18 April 2017

Malawi: It Will Take a Miracle to Transform Malawi to the Level of Rwanda

Photo: Brian Dell
Lilongwe (file photo).

During his recent budget consultation meeting in Blantyre, the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe was quoted as saying the Malawi economy is recovering.

But he blamed the media for negative reporting about the economy and the success of the Peter Mutharika administration. Obviously, what the minister said is wrong perception.

It does not necessarily mean that the success of neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Tanzania is due to positive reporting by their media. It does not need a genius to know that the media reports what everyone can see and experience.

There is no country in the world which has or can develop simply by the media positive reporting. In fact, it is the other way round. The country has to show progress first, then the media reports or talks about it.

Meanwhile , the blame game continues between the Mutharika administration and the media. This has also been extended to social/ political researchers in the country.

These researchers have lately come up with results which show that politicians, including President Mutharika, are the least trusted. The President has trashed the results.

However, before the dust had settled, the researchers had also found out that the much talked about public reforms lack innovation and government is faulted on this. As if this is not bad enough, the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has come up with a statement, saying President Mutharika has failed.

Among other things, they say poverty is simply getting worse, corruption is being institutionalised and government seems to have no vision or capacity to save Malawi.

Obviously, the President has blamed PAC for being political and saying things which are not correct. While the President has the right to his opinion, as a leader, there is need for him to assess the real situation that the country is in at the moment.

The so-called improved economy should tally with reality on the ground, who does not know that Malawians are still suffering?

The cost of basic needs is escalating all the time, jobs are still scarce, and the gap between the rich and the poor is widening and so is the inequality in various sectors, and the list goes on.

Above everything else, corruption has been left scot-free that even government elites, who are supposed to stop it, have joined the corruption gangs.

Therefore, is there a sign of an improved economy in Malawi? At some African Union discussion with the theme 'The Africa we want', president Kagame talked about how he transformed his country Rwanda from the genocide of 1994 to be one of the most developed in Africa.

At that meeting, the former president of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa pointed out that most countries are failing to develop because of selfish leaders who just think about themselves on the seat they are in, here and now. Leaders at the meeting agreed that there is need for selfassessment.

The above situation is very true even here in Malawi. People know very well about what type of Malawi they want.

But if they continue to have leaders who deliberately have no time to do selfassessment of their poor performance and change, the successful Malawi that everyone wants will never be achieved.

It is well known that leaders like praises for imaginary successes. With such immature habits, it will take a miracle to transform Malawi to the level of Rwanda.

If the leaders are too comfortable from the spoils of government and find no reason for selfassessment, they should at least listen to the voice of reason from the other quarters.

Being in denial of a failed leadership is not helpful at all to the country.

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