Malawi will become the next Zimbabwe if...
In 2003, I had a colleague of mine and a son to a Zimbabwean Minister in my favourite African country Swaziland when after having all the fun young people could have, an Angolan lady who we nick named gasosa, asked our politically connected youth activist how he was coping with all the "problems" in Zimbabwe.
Gasosa according to the Angolan is a term for corruption in Police service and we thought as we laughed at the translation of gasosa, he would be defensive to what was happening in Zimbabwe.
Our colleague simply said "Zimbabwe" is going through challenges after which all the politicians will come together for the common good of the people.
In 2008 when I went to cover harmonised elections, I met my colleague, but President Robert Mugabe had lost the election. I travelled wide and far including Mugabe's home near Norton, it was a shame that the veteran leader was being rejected by his own people.
People rejected his belief that he was doing something good for Zimbabwe by chasing the white people, grabbing land and proclaiming sovereignty. Unfortunately the proclamations did not bring anything to the table of Zimbabweans.
To many Malawians the story is slowly becoming familiar, we have a Head of State who strongly believes its time to proclaim our independence, but the situation on the ground is taxing the poor and sending prices up everyday.
Some of the boot licker are busy asking for price controls.
I am not sure when will our politicians realise that we are slowly degenerating into something like Zimbabwe of 2008.
The shelves were empty, drugs were not available, filling stations were empty.
Government kept introducing measures which ended up being more taxes oriented and cutting off businesses.
First it was Used Vehicle Vendors who now cannot go and buy vehicles, it started with taxes, custom excise and high duty.
Next were the Clearing Agents, they were examined, now I am informed they need to pay arrears and from Sunday if I buy a car I have to pay duty at the border. Many jobs will be lost as many will close shop, including the agents that passed exams, they survive on bond of used vehicles.
The vehicles in bond guarantee revenue for Government, now I have to wait to raise capital and customs money before I import a vehicle. For sure very few will afford that.
I am not sure those introducing measures have studied what made Zimbabwe collapse.
Mutharika and company were all smiles as the signed the MCC compact, but today the programme is on suspension. I am not sure if how this affects the conscience of our leaders.
This morning there was no power around Crossroads, the banks could not accept deposits or transact. They have gensets but no fuel.
This morning I am told apart from sugar, the new list is rice, salt and soda missing.
We are slowly becoming the next Zimbabwe, whether we shout otherwise, unless if we started paying attention to reality.....