Letter from the Capital: Govt not a travelling circus
For the record, before we forget, let us agree that things are not well in the Capital and Mzimba. ‘People’ seem confused and don’t know how to speak to their potential voters.
You have heard about the case of the Mponela beds, which were taken by night (Nicodemus style) and spirited to some rural health centres in Mzimba, in the name of equitable distribution of resources among government health facilities.
Mbwiiye, you have seen how, under pressure from the people, the people’s power, the beds will find their way back to Mponela.
Now, Mbwiiye, here is a government that has just soiled its political clothes in Karonga and profusely apologised for the same. Of course, as good citizens, we have taken the apology.
But then, to immediately start mis-timing other issues—taking beds to the epicentre of an electoral activity, where government, the ruling party, have an interest?
Mbwiiye, this tells the type of Capitalists we now have. They are not decent in their verbiage; they do not have a sense of judgement and surely are not the best political marketers in town. Trying to corrupt voters with beds?
This, Mbwiiye, is what we say: “Mwatcherakumwezinkhangazaona[You have laid your traps on the moon and guinea fowls have seen the danger]” or we describe this as “kusimidwa” (Utter desperation).
The point I am driving at is that the People’s Party (PP), which some people are describing as a ‘PakhomoPaamanu’ outfit following the Karonga debacle, has to have a suitable political message for the people of Mzimba and, indeed, all our people in the country.
Mbwiiye, you know the country is burning. People’s disposal incomes have been grossly eroded by the two devaluations. The floating of the kwacha in an economy which barely produces and exports has also left people racing in vain for their kwacha value that is going down the economic slope by the day.
Mbwiiye, people need answers. Who has been saying donors and technical partners will bring special packages to cushion such suffering? Has that happened? Or, at what point is the relief aid?
You see; as far as our opposition party and others are concerned, the people have been fed some rot. You have heard what some donors have just said, that they will not release any budgetary support to our Capital till 2015. Yes, 2015, after the 2014 polls!
Some of them argue they want to monitor the governance, human rights and economic management situation before they pour out their aid. This, Mbwiiye, is the very same goal-post they put on the neck of your late Professor Moya. In other words, it seems our Capital has not yet seriously addressed governance issues.
I would add that the fellows have not yet got it right on fiscal discipline. How, we ask, do you take a 40-plus person entourage to the UN and sleep in an ultra-posh hotel when your people are barely making ends meet at home?
Mbwiiye, this is a serious miscalculation and the type of insensitivity we should not indulge in when we get back to power in 2014.
It tells us, real time, the type and genetic make-up of people running our Capital and why the donors have developed cold feet. Of course, donors all over always shift goal-posts when it suits them. To be honest, this is why the late Professor Moya wanted to dispense with them.
The theory and empirical evidence on the ground is that no country has ever developed out of donor aid. If anything, if some so-called Third World countries have developed and graduated into middle-income or advanced economies, it has been due to their own natural resources, how they have added value to the same and exported; not relying on handouts. But let us park that argument for a while. We will pick it up later.
But suffice to say today’s donors will always find potholes in our way of doing things and justify their erratic commitments and cooperation.
They can take advantage of our indecent political language or politicisation of public resources—as the Karonga-Dowa-Mzimba script shows—to craft excuses and dupe us.
Right now, they are citing financial problems at home and the need to rectify that first before helping reckless Third World despots and their extravagant governments. Mbwiiye, all this makes sense: blood is thicker than water.
In the interim, you and I as well as other citizens out there should now take the cue and start seeking serious accountability from the Capital. After all, it is our taxes that these fellows are burning with impunity.
They can’t be insulting us over the same. It is our, not their money.
This, Mbwiiye, is the message we should be taking to the people of Dowa and Mzimba. We should roast the ruling PP and make them run for their trophy (if they are to get it) in this electoral hotbed.
My last point today: One runs government by working in the Capital and not running around world capitals. Government is also not about begging and trying to woo investors or ‘plastering’ Black or Pink caucuses in America or China, respectively, with half truths or excitements of a new office; no. Government, to quote our now venerable Atcheya, is serious b’bicinesi. You have to sit down and work, the late Kamuzu Banda style.
Government is about serious strategy, long-term and shared planning, not hastily put together so-called Economic Recovery Plans that are more on paper or in the minds and dreams of politicians than bringing food to the people’s tables.
This, Mbwiiye, is what we should be taking to Mzimba prior to October 9 and on our road to 2014.
In other words, as the current Capitalists will be busy apologising for their iniquities, let us go to the people and talk serious business.
Let us promise the people that ours will not be about 40-people circuses, but rather robust service, to serve the people.
We will also not be busy enriching ourselves, offering jobs and contracts to our kinsmen and women; no. We have learnt great lessons out of that. Hatizabwereza.
Mbwiiye, I am writing you all this for and on behalf of the late Moya original, whose sound economic and leadership ideas people are now agreeing with.
Again, think about these things as we head for 2014, in the name of:
The late Rt.Hon.K.L.Mphwanye,
OSP, OLM, OCK, OLT
Achiever of MDGs, Professor of Government (China),
Doctor of Laws (HonorisCausa), Western Pacific,
Demolisher of Donors (Lilongwe)