Do Something for Malawi, Mr. President. Anything.

Malawi President Chakwera and Vice President Chilima

It is no secret that many things in our country have not turned out as expected since the 2020 Malawi elections when Lazarus Chakwera and the Malawi Congress Party took over from the reigns of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). If, by people’s expectations and faith, there was an answer to the frustrations they faced during the DPP era, then this current administration leading pack of opposition political parties under Tonse Alliance was meant to be it; this team was supposed to be the winning team.

One of the problems I have noticed is that, as a country, we have these messianic expectations from our leaders; we await one party or individual to be the answer to all our problems. This is how we got carried away after we were told that finally, we would be taken to the promised land of Canaan, only to find ourselves in Bagamoyo today. It will be five years in 2025 until we have a chance to vote and change leaders if we so choose, or to continue on this path in the wilderness.

Isn’t it ironic that the messianic figure we thought would change things, who spoke of promised biblical lands, is a preacher? Mneneri wa Mulungu. Doesn’t the same Bible also warn us of such false prophets and deceitful workmen? Those who say, “believe in me, I will take you there,” only to lead us astray. Aren’t these the ones we should judge by the works of their hands?

It is a sad state to see what Malawi has become today. Every Malawian of sound mind knows that, as a country, we have a lot of potential. But those in power, those we entrust to help us realize our true worth, only serve themselves at the cost of millions in the name of party and self. It reminds me of that story of one fellow from DPP who said that when he was called to help and serve the country during the rule of Madam Joyce Banda, he refused the appointment because he was loyal to a political party. Malawi needed you, and you thought, “makaka a chipani first.” Priorities, right?

But I digress. Let’s talk about a few of the problems we all face now: punitive taxes, rising cost of living, katangale osatha osachita naye manyazi, a non-performing cabinet that takes everything for granted. Do you remember when we were told that passport data was recovered and we now had machines that could print 15,000 passports a day in March 2024? Then the number went down to 250, and it could be even lower today. And yet not even one head rolled to answer for the mess. Do you remember what we were told instead? That “zimachitika” and it shouldn’t be strange to us. Is this really how we thought things would be and that this would be the standard of work?

Of course, with regards to the Passportgate Scandal, one is not surprised with revelations that the owner of the company at the centre of the mess has connections to President Chakwera’s son. Since corruption begets failure, what’s even more disheartening is the emerging fact that our new passports are failing to be scanned in most countries outside the SADC, forcing travellers from Malawi to be deported back.

My main question is: when these things are happening, when so many are crying out, when so much is going wrong, what are the discussions like at the office of the citizen number one? With all the powers vested in you to lead the country and by oath, do the advisors tell you that the cries are all lies of the DPP and opposition? Or do you listen and shake your head, saying you don’t know what to do and therefore do nothing, or do you simply ignore them? For once, sir, if there was a time for you to do something to help and steer things right, anything at all to help, then it would be now. It would be the most welcome thing for Malawians.


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