even the Peter Mutharika government, which is in power now, has lots of things to learn from.
Unfortunately, it is mostly the ordinary people who are ready to learn while the country’s leader always feels that he or she is the best and, therefore, does not find it necessary to learn from someone and somewhere else.
Such leaders even convince people that they offer the best leadership that the people need. The end result of not willing to learn from others is what we see in Malawi that people suffer because of the limited knowledge of the leadership running the country. On being misled that the country is always under the best administration is what has made Malawi to be perpetually poor.
For obvious reasons of maintaining power President Mutharika once said that people are glorifying poverty, and he does not like it. What he forgets is that there is no fun in being poor. People talk about it because they are poor and it is the failed leadership which has brought them to this state of affairs.
The first lesson that probably most people have learnt from the current government is that the presidency does not change who one is but it reveals who he or she is. There is usually a misconception by the voters, who think the people they vote into power are likely to change for the better and follow the rules of servant leadership as well as listening to alternative views. Unfortunately, the leader often feels that he or she was a monopoly of wisdom. With such mentality, the country is led to nowhere.
Meanwhile, it is evidently clear that a leader of a failed government does not know how to proceed after being voted into power. This is the current scenario in Malawi. Not knowing what to do with power is dangerous because the leadership wastes a lot of time bragging about winning the position instead of delivering on his/her promises.
Leadership must be earned—just being elected into the office is not enough. A celebrated Kenyan political commentator Prof. Patrick Lumumba once said: “There is not magic in the ballot box, the mere fact that you have been elected does not convert you into anything. You just remain an elected dunderhead.”
Lessons learnt from the current government should be able to make future governments perform better, and bring change. To start with, the current government has perfected abuse of public resources, including taxpayers’ money. In the process, people have been denied medicines at government hospitals, a number of communities can hardly access clean water and this is just to mention a few of our problems.
The other bad thing is that those in power rely upon bribery to maintain their power base. The bribes go as high as in billions of kwacha per person. This makes one very suspicious about the source of such money.
Most likely, it is from public coffers. Those people who are alleged to be giving bribes might argue and deny the claim, but what they might not know is that the recipients of the bribes usually brag about it publicly.
Indeed, the culture of bribery has destroyed the society. To add on, the above attributes is the formation of an armed wing for the party in government. This just creates disunity.
Let the next government change from what is stated above and many more for Malawi to be successful again.