We need independence celebrations [Part three]

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Today is July 6. Fifty two years ago, it was July 6, 1964, when Malawi was declared a republic. Our journey to this day concretely began that day. Often, there is a hopeless attitude people have when this day comes. The saying is that there is nothing to celebrate. Malawi remains poor and the future promises nothing but doom.

The past experiences justify this attitude. But the fact that an average Malawian in 2016 is more informed, has access to public services and has political choices than the 1964 one says a lot. We are moving forward.

Our state of progress is not whether it is happening or not, but its pace. Countries like China and South Korea were as poor as we were in 1964, but China has risen into the second most powerful economy in the world in the same fifty two year period. This asks more from us. It has exposed our failure as a people, and more, our government, because it is the machinery that is responsible for coming up with plans of action.

Peter Mutharika, Xi Jinping

Mutharika in ‘promising’ relations with the outside world?

But since government is led by politicians, the failure of government, as already said, should be blamed on our politics. Today the question of whether we should celebrate or not is back. The government has taken the populist stunt of cancelling the celebrations in order to save money for other public uses. The decision has expectedly drawn mixed reactions from the people.

There is still a reason we should celebrate this day. First of all, this is a national day. But throughout the years it has lost its meaning due to the failure of politicians to differentiate it from party functions. The dominance of the ruling party’s colors and the use of the platform to castigate political enemies have failed the significance of the day. Again, the suggestion the celebrations not taking place will save money fights against the hefty salaries and benefits politicians keep on giving themselves and the failure to root out corrupt people simply because they are connected to people in power.

There are several ways we can save money than pretending that not letting July 6 happen will save us money. The national day is important, and its right use would have been a platform where the president leads the people into reflecting their past and laying the agenda for the future. For once, politics could have been stopped on this day and say something to the benefit of Malawi.

Instead, prayers have been organized for this day. Again, this is a populist stunt in a nation like Malawi, where anything that has the name of God easily gets supported by the people. But for the fifty two years we have been praying to have God intercede for the fate of our country, and nothing seems to be positive from that front, it is high time we changed our thoughts on the relationship between God and the future of our nation.

The celebrations should have been held. Their failure is not the lack of money or the wish to save it, but the bullying of party politics into a national celebration. The state of our economy will not improve that much in the next three years, looking at the trend and failure of action from the government. Does it mean that we will be cancelling the celebrations for all those years?

If so, that will be a betrayal to the memory of all the people who sacrificed for our independence. July 6 is only a single day in a year and for a full government to use such an important day for a populist stunt of cancelling the celebration, is a scene of despair and a revelation that eyes are fixed on a May Tuesday in 2019 and not necessarily taking this country forward.

About the writer: Wonderful Mkhutche is a speech writer, a political scientist and a manuscript editor and developer.

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20 Comments

  1. We are not hating prayers,in the past they were conducted before the day of our independence.It is just a matter of our leaders,but celebrating together ,all political parties with their colours,tribes and religions,gives us power that we are a one nation indeed.

  2. Kuchoka kwa mcp paulamulilo zinthu zidaonongeka mcp was building the country ndipo pace imemeija ikadafika panopa zinthu zambili zikadakhala zosintha

  3. Mmmmmm kutsogolera munthu eeee ndikovuta kwambili last year ku Tz sanapange zisangalalo ngati izi ife tinapanga iwo amati analephela coz ndalama alibe anthu pano amalakhulanso zambili bwanji ife tapanga kuwononga ndalama za boma chaka chino ati sapanga asunge ndalama tikulongololanso akuti ndi obwela eeeeeee munthu maka wapa nyasaland eeeee

  4. Mhlako walomwe will celebrate on your behalf kkkkkk professor of law? kuvotera anthu obwera who doesn’t know or care about our heritage. This shows that our president doesn’t know our history