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Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Concentrating on Development

Original Story by

11:22:58 - 06 July 2007

The recent events in the country are very strange and thought provoking. The year has seen a lot of child abuse cases, women battering, anti-reform police, mini-budget rejection, witchcraft training cases, First Lady’s death and the latest crisis of Section 65. We were recently celebrating the debt cancellation only to have the mini budget rejected because others thought this money should be tied until Section 65 is validated and they have a short cut to state house where they will eat the money.

There is nothing else to describe all these occurrences but being bewitched. Although, the recent Section 65 ruling is a constitutional one, one cannot fail to look at the other side of the road. I am a layman in Law and I believe the Bible or Koran would make a very good constitution than what we think is the supreme law of the land hence I will not comment in those lines.

True observations would show that the country was on track to attain large strides in development. We have all seen things we never anticipated and the interest investors/donors have shown in Malawi. It would not be an overstatement to say that this interest has been unparalleled since Malawi got independence save the one party to multiparty change period. Several projects that are addressing the plight of rural masses have been implemented during the last three years and everyone was optimistic that here is a case that will remove pessimism from Malawian minds. Others in diaspora had started talking of coming back to Malawi. But here we are. All of a sudden these gains will soon become history. The way parliament is trying to hold every citizen on ransom is worrisome and taking Malawians for granted. Much as I appreciate the role of politics in Malawi, I would think development could have taken centre stage now and leave politics aside. But that is not the way politicians see us. We are just tools to be used for their gains after that can be tossed anyhow and our wishes thrown to the wind.

I would have suggested that we leave this politicking behind and concentrate on development. The fact that parliament is opposition dominated would have shaped the development agenda well to cover all areas in the country. However, as one Yunus Mussa observed, the opposition is full of ‘development enemies.’ As a country we should be worried. If I was to repeat ‘this country is bewitched to remain undeveloped.’ It seems some unknown forces are compelling us to abyss of underdevelopment and poverty. We need some traditional healer to cleanse it as has happened in the mysterious Kasungu fires. Someone should really intervene and bring sanity into the heads of these politicians. Should I remind everyone of the Ghana, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda cases? Our politicians are becoming more self-seeking, power-hungry and over ambitious.

Think of it. The budget will not be passed in time so as to show who has the political muscle. There will be no meaningful development up until August. Its time wasted only that time is not money in Parliament.

Bewitched? Yes! We should regain our senses and snap up from this bewitched state very fast otherwise we are blind and not able to see the long fall. Despite the likely repercussions of Section 65 nobody is interested to hold these servants of ours to task. The sufferer is the voter but it seems as voters we are ‘addicted’ to listening to politicians instead of these representatives listening from us. As addicts, we assume our destiny is in the hands of the few.

I am saying we are a bewitched country because everybody is preoccupied with listening to the verbal hemorrhage about Section 65 yet we have real issues to tackle in the name of HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis. All of a sudden courts are what we believe in instead of the common will and way forward. Are we not sane enough to make our own judgements and act accordingly?

As the bitter pills of Section 65 are forced into our mouths, we should be thinking of how many miles are left in the development race that our neighbours are enjoying. Do not forget that politics can build or destroy a nation. You do not have to look very far for because Zimbabwe is near. Zambia has so far enjoyed its leap to development pathway due to sober politics and maybe exorcism.

We have two more years to elections and the legislators could have waited until then remember we decide and even now the true reflection could have come from people. A referendum may be, otherwise we are eating raw meat here.

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