In some circumstances we should be careful and not be caught out to be hypocrites when we are quick to criticise and pile all the blame for our country’s economic and social misfortunes on our president Dr. Bingu WA Mutharika.
Yes he is our leader and Government is in charge of setting policies and have an obligation to spearhead the development drive, but at the same time we must remember, as anyone who has ever studied economics would know, as in the seemly outdated and mostly irrelevant economic theories which they teach at the once prestigious University of Malawi, in a market economy like Malawi’s the private sector also has a major part to play and there is need for private organisations to undertake their own private development projects and make investments in infrastructure that will boast economic growth and help create jobs and up lifts peoples’ standard of living.
Just like private companies individuals also have a part to play in economic and social development especially at grass roots level. During the past two years Malawi was one of the top growing economies in the world, this means we achieved significant economic growth, but sadly this did not trickle down to the majority of the population i.e. the grass roots or people in the rural areas meaning there was no meaningful economic development.
So this is why I say there has to be some blame levelled against certain individuals and citizens in this country for the lack of the social and economic development. See, the economy grows by 8% one year while the world is facing a recession, but many Malawians do not reap the fruits of this because selfish, greedy business leaders and politicians do not want to share the wealth. They give themselves large salaries and benefits more than they or their families need, and keeping middle to low income workers’ pay at the minimum and in most circumstances below the average cost of living.
How can anyone who says they support the President’s initiative to lift Malawians out of poverty, give themselves pay packages and benefits worth millions of kwacha per month(a million kwacha is roughly equal to $7,000) while only paying their junior staff who do most of the work and are greatly responsible for the organisation’s success, not more than 100 thousand kwacha(a 100 thousand kwacha is roughly $7,00), and even worse support staff or blue collar workers earn as low as three thousand kwacha per month ($20), yet these people have families to support not only their households, but these are usually migrate workers who have other dependants in their villages. Yes they may be unskilled labour, but let’s have morals and think of the average cost of living.
Another area is developing our rural areas, why should government and Aid Organisations always have to dig in their pockets to help elevate the poverty in our villages. It’s funny, sad and pathetic someone was raised in the village they did their primary and secondary education there and because of the support of the entire village community they are able to excel in their final secondary school examinations and go off to University. After completion of their university education they settle in the big city, get a good job work for years make lots of money, build beautiful houses, buy fancy cars, join exclusive clubs and they forget where they came from ,they forget the poor little village that helped them became what they are, they can’t even go back and pay for a borehole, or build a small clinic, or buy books for the local school, or sponsor a youth sports league, even though they have millions, and are set for life they don’t feel any obligation or social responsibility to help their villages or the poor around them in the towns and cities, no that the Government’s job they say.
The President and Government lead by example they can’t possibly do everything and can’t reach out to ever poor person. The First Lady has charities and visits hospitals, how many women of big tycoons and politicians have set up charities or visits the underprivileged, unless it for publicity or when M.P are campaigning to be elected into office and after they have been elected, they never visit until next election time.

by dezmend chatha kadam’manja

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