Its gonna be the fourth multiparty election since we first elected Bakili Muluzi in 1994. The outcome from this election has a strong bearing on the direction of Malawi and its future. We go into this election still faced with many challenges despite colourful promises that politicians dangle into minds.
Our state of poverty needs no reminding but often politicians ignore the approaches that we need to take to address. Come May 2009, most Malawians do not have access to safe, portable water. Access to basic health services with most rural health centres without basic drugs for the most common infections. A proportionate number of women still deliver babies in dangerous circumstances without the help of a medical practitioner. Drugs and medical supplies, despite a lot of funds allocated in the national budget are not accessible to the people that need them. The funds allocated to training of nurses has not been adequate amid a massive brain drain.
Education, so say they say is key to success. A productive and well trained workforce is fundamental to achieving development, progress and economic development. Our recent wave of growth, in earnest, has come from “subsistence farming” that does not create value often done by peasant farmers. Skills continue to lack for sectors that are associated with a country making progress like technology based industries. The base of education is skewed against the rural children that have one or two teachers catering for eight classes yet their counterparts in the city have so many teachers. The Universities, despite cries of funding, have, since 1994 or perhaps even since the establishment lacked the creativity and move with the times to contribute to national development. What are the philosophies and approaches various political competitors in the forthcoming elections have on education. I have not heard much so far. Lots of our young, are not making it to the University and there is a corresponding lack of investment in apprentices. How do you expect the CCAP and Catholic churches to provide this service. The question is why has governments since 1994 not invested much in technical colleges so that our young people can acquire trade skills and contribute alot to national development.
Well, in my opinion, I think government since 1994 have not been doing enough to provide an enabling environment for national progress and development. An enabling environment is investing in education, health, infrastructure and crafting laws that are friendly to business instead of wasting time on cheap politicking of the Section 65 mania. Perhaps, I would without hesitation say the current regime has made some strides on infrastructure development particularly roads amid a very hostile political environment. The Mozambique power interconnection Bill however, is an example of how politicians can go far to flex their muscles and power their egos at the expense of national development and progress!!! Its been an example of a major setback in infrastructure development.
And finally, I still see an opposition whose core objective is to remove a ruling party from government...that done, its mission accomplished!!!That diverging political organisations exist, should not entail plundering national resources and repositioning our country towards poverty reduction and improving the standards of living for our people who again will be used as pawns in the political mafia game in May 2009.