Lessons from a failed government

There is an adage which says that the past is there to learn from.  In fact, Malawi cannot have a successful future if leaders and followers have not learnt from the past. Therefore, it goes without saying that any leader voted into power in 2019 elections must look at the past, especially the past five years, and see how the country has been governed.

Unfortunately, due to all manner of suffering that Malawians have gone through in the past five years, the government, under President Peter Mutharika, is generally believed to failed Malawins. It has learnt nothing from its past. It seems not to know that without accepting corruption and looting taxpayers’ money, it would have been a successful government.

The problem with a failed government is that it is so blind to see when neighbouring countries are developed.  Honestly speaking, Malawi, which used to be a star performer during Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s time, is now a laughing stock in the region. 

Sadly, the government does not seem to care or want to improve the situation because they have had a lot of personal fortunes from the same situation that has economically strangled Malawians.

It is only natural that Malawians would not want a repeat of the kind of leadership that they have faced for the past five years.  One can also learn that it is the fault of Malawians for accepting to be ruled by mediocrity.  The ruling party and government have brain-washed people not to call a spade-a-spade. 

Even Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who is now the leader of UTM, advised Malawians to stop the habit of clapping hands for anything and everything said by a leader.  Experience has shown that government and its leadership does not want intelligent people because they think critically and cannot be ruled. This is very true.  The leadership of the ruling party seems not to like opposition party leaders because of their critical views on national issues.

Indeed, there is something very wrong with a leader who surrounds himself with ignorant people.  What such leaders do not know is that they are like the people they associate with. 

Meanwhile, by not liking the opposition parties, the ruling paty leaders are showing that they do not know that those in opposition are legally there as watchdogs to government as well as being government in-waiting. Ridiculing them unnecessarily is a waste of time. 

Meanwhile, the May elections should be taken as a turning point, for Malawians to stop suffering.  Once a new government comes to power, people must change their culture of silence, especially when things go wrong in government.  Waiting for civil society organisations (CSOs) to query government while all Malawians just seat and watch is unacceptable. So far, without CSOs the government would have swept under the carpet all the fraud and various malpractice.

Time and again some people have suggested that President Mutharika has not been properly advised by his groups of advisers. Therefore, it can be said that in the new government, the President should have worthwhile advisers who will not just waste time representing him at funerals or weddings or acting as spies for government on the opposition.  This seems to be the case now, which makes advisers a waste of time and taxpayers’ money.

Last but not least, in future, for development to be meaningful, it must be people-centred who have to appreciate it first. The President should not force people to appreciate mere visions and imaginary success stories.  It is time Malawians get tangible development worth talking about. n

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