Give credit where it is due MCP
By Daily Times - 24 October 2006 - 03:55:44
Sadly, that is what seems to be the malady of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), and their decision to stay away from the party that this country erupted into after the yoke of international debt was lifted, was not understandable then and is still not understandable now.
The stance taken by MCP, the refusal to give due credit to those in this country who spent sleepless nights for this country to be given debt relief, is a stance that will ultimately not win this party many sympathisers and votes.
For the record, the debt that Malawi was relieved of was not accumulated in the period that the DPP government has been in power. Much, if perhaps not all of that huge debt was accumulated during the period when the MCP and later the UDF were in power.
Some people in this country are not entirely convinced that the debt we all collectively were responsible to pay back to the World Bank and IMF was entirely put to good use. There are many people convinced that whereas it was the rest of us condemned to paying back this debt, some of that money was abused that it eventually found its way into some people’s private pockets.
In fact, it is true that with our low productivity, with our perennially underachieving economy, the burden of the debt was enormous and it’s a wild guess how long it was going to take this country to pay back. Other people say it was going to take generations.
Again for the record, attempts to have the debt forgiven, partially or wholly, did not start with the government of Bingu wa Mutharika.
The previous administrations tried and failed to win donor confidence to have the debt wiped out because, by and large, the donors were afraid that they would throw good money after bad.
The IMF and World Bank were not entirely convinced that if they relieved us from paying for money some of which our leaders had squandered, we would not go on and do more of the same.
Remember that for a long time, Malawi was being asked to trim down on the size of its bloated cabinet, to cut down drastically on domestic and international presidential travel and to spend wisely within our means because some of our expenditure was becoming too much of a strain on the national budget, even delivery of service to crucial public institutions was suffering as a result.
So, there had to come a government that was to convince the Bretton Woods Institutions that it meant its word, that it had the political will to bring this country back from the brink of spending as if money kept falling like manna from heaven.
The MCP knows that the IMF and the World Bank did not just wake up and declared us free from debt. There was a period that they monitored this government and if there was to be a moment that they doubted the sincerity of this government, we would have long been left in the woods.
It’s very interesting some of the things the MCP has said, but it takes a strong man to salute the good done by an adversary.
It is by admitting that the DPP-led government did us good by winning the confidence of the IMF and World Bank that the MCP will show that it has come of age.