President Peter Mutharika and his stooges in the ruling DPP can shout on top of their voices and send all sorts of unsavoury profanities at Public Affairs Committee (Pac) to silence it into submission but it will not wash among Malawians.
The quasi-religious body met last week and reached a verdict that this administration is a spectacular failure in all facets.
It is not that the issues that Pac has raised— rampant corruption, nepotism, regionalism, selective application of justice, loss of direction as regards the development agenda, unmanaged economy, indecisiveness of President Peter Mutharika in matters that need his resolve, among other things—are any new.
These are the issues that are well known even to children in this country and to imagine that the DPP administration would be up in arms, protesting and asking Pac to form a political party is patently incredible.
Pac is very clear in articulating its position and its publicity secretary Father Peter Mulomole put it so well the other day when he said building a stadium here, and a road there, though necessary, is not far reaching enough in human development.
What is far reaching, on the contrary, is the change of quality of life for all Malawians and on this we generally agreed that as a country we have not made a dent 53 years since independence.
The UNDP this week released the human development report and, as expected, we are at the tail end of the index once again.
The overriding theme at the launch of the report was the paradox of a country that has been at peace throughout the 53 years of its independence and, yet, it is bundled together with failed states beset with civil wars and broken nationhood at the end of the index
A responsible government would by now be angry and get to work cooking and implementing plans that can bring the changes that the country desperately needs.
But the Mutharika administration cannot because it is slovenly incompetent and has no clue on how to change our fortunes. If you ask me it is yet another five wasted years and we are stuck until 2019.
The President opened the tobacco selling season this week. He did it with the usual DPP pomp and empty bravado.
The party’s secretary general Greseder wa Jeffrey nearly turned the opening of the season into a political rally and cast a few aspersions into perceived political enemies—another missed opportunity by a government that barely sees issues beyond its nose.
But to some of us, the opening of the Auction Floors was another reminder of how the rural economy has crumbed to its knees and is crying for attention of anybody who calls himself president or government in this country.
The tobacco industry is chaotic and controlled by buyers who are also growers.
Everybody sees that the tobacco buying companies are favouring their own tobacco with better prices in a process called contract farming with a view to recover their costs.
The same buyers are offering a pittance to any other leaf from regular farmers and the government cannot raise its finger for fear of upsetting these foreign buyers.
The buyers can reject bales on the floor from regular farmers with wild abandon, with a view to buy the leaf at a giveaway later and the whole government system is looking the other side.
Yet tobacco at some point nearly changed the quality of life of the rural masses especially in the 1980s.
Today it is down on its knees. Malawians in the rural areas are fumbling in the dark as to what crop they should grow if only to earn a little money to send their children to school.
Nobody in government has time for them. Nobody wants to show them how to grow other crops apart from tobacco and lead them to new markets.
During the opening of the tobacco season, all we heard from Mutharika was the same old jazz that his brother, the late Bingu, was waxing about and it is up to bully buyers to offer good prices.
What the tobacco industry needs is someone who can stand up for the local farmer in the village not the empty talk we heard from Mutharika.
The issue is not fighting Pac and calling it names but making the necessary changes to improve the quality of our lives