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Sunday, January 1, 2012

The short road to 2014

Happy New Year to all those who follow this blog. Thank you for being loyal followers in 2011 and many of those who simply wish I should just shut up. Malawi belongs everybody who was born in Malawi and those that adopted it as their home, nobody is above anybody-ricj or poor so if you do not like what others say, simply learn how to live with them. Unfortunately tolerance is what democracy demands.
Many have wondered what 2012 will be like, to some of us it is a date change and very little will change unless we see serious character and attitude change from those with authority.
When I say authority, I mean the President, His Cabinet, senior Government officials, Members of Parliament, Opposition Leaders, Religious Leaders and everybody including a village headman.
2011 our leaders in all categories have let down the ordinary Malawian who looks up at them for a sense of direction, unfortunately reason and direction seems to have disappeared and everybody is gearing for the next election in 2014.
Unfortunately 2o12 nothing tangible will come out of it as none of the major parties- The UDF, MCP and DPP will provide any freshness to our political system. Intra-party democracy has failed in all these parties and very few individuals in the parties believe they own them.
Democracy will never be complete until these parties are democratic and successors are chosen freely by those that vote in election. Any imposition, expulsions or whatever strategy of keeping oneself above others will simply backfire.
It is sad to see that dictatorship now spreads even in opposition parties which are supposedly Governments in waiting. The sad tale of the UDF does not need to be summed up that if Friday Jumbe and company do not move carefully, they will end up as a briefcase party.
Why vote for a party that cannot organise or give itself space?
I am sure we will see Professor Peter Mutharika declare his candidacy, and for me as I have stated elsewhere unless the opposition start coming up with real issues than the current crisis which might go in next 12 months, the Washington Law Professor can behave and act as if he has the crown, it will be much simpler for him than many opposition parties think.
The biggest lesson to UDF and MCP should have been the 2009 General Election when their lack of strong alternatves to Government but confrontation saw President Bingu wa Mutharika claim presidency.
The new kid on the block Peoples Party has an interesting agenda and its leader Vice President Joyce Banda has for long indeed demonstrated that it is possible to change peoples lives. But that has been at small scale and mainly the initiatives limits people to survival than economic growth to move into a middle class income society.
Malawi needs a saviour who can recreate the working class into a middle class that does not go and grab land at Manyowe, Bangwe, Senti, Kauma and Dubai simply because they cannot afford hosuing even in Soche East, Chinyonga, Area 15, Area 18 and Katoto.
A large chunk of people even Principal Secretaries are now moving from low density areas to hgh density an indicator that even career Civil Servants cannot be described as middle class.
We have created a surviving class, that spends all its incomes on food and rents and other basic necessities and not saving or constructing houses.
I am told 90 percent of 13.1 million Malawians live in their own houses which are mud made and grass thatched.
I was hoping that as a New Year starts, companies in Malawi, especially decision makers would excercise some sense and increase salaries of their workers. Many can afford to cut off their obscene perks and benefits which includes K45 million swimming pools.
The same with our leaders, why can Ministers not switch to Toyota Camrys than sticking to Mercedes Limousines, the utility vehicles should be basic Toyota Hilux than those prados that guzzle fuel than any known ambulance, while cutting down perks should be seriously considered.
The cuts should extend to Church and other religious leaders whose lifestyle of opulence is far away from basic teachings from their percieved doctrines. How can an Apostle seek a latest Mercedes when the money is supposed to go to the needy and save some souls.
If we want a difference in 2012, let us start living by example.
Otherwise this new year will not even count as we have a very short time to 2014 and everybody will be busy campaigning. I will start analysing each candidate very soon, keep up checking this page.
Happy New Year to all Malawians and colleagues

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