Political commentators in the country have urged government to consult people first when it is doing its projects and stop imposing things on them.
This is coming at a time when residents in Mulanje are not happy with the project government has put in place of pumping water from Likhubula in Mulanje to distribute it to residents in Blantyre and surrounding areas.
Previously, minister of Agriculture, irrigation and water development George Chaponda was chased away by community members in the district when he wanted to attend an event of tapping water from Mulanje mountain.
The residents expressed anger saying the project will cause deforestation in the mountain let alone the water project will not benefit them.
Barely two months after the agriculture minister was chased president Peter Mutharika went on to launch the new water supply project in the district.
The president assured the residents of Mulanje that the project is beneficial to them as it will create jobs for them as well as the reafforestation of the mountain.
However,it is alleged that residents in Mulanje are still not happy with the project and during the launch by the President there was tight security to make sure that the residents would not protest.
Speaking to Malawi24, one of the political commentators in the country Laudon Malingamoyo Phiri said there is need for government to be conducting cost benefit analysis for any major project to avoid instances like these.
‘”There is need for government to consult people whenever it is doing such projects so that people will be aware if they will benefit or not rather then imposing things on them,” said Phiri.
He added that for a long time the mountain has been abused in the name of development; in the end the residents are the ones who suffer loss due to the devastating effects of environmental changes.
Phiri further said that due to instances whereby many things happen at the mountain but do not benefit the locals, the residents have a reason to protest against the project which seems not to benefit them once complete.
According to Phiri there might be a hidden political influence on the matter that the residents failed to protest against the project when the President was launching the project.
He however said that the paternalism government has been using has affected many spheres of of life in the country.
”I believe the challenge of paternalism our government has been practicing to ordinary Malawians has affected many spheres of life in the country as in a democratic society participation is important to bring unity, economic social development in a society,” he said.
Phiri also said that unless Malawi submit to the tenets of democracy it has a long way to Realise ends of democracy which is human dignity.
Phiri urged government to always civic educate people on an intended project so that people understand whether it will benefit them or not to avoid instances like these.
Meanwhile the 16.75 Billion kwacha project is expected to be complete in 2019 and the money has been sourced from the Indian government as a loan.