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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Changing the way you look- the World is always falling around

If you asked people in the 1950's, the Africans specific, the World was falling around. The colonialists were supposed to go and the self-governing philosophy would entail development. It would mean deciding what Africans wanted, self-rule and quicker development. 50 years down the line, countries that championed such arguments, like Ghana, Zambia, Malawi and even Zimbabwe, there are almost worse off than they were.
Today, the same World is falling again. There are conspiracy theories, either the Western World is blocking development, or pettiness and pure tribalism is affecting our development. The arguments now range like in Malawi from Federation to Succession, while in other countries like Sudan, the newly created South Sudan is already into civil war, less than a year it moved out of Sudan.
Again the World is falling around, just as it was during liberation struggle, some poisoned minds wants people to move into second liberation fronts, without proper analysis or thinking, to jump and make them power shakers and movers.
Looking at development data over the past 50 years, the poorest of the poor are now heading towards more poverty and very few have hope of moving out of the trap. Investments, or larger investments are only heading to "big" countries that can offer markets and very few small states on the international arena are able to attract investments.
In debating the future of any country, especially development, making an economic argument should be the major priority, than arguing on sharing of positions and seats in parliament. Unfortunately it is the opposite in most of the debates that are now taking place in Africa, that have resulted in a few starting mob debates, without proper research and splitting the countries further.
Abdul Raufu Mustapha paper "Ethnic structure, inequality and governance of the Public Sector in Nigeria" examines some of the core issues that many of the African states are still grappling with and why models that split people on tribal or regional lines do not work.
He states on Nigeria "Nigeria has about 374 ethnic groups that are broadly divided into ethnic “majorities” and ethnic “minorities”. The major ethnic groups are the Hausa-Fulani of the north, the Yoruba of the southwest, and the Igbo of the southeast. These three “hegemonic” ethnic groups constituted 57.8 per cent of the national population in the 1963 census. All the other ethnicities constitute different degrees of “minority” status. The dominance of the national population by the three majority groups was further accentuated by the tripodal regional administrative structure of the 1950s, which gave each majority ethnic group a region. From this demographic and historical starting point, Nigeria has evolved a tripolar ethnic structure, which forms the main context for ethnic mobilization and contestation. This paper investigates the consequences of the demo­graphic and historical legacies for the management of inter-ethnic relations, particularly within the public sector. The paper is divided into three parts. 

The history and geography of the ethno-regional cleavages in Nigeria, and suggests reasons for their endurance. Early colonial rule in Nigeria was based on the implicit concept of one country, many peoples, and very little was done to create unifying institutions and processes for these peoples. The internal geography of colonialism expressed itself as a cultural geography, which emphasized the distinctiveness of peoples, and the indissoluble connection between the “tribesmen”, their territories and their chiefs. Colonial administrative regionalism consolidated the link between ethnic distinctiveness and administrative boundaries: Hausa-Fulani in the north; Igbo in the east and the Yoruba in the west. The ethnic minorities in each region were forced to accommodate themselves the best they could in each region. Four factors that guided the evolution of the Nigerian state from 1900 are examined: the policies and practices of colonial administrations; the attitudes and prejudices of colonial administrators; and the colonial economy. From the 1940s, these three factors were joined by the politics of the emergent regional elites who had the incentive to mobilize along regional and ethnic lines, and in the process further entrenched the cleavages developed under colonial rule.

The long-drawn politico-historical process of regionalism, statism and localism has led to a concentric pattern of seven ethnic and political cleavages in Nigeria: (i) between the North and the South; (ii) between the three majority ethnic groups; (iii) between these wazobia groups on the one hand, and the minority groups on the other; (iv) rivalry between states, sometimes within and sometimes between ethnic groups; (v) interethnic rivalry in a mixed state composed of minority groups of different strengths, or a segment of a majority ethnicity surrounded by minority groups; (vi) intraethnic or subethnic rivalry within each majority ethnic group, sometimes also corresponding to state boundaries and sometimes within a single state; (vii) and finally, interclan and intraclan rivalries, particularly in the southeast and the north-central parts of the country. The most politically significant cleavages on which this report concentrates are the first three.

He further examines the manifestations of the inequalities associated with the cleavages examined on the history, particularly in the political, bureaucratic and educational apparatuses of the state. It argues that the cleavages coincide with systematic patterns of horizontal inequalities. It was particularly in the sphere of education that regional differences were first manifested under colonialism. And this then had a knock-on effect on the regional formation of human capital, and general economic development. Persisting educational and socioeconomic inequalities between different regions and ethnicities form the context for the observable inequalities in the staffing of governmental institutions in Nigeria. The long-run patterns of overlapping inequalities have come to shape people’s life chances and their political perceptions. They have also had a tremendous impact on the electoral politics of the country and the composition of different cabinets and bureaucracies, giving rise to political conflicts centred on the nature of ethno-regional representation within the public sector. The patterns of ethno-regional representation in various cabinets, parliaments, military juntas, and different levels of the public sector bureaucracy are examined, showing patterns of systematic correspondence between cleavages and horizontal inequalities in these institutions.

He also looks at various efforts aimed at reforming the lopsided nature of representation within the institutions of the Nigerian federation. Particular attention is paid to an attempt to banish ethno-regional differences through the imposition of a unitary system of government, and the reasons for the failure of this policy. Other reform measures examined include the breaking up of the powerful regions into smaller states, the evolution of a quota system for elite recruitment into the educational system, the constitutional provision for affirmative action under the federal character principle, and the building of a federation with a strong centre and a powerful presidency as the antidote to ethno-regional separatism. There was also the reform of the party system and the introduction of majoritarian and consociational rules to moderate divisive tendencies within the political process.

These efforts at reforming ethno-regional representation and relations in Nigeria have had only limited success. While the reforms have fundamentally transformed the Nigerian state, they have yet to solve the problem of ethnic mobilization and conflict. As a consequence, there is still a plethora of grievances from various ethnic groups."

Such a detailed study is important for people that want to bring arguments that will bring fundamental changes to any state or country, not emotions that have little or scientific proof that will further the interests and development of the people they claim to represent.
Small states have the challenge already to rise up and be counted in economies and investment now built based on populations and very little on individual issues. 
For all arguments, the best possible way of debating and looking at issues is finding always the opposite side of what everyone is proposing, looking at the strength and weaknesses of the same, and reasons why we should adopt or not adopt particular system. Shouting for the sake of shouting does not help anybody, both in the short or long term.
In Malawi, institutions such as Public Affairs Committee, can only be taken serious if they commissioned a study on various models of political systems, encourage differences on opinion and propose a plan that will make sure that every Malawian is a winner and not only one particular end. The process requires thoughtful, careful and proper investment and not hurried approaches that the speed of some people suggests.
The World will always be falling apart, but it is the responsibility of all of us who professes to live and make a difference to find solutions to the challenges, than rush in make up solutions that will only reward our thinking and wishes.
High Commissioner for the St Kitts Nevis states "WHEN YOUCHANGE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS-THE THINGS YOU LOOK AT CHANGE"
Perhaps, it the way we have been looking at things that needs to change, or perhaps it is the system.
After 13 years without Local Councils, we just formed new councils elected on May 20, 2014. Instead of looking at what we invested in in terms of devolution and power, we are already starting new concepts without evaluation if what we put in place would work or not? Such phased rush of developing ideas would be counterproductive to the very same development that we cry for.
Perhaps, we look at the current structure, change the voting systems to 50 plus 1 and indeed, even nominations of leaders should be endorsed by no less than 1,000 registered voters per district for one to be eligible to be a President. Unfortunately the speed at which we are debating, seems everyone has made up his mind and we will only remember sober facts, when everything ends up in a crisis, leaving the poorest of the poor- very poor and victims of political football as usual!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Ebola needs attention just like Islamic State

This morning, thousands of West Africans have flown out of their countries-including Ebola affected areas, and alongside many Europeans, Americans, Chinese and fellow southern Africans, they have shared public toilets or plane toilets each heading different direction. Every hour, every trip nowadays brings Ebola close to any part of the world.
With millions of people crisscrossing airports, people searching each other physically, attending conferences, falling in love or simply even going for peace keeping operations, the risk of transmitting the fluid contact virus are higher.
The Centre for Disease Control and the American National Institute of Health estimates that 5 people, at least every hour in Seirra Leone-one of the worst affected countries alongside Liberia are being infected.
Many of those affected do not want to come out for fear of being quarantined. Many have hidden their loved ones and relations for fear of losing them, others simply fearing they wont be able to bury them properly and the "curse" or "angry spirit" will haunt them or some claim will kill them.
Aid or funding to the Ebola hit countries has been on decline, that is obvious just like the absence of funding to many of the poorest countries, with funny conditions attached to many of todays funding. But the risk of an outright global risk does not spare the rich countries, in terms of global health challenges like Ebola, no one, with or without money is safe today.
Imagine a student working on internship in one of the affected countries, going into a club or disco for farewell party. Then flies into London or New Yorks club for a welcome party, sweaty, lots of body fluids exchanges, even kissings and whatever. We can have at least a thousand Ebola cases just in a case of one person coming into crowded areas.
The threat is real and the cost is devastating and without proper treatment, Ebola poses one the greatest challenges to the world, just like the emergence of the Islamic State. While the brutal Islamists behead people and wantonly kill Christians and those of other beliefs, Ebola sadly does not choose the colour or belief of a human being.
Anything to control it today, should be as urgent, well coordinated and well resourced than anything else as a matter of public concern. Not for African states, but the whole world as well.
The United States has just reported its first Ebola case. The large scale of people that the suspect came across with should send more worries to many people.
A media briefing organised by the Kaiser Family Health Programme indicated that at least 1.4 million people could be affected by January 2015, in other words in the next three months if the present response remains the only option for Ebola. The cry for USD$1 billion has largely been ignored and many countries are willing to invest billions a day in controlling the Islamic State than fighting the epidemic that could wipe out all the economic gains made since the 2008 financial meltdown.
The case in USA should raise alarm on the inadequacy and the danger that Ebola can be elusive for as far as 21 days, making it a greater risk than anything esle that can be tackled quickly because it is seen.
Unfortunately, all international reports on media houses like BBC and CNN end with a statement that the virus natural home is a west african bat, which is a delicacy to many in the region.
In a face of a global health threat, it is no longer a matter of reminding people about the bat, whether a delicacy or not, Ebola is now being trasmitted among human beings and it is human to human transmission that is now more deadly than the bat eating communities. Editors should seriously consider removing the bat link which has lived its use as demeans the seriousness of the matter that needs to be delt with.
Nigeria and Senegal have reported no case for 24 days, meaning they might have contained it or as Medicines San Frontiers argues many in affected areas might not be coming forwards. The fact that what started in a small village in Guinea, has affected over 3,000 square miles and now America should worry everyone that we need to do something now.
Listening to Medicines San Frontiers during the Kaiser Health briefing, it is pathetic is that what they lack are basic items to quarantine or force hygiene on many of the infected persons. In a world where football teams spend billions of dollars to pay and buy players, singers spend billions of dollars on anything and politicians trillions on wars, fighting Ebola should have come easy than anything else.
Is it because its in Africa? Our present day connectedness removes the geo political boundaries as people now travel faster and everywhere.
With scramble for Africa's natural resources by Chinese and Westerners alike, supporting Ebola fight should have been  a priority or thousands of workers from these countries remain at risk of exporting, not only Africas minerals, but a bonus of ebola virus. Time to act is now!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Called to the Service of Malawi

For many that Malawians that have traveled, lived or visited other countries, the first identity they always bear is that of a Malawian. Nobody readily identifies himself or herself by his tribe, home district or ethnic orientation. The diversity, that's what I call the various tribal or ethic orientations of Malawians, including 9 in Chitipa district alone, has been a great source of pride than division.
The crowded nature of our cities, intermarriages and movement and resettlement's across all the 29 districts, has diluted the ethnicity of a particular area. Attempts to shift teachers from other regions to the North in the late 90's saw the majority of schools in one region almost close. The policy, myopic as it was, was short-lived.
The majority of Malawians, in the major cities and towns, rarely live with their ethnic-like identities as neighbors, they are from all over the country. The fact that they have lived together, worked or schooled together, many have become best of friends, others have married and others literary have become brothers and sisters through our community extended family system.
Many have lived together that their communities even forget where they came from and have looked at their competences and sent them even to Parliament, as their representatives, without looking as where they are coming from.
People like Chambo Kalua, from Rumphi is now MP for Mangochi North Constituency. Others before him include Late Elizabeth Aipira for Mangochi Northwest, Gift Mwamondwe for Blantyre City Central, Henry Mpofu Shaba for Blantyre Bangwe, Moses Kunkuyu for Blantyre City South, Billy Kaunda for Blantyre City East, Late Mary Kaphweleza Banda for Lilongwe City Central and Samuel Kaphuka for Blantyre Kabula.
The quality of Malawian non discriminatory attitude, when you look at Malawians of different origins getting elected to represent the ordinary black indigenous Malawian. These include Jan Jaap Sonke for Kabula, Jacqueline for Rumphi West and David Bisnowaty for Lilongwe City Central.
This proves that to ordinary Malawians place of origin, and ethnicity or tribal alignment is secondary, perhaps its our politicians we should be asking, why the bring the issue as a key issue instead of taking a cue from ordinary voters.
The tolerance of Malawians is well documented beyond even religious boundaries. A predominantly Christian nation with as high as 75 to 80 percent professing and practicing Christians, many forgot their religious inclinations and sometimes outright campaigning by some religious leaders for a particular candidate-Malawians have voted before for a Muslim President and later a Muslim Vice President. It tells you religion really does not matter in our choices.
This should bring us to examine our past. Those that before us were called to Service of Mother Malawi. Were they too selfish to identify regions, tribes or ethnicity  or even religion to make decision or decide what role they would play to their country?
The answer is an overwhelming no, they served Malawi and its interest first and never at any time did they think of how their region or particular tribe first, but they thought of Malawi, they were pride of their country and they came together for a cause.
This generation of politicians, commentators and even businesses can learn from those that were called to serve in all capacities who served Malawi first, its interest and its cause. There are many but the following can suffice to say they were true Malawians and served our cause:
Reverend John Chilembwe, who protested the inclusion of all NYASA's not from his village alone, in the First World War. He did not specifically ask for people from Mbombwe or Chiradzulu to be exempted. He knew he had a platform and voice and spoke on behalf of all Nyasa's.
Then we had Levi Ziliro Mumba, James Sangala, Lali Lubani, Kanyama Chiume and Orton Chirwa, Masauko Chipembere, Yatuta and Dunduzu Chisiza and many more, who despite their huge differences, came together at different times from 1935 to 1964 to stand up for what will become Malawi.
I am sure when they were deciding to recall Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, tribe or ethnicity was not part of their thoughts. Their thoughts were to liberate the future Mother Malawi. Self determination does not include tribalism or splitting of areas, it includes ability of like minded and love of ones land to succeed.
What has gone wrong, that every jim and jack wants to put tribal label on everything about Malawi. Who is serving Malawi and why is suddenly everybody so much in a hurry to acquire a certain label.
When Masauko Chipembere heard that his colleagues including Orton Chirwa, Yatuta Chisiza and others had rebelled against Kamuzu Banda, he did not think of where they came from, he thought of the service to Malawians-he quit in solidarity to his colleagues.
Yatuta Chisiza picked guns and was killed trying to save Malawi, Masauko Chipemberes rebellion was about Malawi.
When people like Attati Mpakati, August Bwanausi, David Rubadiri, Amunandife Mkumba, and later the Chakufwa Chihanas, ArchBishop James Chiona and colleagues. Dr. Silas Ncozana and many others, they have stood up and spoke for Malawi, they have worked to serve Malawi.
How may today have been called to service of Malawi and are serving the interest of Malawians? That is a great question each has to ask. Does the solution lie in splitting or entrenching regionalistic systems instead of building on how others, from political podiums crossed regions and won seats in areas they would not call home tribal or ethnically?
Are there lessons to be learnt from our past heros, why did they not look at a tribe or region to fight for a cause, they demanded within Malawi and got what they wanted?
The colonialist mentality was to keep different tribal groups against each other, that worked well until people like Levi Ziliro Mumba, James Sangala and Lali Lubanis refused to be bound by tribal lines and worked for the country. Kamuzu kept Malawians guessing of each other, people like Chihana rose for Malawi and mobilised a unity of purpose to spread the gospel of change!
Some peoples legacy will go as quick as they open their mouth, serving their bellies and mouths, than the larger and true calls of mother Malawi.
Just as there is enough room for all of us to stay together, there is enough room for all diverse group to demand changes or more, without trampling on the united country we have been for years. Perhaps we should look from the past and learn how they did it...........it should be service to Malawi first!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

MALAWI NEW CABINET MINISTERS

President: His Excellency Prof. A. Peter Mutharika
Vice President: Rt. Hon. Mr. Soulos Chilima
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation: Dr. George Chaponda
Minister of Health: Dr. Jean Kalilani
Minister of Finance: Mr. Goodall Gondwe
Minister of Education: Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs: Mr. Samuel Tembenu
Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education: Mr. Kondwani Nankhumwa
Minister of Labour: Mr. Henry Mussa
Minister of Transport and Public Works: Mr. Francis Kasaila
Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation: Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture: Ms. Grace Obama Chiume

Monday, June 2, 2014

President A. Peter Mutharika inaugural speeech

INTRODUCTION
First of all, I would like to extend a special welcome to Your Excellencies and distinguished guests who have travelled from various countries to witness this momentous occasion. I thank you all for coming to Malawi and it is a great honour to have you here. Your presence is a source of inspiration to us and a demonstration of the confidence and trust that you have in our young democracy.
My fellow Malawians, I feel greatly humbled today to be inaugurated as the fifth President of Malawi. A country known for Peace and Calm, Law and Order. A country known for its hard working citizens. A country known for its political tolerance. A country that is safe from internal and external enemies.
Today, we begin another leg of 50 years. My fellow Malawians, the next 50 years of our journey presents us with an opportunity to reset our priorities, rethink our strategic focus, redefine Malawi, and make it progressive.
Today, we have people from the North, South, Centre and East to inaugurate a new era. During the 2014 Tripartite Elections, Malawians went to the polls to vote for change, and change they voted for a better Malawi. Today I stand before you to offer you, with your help a very distinct possibility of the future in our hands. Change has come to Malawi. Yes, our vote for change was not easy, you voted for change and victory belongs to us all.
UNITY OF PURPOSE
My fellow Malawians, this is not time to rest; this is not time for vengeance; this is time to build our great Republic into the force for good that we can be. This is time for Malawi to be strong again. Strong against marginalization, strong against poverty and disease, strong against fraud and greed, strong against weakness and fear.
Let us pick up the pieces. The journey has just begun. We must strive for unity of purpose, oneness of vision. We may belong to different political parties, but we belong to one nation. We voted for different parties, but we all voted for development.
It is now time to share our common development agenda. It is time to share what binds us as Malawians. It is time to show the World that we may differ in ideology, but we stand together as Malawians. That we shall develop this nation together. That we shall defend, if need be, this motherland together. We may share a divided past, but we share a common future. We may come from different origins, but we are heading towards the same destination. We share a common destiny.
My fellow Malawians, today we embark on a long journey of hope, patriotism, security, passion for country and pride to be Malawian once more. And we have come on a long journey.
OUR FUTURE, OUR DESTINY
Fellow Malawians, every fifty years has brought a new era in our history. One hundred and fifty years ago, in 1864, the first European missionaries began the idea of creation of Nyasaland. This is the moment that began to unite tribes of the land. One hundred years ago, in 1914, a great World War began and ignited the spirit of independence in the dreams of our forefathers. These forefathers faced a global super power with conviction and courage. My fellow Malawians, we face similar challenges today.
Fifty years ago, in 1964, Malawi was born when we became politically independent. Today, in 2014, we inaugurate the rebirth of our nation. We inaugurate the lost dreams of our forefathers and fallen heroes. We inaugurate the spirit of economic independence. We re-launch a new, better, stronger, proud nation once more.
The pursuit of our dreams knows no limits, no boundaries, no skies. Our only problem is the way we think. The only barrier to our national achievement is our Belief in others at our expense.
My fellow Malawians, We know that no nation was created poor by God. No nation has license to bury its naturally endowed treasure: No country can call itself poor.
Today, my fellow country men and women, we declare ourselves ready for the next fifty years. Today we get new faith and belief in ourselves. Today we begin the road to a coherent nation of achievers.
My fellow Malawians, the first years of the DPP in government restored faith in ourselves. We proved that it is possible for Malawi to be the second highest growing economy in the world. We proved that it is possible to grow abundant food and make prices more affordable. We may not have done some things well. But we have learnt our lessons, great lessons. We pledge to do better, to do more, and to live the lessons of the years.
Our first task is to create a proper economic, political and democratic system. Our task is to re-create an environment that gives our people hope and belief once more.
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SERVICES
Security for our businesses and homes is key to sustainable national development. We intend to restore Peace and Calm, Law and Order. I intend to over- see a Malawi that has good road networks within the townships we live, a Malawi that does not victimize its professional civil servants simply because of change of Government. A Malawi which has clean cities, functional street lights, viable public transport, visible infrastructure, good housing for our Police and Army, strong security, jobs for our youth and college education for everyone who passes at Malawi School Certificate of Education.
We must be a country where critical dialogue prevails for our collective participation in the pursuit of socio-economic development. I am therefore looking forward to leading a listening government. It is only with a listening government that citizens participate because people feel valued whenever we listen to them.
My fellow Malawians, I intend to actively involve the youth in my Administration. We need the Youth to participate. The Youth are the energy that drives any country, any vision, any dream. It is on their shoulders that we must delve away from the shackles of non- performance of the last few years. It is to them that I call upon to meaningfully move into small and medium enterprises, to get an education, to do something for themselves every day, to look up with pride and energy and help me transform our cities into clean places, help me defend our borders, help me move Malawi to a major force for good in this part of Africa.
We need women to participate in our development agenda. They are the ones that build the fabric of society. Women have always been at the core of the economic fabric of the African society. No society, and no economic system can do without women. My Administration intends to work with all women in utilising all of its human resource to develop this country in the shortest period possible.
NATIONAL RECONCILITAION
We need collective participation in development. That is why I have extended a hand of RECONCILIATION to my colleagues who contested for this highest office. I offer them a new way of doing politics in Malawi: Respect, Consultation, Integrity and Honesty. I offer them a progressive way of doing politics which should not push us asunder, but rather bring us together. Together we can do more for each other. Together we can do more for our communities. Together we can do more for our country.
My fellow Malawians, TODAY, we must begin to put interests of Country First before our own. And you do not need to be in government in order to love, serve and develop your country. I want you to spend one minute greeting those next to you, promising them that from now on You will put the interest of Malawi First above personal interest.
My fellow Malawians, these contestants are great and patriotic sons and daughters of the land. We were all fighting for the same thing - passion for a new direction, a transformational Leader for genuine change, we all shared those sentiments during the debates, We still share that common purpose to heal our country.
You voted for me because you saw that what we need as a Country is not vengeance and pretence but a transformational leader who would take this country to greater heights. Greater heights, indeed I promise you.
You saw just as I did that what we need is a unity of purpose to transform our country to a middle income country; capable of producing and exporting once more. You saw that what we need is development. My fellow Malawians, today we begin that journey, TOGETHER!
My fellow Malawians I swore to defend and protect the Constitution of Malawi and uphold the rule of law. This I will do. But let me make one thing clear. The law must be left alone to do its work whenever crime is committed. We should never again arrest anyone and hunt for the crime later. We should never again punish those we don’t like because they hold a political view different from ours. The age of using state instruments of justice to deal with our political opponents is gone. Let us not confuse the pursuit of justice with political vendettas.
RULE OF LAW
Fellow Malawians, in the last 12 months or so, there were a number of crimes committed against the State for example the infamous cashgate scandal. I wish to state that the cashgate investigations which Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda started will be pursued and concluded justly.
Malawians are waiting to know who did what. Malawians need their plundered resources paid back. Malawians need justice delivered and no one should blackmail the state by saying this is witch-hunting.
The Police, the Anti-Corruption Bureau the Directorate of Public Prosecution and other security and law enforcement agencies are from this day free to operate independently but, professionally.
We will fully arm the Anti-Corruption Bureau with human and financial capacity to do its job without the interference of the executive.
In service to the nation, I will not tolerate one day more if a Cabinet Minister or civil servant takes what does not belong to them. Next time you see a cabinet minister arrested, do not be surprised. My cabinet shall live up to this principle of being accountable to the people.
I want this message to be very clear even before I appoint my cabinet. If what anyone wants is to become rich instead of serving Malawians, then do not come into my cabinet. When I appoint you, please just say ‘No’! Today, I hereby draw a red line against corruption, theft of public funds, and I am prepared to draw this red line with my blood.
Today, we are launching a government that must be accountable to the people. The central principle of democracy is that everyone must be accountable to someone else. The rule of law follows to ensure that we are all accountable to the people and the law.
We cannot afford to waste time with plundering public resources. We have urgent work to do. As I have said, our country is on the edge of collapsing. This country is dying. Organs of government departments are in a state of paralysis. The veins of the economy in the private sector and businesses are paralysed. The cost of living is no longer affordable by many anymore. We cannot even afford to heal those in pain because there is no medicine in our hospitals. It is time to get this country functioning again. And we have no time to waste.
We shall protect the public purse because we need to provide adequate public services. These include quality health care to all Malawians, quality education, good infrastructure and investing in the creation of jobs. We need to invest in the creation of an efficient, motivated, results-oriented civil service which will be the catalyst for the creation of wealth. Our manifesto has promised to create new wealth, and we need a motivated and performing civil service to deliver our policies to the people.
MEDIA AND PUBLIC INFORMATION
Our administration will ensure that there is access to public information and in this regard we shall cooperate with all relevant stakeholders including the media in passing and implementation of the Access to Information Bill into law.
We will allow the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation operate in an open, free and fair manner, make independent editorial decisions and I don’t want my Minister of Information to interfere in their work. This is a promise I make to Malawi.
The era of using the Public Broadcaster for Political mileage is gone. The era of intransigence through use of the public broadcaster is gone.
PUBLIC SERVICE
There is no more doing business as usual. For the first time, we shall now have a central and local government. This will be the government of the people. From this year, the politics of development has changed. With the arrival of the ward councillors, government has come to your doorstep. I welcome all ward councillors, irrespective of your political party into the fold of government. You are part of the government of the people. And to you the people, make sure we do your will, provided it is the right will. And I invite the media to ensure that we deliver our promises.
At central government, we shall keep our promise to maintain a lean, disciplined and efficient cabinet of 20 members. Other new measures include reorganising our ministries for more efficiency. The new measures we bring include elevating the Ministry of Labour to a key ministry in my government. For us, Ministry of Labour is the engine-room for creating jobs. We must create jobs for the youth and everyone capable.
We will implement stern cost-cutting measures. This will include the President working in the office more than on the road. Yes, I will come around to visit you on state functions. But do not ask me to travel around aimlessly and spend your state resources. I will empower all relevant officials in the public service to do their work as they are mandated.
ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
But first, we will see to it that the economy begins to grow again. And we plan to take a “bottom-up” approach that involves and directly benefits ordinary people. And we plan to deliver a people centred economic growth at the rate of 7.5% in the next five years.
What you need is not your President being all over, but it is infrastructure development coming all over and wherever you are. Our plans are to build a new network of first class roads across Malawi. We need open up our rural centres to the main roads and cities of our country so that rural areas have tarmac road access to the rest of the country. We plan to build more rural growth centres so that we can take development to the people.
The DPP has already planned some of these projects. We started some of these projects before and we want to continue and do even more.
We will revive Malawi’s colourful dreams of Nsanje port and building new cities.
FOOD SECURITY
We plan to ensure that every Malawian can afford adequate food, a descent house, and a dignified means of earning a living.
You did not vote for maize in vain. We want to make fertiliser subsidy available to all subsistence maize farmers. We shall continue to grow surplus food to bring down the cost of living. And we shall revive the Green Belt initiative to make Malawi the breadbasket of Africa.
EDUCATION
It is time to revive an education system that empowers the youth in technical and productive skills as well as train them on how best to run their businesses. That is why we will introduce Community Colleges to empower the youth of this country to start creating their own wealth. This robust entrepreneurship education will also create a new middle class which has been missing since we received independence 50 years ago.
Our education programme also includes rehabilitating and expand existing universities while building and opening five new universities in Mzimba, Nkhotakota, Mangochi and Nsanje. And the forgotten MUST in Thyolo needs to properly open with high calibre internationally recognised scholars as soon as we get settled.
SOCIAL WELFARE
My fellow Malawians, is a Malawi without grass thatched houses possible? Yes it is.
We promised to subsidise iron sheets and cement and we are going to do just that. This policy will make construction easy and revive the construction industry.
A vibrant construction industry resuscitates the economy. A vibrant construction industry creates jobs for everyone, and it creates business for all sectors. We want to make construction easy because every Malawian wants to afford to sleep in a descent place.
Our street vendors, our tomato growers and our civil servants should be able to build houses for our mothers and fathers across those rivers, hills and villages where we all come from. And one day, we will travel this country and see development with our eyes everywhere.
SECURITY
As we begin a new era today, we commit ourselves to provide Malawians with “Total Security” so that every individual, our children, our property and businesses are safe. We must live in a country where we all feel safe.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
This country lives in a global community and it is no longer possible to think as if we are an island. We need development partners from the West and the East equally, North and South alike. Let it be known that Malawi will strive to be a friend to everyone in the global community. Even as we protect and uphold our sovereignty, we need each other as humankind in a common global community.
Malawi will continue being a good and trusted partner on the international scene.
We remain committed to the ideals of SADC, COMESA, African Union, the UN and other International Organisations where Malawi is a member.
CONCLUSION
In conclusion allow me to say that we voted for the rebirth of our country and a new beginning. We voted because we believe in the best of Malawi. Today, we have gathered with our feet here because we are ready to walk the new beginning. In every house of our communities we have gathered before television sets because we want to see the new beginning. Across the country, in every village, at every trading centre, in every shop and every house, and at every veranda, we have glued our ears to our radios because we want to hear that we have begun a new beginning. Because this is a new beginning we must walk together.
This is the will of the people. May the will of the people prevail as we move forward as one nation, one country, one destiny! And may God grant us the courage to change the things we can, the serenity to discern the things we cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.
We have this day consecrated our nation to walk the path of progress. Our future is for us all, and we need to work for it. No nation can live for us. No country can develop our country for us. So, let each one of us go and work hard knowing that we have a government that will see to it that we earn as we labour. No food for lazy man. Let us all go and roll up our sleeves and be productive with our lives.
My fellow Malawians, I want to thank our development partners our neighbours for being with us at all times.
And I thank Malawians for the spirited fight for our country to be where we are today.
May God bless our beloved country. May God bless you all.
Thank you!

Friday, May 30, 2014

2014 Malawi Elections Results -Congrats Peter, walk the talk now

Congratulations to the DPP family. The battle was great, but they have managed to sway Malawians that they offer the best option. Malawians now look forward to moving on after 10 day comedy that has damaged our nation. Congratulations Soulosi Chilima two, Malawi's 5th Vice President, cant wait for Government reforms to a corporate entity and selling of Malawi to foreign investors. We will again write more on such topics. Justice of Appeal and Chairman from the Malawi Electoral Commission at 11.32pm declared Professor Peter Mutharika as the duly elected 5th Republican President. Here is the breakdown:

His Excellency the President-elect: Professor Peter Mutharika (DPP) 1, 904 399- 36.4%
Reverend Dr. Lazarus Chakwera (MCP) 1 455 808-Leader of Opposition- 22.8%
Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda (PP)  1 056 236 -20.2%
Mr. Atupele Muluzi (UDF)717 224-13.7%

How will Professor Mutharikas Presidency look like, read the 2009 interview he granted to me which is among the older posts of this blog.
Congratulations to DPP, now lets build one Malawi


Our democracy, our land, one Malawi

There has never been a time in our history when the country has faced one of its most critical challenge like the one we are facing now. Last night the Chairman of the Malawi Electoral Commission Justice Maxon Mbendera declared the process of the disputed 2014 Tripartite elections free, fair and credible. The only question everyone has, is to whom.
The Justice of Appeal went further, describing the 65 anomalies that had been noted as such and not consistent pattern to subvert the will of the people. This was on the eve of a court ruling, that will reclaim Malawi either as a democratic or a chaotic nation.
We have become a laughing stock, reduced entirely as a travelling theatre and nobody among our political class seem to care. They all want their positions to prevail. The Courts have been dragged into the mud and for the first time, Malawi's most independent Government branch has come under attack from all sides based on ones political inclination.
The biggest question is what next for Malawi? Where did we go wrong that today we have reached at a circus level of a nation? Who can salvage the situation? And what could be the future.
There are many hardworking Malawians, who live barely on the few kwachas they make everyday. The majority remain poor, the pay cheque has been devalued over the years and simply life is tough. This electoral impasse is not helping anybody to say the least. The few tourists we had, they have all gone. Business meetings cancelled even charities are hesitant to proceed. Apart from the constitutional crisis, we are now heading towards a fiscal crisis where the budget will collapse on June 30, 2014 and without any recourse to a proper Government system, services will have to come to halt and then the economy, already sliding down will eventually collapse.
Where are we coming from. We are a nation that is proud to be identified as tribalistic. Look at the voting pattern and results, they tell you everyone voted for "wakwawo" save for the few districts in the North and Centre. This is what has brought us to the end. 
There was no vote for young people estimated to be at least 2 million voters for their fellow youth Atupele. He should have won easily. But even the next generation of voters are tribalistic, they did not care the age or message, neither did they want to hear anything other than the candidates from their tribe. The same with women voters, they did not want a woman despite all their cries for equality, they voted mainly on tribal lines. I can confidently say that the women of Malawi, as they let their opportunity to vote for their fellow woman, will have to wait for another perhaps 50 years before making it to the top again. Thats my prophecy.
From the tribal card, we have been arrogant for the past four elections mainly by politicians in the ruling parties to change and conform our electoral rules to best practices. One of the key thing is that we are paying for not having adequate laws to ensure that the voice of majority, at each election should be heard. There is a whole document from the Law Commission gathering dust somewhere which proposed that a President should be elected with 50+1. Which meant after all this madness, we should have had a second round to determine by majority who should rule us. Every selfish decision has consequences and I can say thats what has brought us to this mess.
The other element is the logistical systems we have in place. First of all the framers of the constitution in 1993-94 realised the huge task of organizing elections. They separated the Local Councils from General Elections. Even in  England today, Local Government elections are held a year before General Elections realising the massive logistics that they require. Even counting at one tally centre, there was abit of chaos.
It was a wrong decision to combine the three and it would be intelligent to revert to what was obtaining in the beginning. These donor pushed changes should come with proper funding and logistical systems before we accept wholesale changes.
The other element that is critical is that we need the National Identity card, which is biometric and issued from birth and cancelled at birth. This card should be used to vote. The card will simply identify how many Malawians are over 18 and those that want can always go and register in the vote register using the card to vote. This will reduce the expensive exercise of issuing new voter cards every five years. Unfortunately the process for us to have identities is also taking ages.
So where are heading. The crisis that is in Malawi is political, only a political solution will solve it. Everyone, every stakeholder in the election should start rethinking their positions and what is good for Malawi. There is no sense in fighting in court, it will just continue the division.
Late Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda said only contact and dialogue solve problems, he said you can shout in Lusaka, shout in London or Addis Ababa, but only when you sit down and talk do you find a solutions. Mozambicans fought for 17 years, sat down for one year and spoke to each other, now they are on their way to prosperity. Nelson Mandela was in jail for 27years, started secret talks with Boers administration, within two years South Africa was on its way to a democracy. In Angola, they fought for 18 years, sat down in the 18th year, within months they were on their way to peace.
Its only in sitting down and talking that a solution can be found. Let us go for Negotiations and not medication and conciliation. There is a huge difference between the three. Article 33 of the United Nations Charter encourages all of them as processes towards a peaceful settlement to any challenges.
Today, my appeal is simple let all 12 Presidential Candidates convene and meet, not four, but 12. Why, as we have noted, some can join one side and bring more challenges.
For People rioting in Mangochi whose property are they burning, whose business are they blocking, a closer look is of their own families and freinds and neighbours. Violence begets Violence.
Bravo to the Malawi Security Agencies for remaining professional at this time, the end will only come with talking to each other.
It is after all, Our democracy, our land and our only Malawi

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Form a Government of National Unity

Malawi is at a crossroads. There is very little that will come from the current election circus. If it is proven of rigging, we have to arrest the rigger and ban them. It will be a crisis. The present danger is that even if one is declared a winner of this election, their legitimacy and ability to govern will be weakened. The elections were a total shamble and the result is not credible. Justice Mbenderas attitude has not been helping matters. Even if we recount so many times, we will have the danger of nobody accepting results. There is one solution, let us from a Government of National Unity for one year. Let us through the government institute electoral reforms and set a date for Presidential elections. All parties should participate in the new Government and elections should be managed by all people. This process has failed Malawi and we are racing against time to time bomb.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Malawi elections recount

I totally agree to the recount, but we should stand firm on our constitution principles people advising JB should know Malawi belongs to us, any damage to it we pay to it. For JB she has worked hard to be where she is, I expect her to guard her legacy and status. Many people across the World believe in her. The decision to cancel the election was wrong and I will always stand by that. God Bless Malawi, keep it a Land of Peace

Malawi elections cancelled

JB won't run and Malawians will decide