Written by YAMIKANI SIMUTOWE
FORMER Malawi president Dr. Bakili Muluzi used to say running the government was serious business and we understand and believe the assertion. This business needs people, serious people who can always realize that Malawians, rather the electorate, have the constitutional right to voice their views on issues affecting them and hold the president accountable.
What do voters really want? They want a government of the people, for the people, by the people. Democracy, that's its other name.
But most leaders are deaf. They don’t listen to the concerns raised by ordinary Malawians.
President Joyce Banda in April this year promised to sell of the presidential jet and reduce the motorcade but today she has changed the tune, she needs a consultant to advice her whether to sell or not. Really?
We can’t about talk of the future without the past. Former president, the late Bingu wa Muntharika, won the hearts of Malawians during his first term in office due to good and sound economic policies that helped economy grow. Donors were all smiles, pumping money into Malawi.
Slowly, he changed. He didn’t listen to anybody including the Church. Critics were hounded and Malawi was becoming a police state. He told off donors, saying they leave the country for questioning his policies.
Some Malawians, if not all, were all smiles when President Joyce Banda took power in April this year. She took over an economy in ruins. Within 100 days, Banda devalued the Malawi kwacha and this necessitated upward adjustment of prices for basic commodities. Water and electricity tariffs were also hiked. And just recently the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority announced new fuel prices, squeezing further poor Malawians.
The economy is down again and nobody seems to know how Malawians are going to get out of the economic mess they are in.
Those that are reminding and asking the president to sell off the presidential jet and reduce her excessive motorcade, declare her assets and stop “endless travels” are being publicly blasted. It’s just like we are living during the days of Mutharika.
The president, her cabinet and all parliamentarians continue to live well while the nation is suffering.
Today, Malawians are singing the same sad song they sang a year ago when they took to the streets and 19 people were killed by police fire. The voices of many Malawians, one can only hope, will be heard once again.