It is now common to the eyes of Malawians to see people in various professions quitting to join politics, something that has been described as a “brain drain” of professionals.
Since the dawn of multi-party democracy in Malawi, people have been eager to join active politics in the country which has witnessed many voluntarily quitting their professions to join the political race.
Health experts such as Doctor Hetherwick Ntaba chose to join politics than work full time in the field they were trained in.
Ntaba who is a well-known surgeon is on record to have saved the life of former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo who got shot when cashgate scandal came to light.
The same is also noted among Malawi’s business tycoons who are preferring politics than businesses they are into, investing millions of kwacha just to get political positions.
Sidik Mia who is among Malawi’s business minded people is a good example to that. Though his political life came to a break, the interest has resurfaced with him joining Malawi Congress Party (MCP) ready to compete for political positions.
The interest has also not spared farmers in the country, as lawmaker Friday Jumbe now takes the role of representing people in decision making from a constituency in Salima district.
But why politics? Various stakeholders disclosed that despite many Malawians proclaiming their interest to join politics for them to help in development, the intention behind most people’s decision to join politics is to enrich themselves.
Business tycoons who join politics are likely to get tenders for business from government and that helps them to build their business empire.
Others opt to be politicians for them to get healthy salaries received by politicians as they compare to what they get today in various fields they are.
During the 5+1 all inclusive stakeholders meeting for Public Affairs Committee (PAC) this year, political analyst Humphrey Mvula blamed the way other professionals are not appreciated.
Mvula disclosed that one can campaign for six months, win a parliamentary seat and begin to receive millions from allowances, salaries and benefits while a nurse can go for studies for years only to be embarrassed with delays to get little perks they are entitled.
While appreciating the people’s role in politics, a political scientist Wonderful Mkhutche feels the situation is a “brain drain” as people choose to leave expertise they have for politics.
“This impacts Malawi in two different ways. First, there is brain drain in various professions. Second, it has the potential of improving our service delivery. Policies are largely made by politicians and implemented by technocrats,” said Mkhutche.
He added that the move is likely to ensure effective implementation of various policies in the country.
But much as the country is to benefit from the development, the role of politicians in the country is to be compromised if people have hidden agendas when joining politics in the country.