Your Excellency Sir,
I trust that despite ordinary Malawians’ suffering, you exceptionally are enjoying excellent health.
I write to highlight some realities which when all has been said and done, will go down the annals of history as the hallmarks of your ineffectual reign.
a) Derelict airports:
Late last year, passengers using Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) had to wade through swirling water to effect check-in and departure procedures at the airport.
“I wonder what first-time visitors to Malawi are thinking about us …” an onlooker aptly summed up our international disgrace.
Since when you are dirt-ridden it doesn’t rain but pours; few days ago following a routine inspection, the South African Airways (SAA) shut down its Blantyre operations following findings deeming Chileka International Airport unfit for purpose.
b) Dilapidated schools:
This very week Sir, eleven learners at M’buka LEA School in Area 36 Township-Lilongwe sustained injuries after a makeshift classroom collapsed on them.
Last year, some perished in Zomba after a wall of yet another makeshift classroom crushed them.
Yet somehow, stadiums for sponsored football clubs are your highest priority.
c) Worsening insecurity:
Barely a month after Yassin Phiri was gored then chopped in Nkhata Bay District; an eighteen-month baby girl with albinism has gone missing in Malango Village, Traditional Authority Wasambo, Karonga.
Identified as Eunice Nkhonjera, she disappeared at night while her mother was asleep.
The lack of heart demonstrated by your government on this issue Sir has driven the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) and all decent Malawians to desperation such that anyone accusing you of discriminating against people with albinism now speaks for us all.
“Discrimination at its best. Victims deserve to be helped equally. What’s so special with Mulanje PIM accident victims to be given financial assistance from government under the directive of Arthur Peter Mutharika while we have several families in Malawi who lost their loved ones due to ritual attacks?
“We have lost 23 lives of persons with albinism in Malawi since 2014, where the State President kept quiet. I am not saying it is wrong to help but, when it comes to that, there should be no discrimination based on colour or disability. Persons with albinism who were butchered were neither dogs nor foreigners. They are also Malawians who pay taxes and deserve the same treatment as every Malawian,” Overstone Kondowe, Apam president, eloquently summing up our case.
I couldn’t have argued better.
To rub salt on our wounds Sir, the definition of callousness is your reaction via your proxy – the State House spokesperson – whose insensitive attempt to parry Kondowe’s perspective only aggravates matters.
“Recently, the President personally pleaded with the Judiciary to dish out stiff penalties, including life sentences to convicts involved in targeting, abducting or murder of persons with albinism. This goes to show how deeply concerned H.E. is with this challenge.
“It’s unfortunate that some opinion leaders are choosing to be sensational on this issue. …We need to join hands … to stop this crime. Politicising the problem or making careless statements won’t help anybody,” said Kalilani, missing the whole point.
One question Sir: has your barking saved baby Eunice?
Having spent the past three weeks belabouring this agonising issue, I will say no more.
d) Energy woes:
The one thing you have done well Sir, although it is too little too late is admitting your monumental leadership failure vis-à-vis the energy crisis in your audience with the German BMZ Minister, Gerd Müller.
I liked seeing you eating humble pie and begging the Germans to invest in our renewable energy sector.
“We have serious challenges in the energy sector because of climate change. We, therefore, would like to diversify the energy sector by embracing renewable energy use.”
Had you embraced this progressive thinking right from May 2014, Malawi wouldn’t have hired wallet-busting generators.
However, I do understand your predicament: without the generator debacle, how would your minions have benefitted – at our expense – through dubious contract awards and diesel theft?
They wouldn’t have had a chance.
Hence knowing very well that renewable energy partnerships are what we ought to embrace, you had to pretend that generators are the proverbial magic wand.
Although I follow your thinking Sir and see your dilemma, I still find your lack of leadership on energy irresponsible.
e) Political violence:
Though belated, your condemnation of the attacks being perpetuated by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Cadets is a small step in the right direction.
“The President will not tolerate any violence, whether political or purely criminal in its motive. What is even more worrying is the fact that some of such violence has been targeted at women.”
What many are failing to understand is why you have elected to lose the opportunity of hitting the nail on its head.
Why Sir not directly and unambiguously rebuke your supporters plying our streets in vehicles ostensibly registered in your name as “Ana a Dad”?
English, understandably, is a second language to us; however, your condemnation should have left your hooligans in no doubt that you are reprimanding them and NOT the generally peaceful PP supporters nor the bubbly but amiable UTM commuters nor the dour but disciplined Chakwera youths nor the wandering-in-wonderland UDF herd.
Next time, tell the Press Officer to adopt the turn of phrase below:
State House text:
“Malawi is bigger than any individual or political party. … the President wants to see any individual or institution attempting to drag this country to anarchy arrested or brought to justice”.
My opinion: too ambiguous.
Mapwiya recommended text:
“Malawi is not only for DPP. In fact, Malawi existed long before DPP came into being and hence, DPP Cadets shouldn’t behave as if they are ‘Christopher Columbuses’ who have “discovered” Malawi and are thus licenced to behave a little worse than rabid dogs”.
Such clarity Sir would absolutely disabuse your misguided cadets of the notion that you and they are untouchable.
Heading towards the most grueling campaign of your life, you need all the help so here it is, for free.
Rather than build stadiums for Limbe Leaf Wanderers and Bata Bullets Football Clubs Sir, invest all resources on functional international airports, child-friendly schools and health clinics, 24/7 energy availability, repairs and maintenance of our existing deteriorating national assets and security.
Stadiums we can postpone, but on the aforementioned literally determine and impact our day to day livelihoods.