It was surprising to hear the declaration today by President Bingu wa Muthalika when he officiated the opening of Malawi International Trade Fair in Blantyre that Malawi will be developed by Malawians. Nevertheless, the President did not elaborated how the development will be achieved by the citizens of Malawi.

It is like evangelists who tell their followers that God did not create anyone to suffer claiming that the Bible teaches Christians that God created human beings in their images. How then could God accept His own image to suffer? The problem is that the evangelists do not explain how their followers are expected to succeed?

Richard Mbolembole asked his teacher Mr. Mjojo what the President meant by saying that Malawi will be developed by Malawians?  Mjojo explained;” the president was talking in parables. How could he as the country’s chief executive say that without explaining the way the Malawians will develop their country”? The fact is that there is no country in the world that is developed by foreigners.

Mjojo gave the example of how most developed countries started realizing development. “Taiwan started to develop because America and Japan offered her citizens markets with competitive prices. Similarly, Japan realizes fast development because after the war in 1945, America offered markets for Japanese products.

Then Mbolembole concurred with Mjojo by taking the example of tobacco at the auction.” With high rejection rates, many farmers are suffering. This has also affected service providers like Truck owners, drivers and assistant drivers.” Then what exactly did the president want to say today? Mr. Mjojo replied that he did not have any idea.

The fact is that it is citizens who develop their country. Nevertheless, there is need for all citizens to be treated equally not when only a few of them are given most senior jobs in government. Not when few citizens are offered contracts to import subsidized farm-inputs. There is need for all citizens to be respected and offered encouragement according to their skills and qualifications.

Mr. Mjojo thanked Mbolembole for his quick understanding of issues. “My conclusion is that the president has realized the mistake he made when he had deported the British High Commissioner and the serious consequences his decision will have on ordinary citizens. It was a patriotic speech, trying to lobby for national unity”

As you said earlier on, it is not possible for the country to develop when not all citizens are given equal job and business opportunities. A Country also needs international development partners to offer markets and working capital. Without export markets, it is impossible for a country to produce anything for export. Just imagine tobacco. There are a lot of loaded trucks at Maone waiting to offload. This is bad.

In other words developing a country is a joint partnership in which citizens and foreigners must join hands to produce quality goods with export potential. The president should stop speaking in abstracts. It is not right for him to find excuses for his mistake in having the country lose development aid from traditional partners.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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