Friday, 23 February 2018
Opinion: Lack of political will: politicians are the cause of Malawi being the poorest country on earth By Saunders Jumah
President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika
Malawi, despite her despotic beginning at independence, had a visionary foundation. Despite having a founding president who had his vices, but a foundation stone for the future was laid.
The problem came in 1994, clearly the founders of democracy had no clue as to what government entails. Myopia of innovation.
In 1980 Malawi became the first nation in the SADC region, if not out of the continent, to have an Ethanol plant in Nkota-Kota district. There was a vision that in future, fossil fuels will not be sustainable, hence the need for green fuels to be planned.
Brazil in South America and one state of the United States of America embarked on green fuels using sugar cane as a raw materials for fuel. Malawi being an agriculture economy was chosen to have the next plant for the future.
Ethanol began to be extracted on Malawi soil. By 1986 all vehicles and automobiles started using fuel blend with 20% Ethanol and 80% gasoline.
On the paper that was signed at Sanjika Palace, by Malawi government and one Zimpet company of Brazil, there was need to send our youth to Brazil in future to learn on how to use pure Ethanol fuel by 1995.
Two engineers from Brazil were sent to Malawi to partner with Malawi engineers, to start the work of converting gasoline engines to use locally extracted Ethanol fuel.
The Utopian and one Engineer Geoffrey Mtaula, who is late, happened to drive on Malawi soil in a car that was converted in Malawi using pure Ethanol fuel.
The plan was to convert all vehicles that do not travel outside the country by using Ethanol to cut costs and grow the economy. Malawi was one of the nations with hopes for the future. If that plan had innovative minds, today Malawi could not be importing oil for domestic markets and its needs.
The first Earth Satellite Station for telephone and television, were commissioned in Malawi in the 1980s and SADC citizens have come to learn telecommunication capabilities from our land. Yet many of today’s Malawi citizens are ignorant of telecommunications technology.
There were many foundations that were laid out for the future but “Democracy and multiparty leaders” who came to take over from these foundations, lacked innovative mindsets.
For us to blame the foundational past we will be doing our nation wrong. Our foundation was right, we lack this same vision to enhance and move on with those foundation stones.
We had Malawi Development Corporation (MDC), that met such bigger and mega projects like Ethanol Factory and Earth Satellite Station, international financial institutions came to top up from what we had.
The very same Ethanol plant, if enhanced by now could be generating energy and add electricity to the national grid today if our leaders had the vision like that of the founding father (Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda).
The 1994 multiparty democracy did not have a huddle to switch on to digital television, because had the best foundation. What lacked was the visionary industrialization thinking skills because as Atelevisios were being switched on, Dwangwa Ethanol plant could also have started generating energry.
Even if we could not produce direct energy from the plant, but had the innovation continued, we could have had our own engineers to convert the acquired generators that have just been purchased or leased, converted and used with the fuel of Ethanol from sugar produced locally to cut costs.
There are a lot of projects that have been closed or liquidated because of lack of foresight by our politicians. MALDECO Fisheries could be producing tinned fish products by now, if foresighted leadership were there after 1994.
The key factor that could produce all these insights and foresights has just been degraded to zero; education has gone down in our nation. The next 30 years graduates that will be produced in Malawi, will be clueless of what innovation entails.
The professor who is ruling Malawi today goes around in podiums and insults the founding fathers of independent Malawi for lacking vision. The Utopian cries hearing this. Are we blaming Kamuzu Banda for not having enough electricity in Malawi in 2018? Are we insane?
Foundations were laid, you just have no guts and innovation to connect with what was laid to develop this nation to higher levels.
We have over 2 billion tonnage of coal at Kaziwiziwi, we have over 2.5 million tons of Strontianite, we have over 300 million tons of rare earth or Kaolinic clays, we have 45 million tons of Bauxite in Mulanje mountain, we have Hydro Carbons on Lake Malawi and onshore Lower Shire. We have kimberlite diamonds along the Kirk and Dzalanyama ranges, we have uranium in Usisya in Karonga, and we have lime and cement stones (unaccountable quantity) in Kasungu. Why blame the past as if all these mineral resources went with the past leaders?
Above all else, Malawi has the richest agriculture soil that produces maize and rice, sorghum, millet, ground nuts and beans. Why are we hungry?
A small nation of Malawi was created like the planet Earth itself. Over one sixth of our nation is covered with water, why should we blame God in heaven for our poverty and hunger?
Lack of innovation is the parasite that is eating the heads and brains of Malawi politicians.
The love of money, the love of luxury and serendipitous life, is what is killing our nation. No wonder 17 million citizens have over 54 political parties; for what?
In 24 years, three different political parties have ruled Malawi, all of them are embroiled with one disease “corruption and looting.” This is what politicians are fighting each other for, to get into the government and steal.
As 2019 approaches; citizens of Malawi must wake up to realize that we are not a poor nation, but our politicians are poor in their brains.
The citizens of Malawi must start listening carefully from politicians who come around our homesteads to lure and campaign for our votes. Not all have Malawi in their hearts; some if not many, want to come and steal so that the life they never lived before, can be changed after entering State House.
Competition for State House must not be the search for “luxury” but for innovation.
Bringing our nation up.
We have the foundation by nature and by hand; we do not need to be crying.
Some will come to tell you they need your votes because for four years they ran the country without donor support; who said a nation must run by foreign assistance?
Where is our sovereignty if we depend on a begging bowl? If we live by foreign assistance, are we a nation or an annex of the foreign nation?
This dictum must open the eyes of all citizens of Malawi, let us elect leaders of vision and innovation.
We need leaders with foresights and insights. Malawi is not a poor nation.he truth is that Malawi has poor-brained leaders.
It is therefore, an appeal to all citizens, let us in2019 vote for leaders who are rich in vision, and foresight not those who are hungry to steal your taxes.
You will know a person by his action and the gravity of his talk.
Saunders Jumah is a regular contributor of the Maravi Post; he is associated with the MALAWI ENGAGEMENT GROUP [MAENGA], DEFENDERS OF THE FUTURE OF MALAWI [MADEFU]