For Bingu, Markets and some thoughts on many things!
My car horn got damaged the other Saturday-you know the reason the flames won and I was mad from Dowa where I had gone for some political party primaries all the way to Lilongwe's upper Biwi. My kid brother Osman was mad he literaly was out of the window of my car and shaking passers by. But we manage to wake up the following day and attend Church and praise God for the wonderful day Saturday was.
Come last Friday the 17th, it was my birthday-I got mad, Roy Commsy, My sisters and good freinds were responsible for the madness that started at home all the way to Star Light. Thank God there was no breatherlsyer-my Zambian and South African guests cool have spent time in a cooler for the Malawi Gin they had.
But I have not written much, congrats to President Bingu wa Mutharika for the global leadership award recieved during the UN General Assembly and so many others in between that I cannot recall all of them.
Awards are a reminder of how far we have come and having covered the food crisis in 2002, I do not want to do it again in my remaining Journalism life. I saw people eat unedible sugarcane watse, eat green mangoes and vomit for 20 days and a shock when the then President denied with a straight face that the country was facing food shortage.
Hunger, in whatever terms one might have has indeed an ugly face. My family was running a butchery shop in Lilongwe and we lost it due to scarcity of Cattle. Almost all livestock kraals had disappeared.
I recall Chickens went down to K20 and cattle to K3,000, those were desparate times for Malawians. We ate Gramil sourced after long queues and every body-especially the rural folks sold all their animals and items. In otherwords asset value of each Malawian plummeted fast.
Malnutrition, which UNICEF Resident Representative Ida Girma told me recently is still a problem-affected even the old generation.
With Aids, any loss of weight aggravated the situation and people died quickly and clever witchdoctors made a kill out of it fast than any other person- they introduced Mchape and other things. Rumours had Presidents from different countries came to drink the concotion.
That was desparation.
Now Malawi is a different story- at least for now- and It would serve well that the Awards remind our President and Government that we need to do more. That hunger should completely be wiped out, graduate people from the subsidy programme to medium commercial farmers with diversification of crops from tobacco and maize.
Further to this malnutrition, maternal deaths and the recent announcement by the Bush administration stopping funds to Marie Stopes International should raise concerns to Malawians and many Africans who have benefitted from the NGO in reproductive health services.
The personal anti-arbotion stance or pro-stance should not be done at the expense of the poor and I expect a million man march in Washington when I visit to remind the out-going administration that the NGO has saved thousands of mothers and sisters who could have gone after so many wrongs in public health sector delivery.
Then there is the new EU laws on some production of flowers and crops- experts have said this will increase the likelihood of diseases in poor countries.
I argued about Malaria and DDT long time ago, that even when all the evidence indicate that it successfully worked in the west to eradicate malaria-the number one killer and cause of morbidity in Sub-Saharan Africa- someone still thinks Africa should avoid it at all costs.
Girma-the Unicef representative told me that apart from Malaria, there are no ARV's to treat over 20,000 under 18 children diognised with HIV and Aids. This is another area.
Finally for today, we have markets burning like nobody business in Malawi, I think someone needs to institute a commission of inquiry. We have had these markets for years, either it is political or someone is doing deliberately-you cant tell.
To end today I wish to say belated mothers day to my mum and many that I call mums and aunties for making me what I am today. I wish also the late First Lady Ethel Mutharika's foundation was active on this day. I remember the time we went to Salima where she was equiping women in skills development.
Otherwise, no politics today!!!