Mizimu (Ghosts) Causing Stagnation and Retrogression in Malawi?

I once heard someone say that “when the so-called educated, exposed and informed stay away from actively participating in positively shaping the situation in their country, they implicitly choose to be politically led by mediocrity”.

Now listen to us the educated and exposed making noise about the mediocrity in our leadership; a futile endeavor because it changes nothing. In my country, Malawi, our parliament is “infested” with the so-called educated, exposed and informed but what have we gotten out of it? Retrogression of seismic proportion.
You can also read my earlier blog titled So Much for The Most Educated Parliament Ever

I challenge anyone to prove to me that our country is stagnating or even retrogressing because our country is led by clueless “captains”. No way! They are not clueless. They just do not care much about Malawi in general. Our true progress will come from people (educated or not educated) with passion for real development, change and progress not from people hell bent on self aggrandizement and personal survival.

I am acquainted with so many “seemingly” educated, exposed and informed Malawians most of whom are currently captains in very influential positions in government, politics, corporate sector, civil society and in business. Many of these are my fellow born-free generation (born after 1964); the very generation that was once touted to lead Malawi to a better future but sadly we are the very architects or operatives of the ills that are afflicting our country.On the other hand, we are at the forefront of condemning the retrogression taking place in Malawi as if someone else will come from somewhere to fix things for us.

If one goes into any institution in my country and scratch any of the Board Members, CEO, Managing Directors, Judges, Justices, Parliamentarians, other executives, top Diplomats, Heads of departments, Director Generals, other directors, Managers, Supervisors, District Commissioners, Principal Secretaries and even Cabinet Ministers, they will find out that the majority are my generation. Yes colleagues, we are the engine that is running this “dump”. We cannot continue blaming it on our parents’ generation and even recycled politicians. We are the engine. The recycled politicians are a manifestation of our “hands-off and our I-care-only-about-me” attitude. We can all testify that things used to work efficiently in this country and we experienced very high standards. At the center of all the systemic inefficiencies and deteriorating standards, our generation is there leading the charge. Give me names and I swear a majority of them are my generation. Many of them I have even shared my varsity cafeteria with between 1989 and 1993. Yes, I am talking about you.

Colleagues, this is our country. We know and always talk about what needs to be done. We know the roots of the problems, we have been out there and we know how we can blend what we have experienced locally and what we have seen or learnt out there into our own Malawian solutions. But somewhere somehow we lose it.

Things used to work in this beautiful country. A majority of us, if not all, we are where we are because we had high standards in this country. So it’s not like we have no realistic benchmark. We lived in it.

Hey! Come to think of it. Maybe we have a “ghost” problem. How about we hold prayers at Chileka and Kamuzu International airports to exorcise the evil spirits or ghosts that might be robing us of valuable knowledge, exposure, vision and ideas the moment we land at these two airports?

Why do I say this? All the so-called movers and shakers; when they go on world tours for further education, pleasure, life and careers abroad, and international conferences, they usually return through these two ports of entry. I can swear something happens when we land at KIA or CIA. What else could it be then? I am dumb founded.

I repeat, my generation, the one that used to be called “Malawi’s Leaders of Tomorrow” we get so worked up on social media and other forums about what needs to happen in Malawi. We seem to have all the solutions for Malawi but as soon as we get on the ground in Malawi, we become the perpetuators of the ills that we complain about when we are on the sidelines. We shouldn’t blame only the Malawi leadership for Malawi’s ills but us the generation who are supposedly so exposed and equipped to actually move our country forward but have abdicated that responsibility to a band of no-do-gooders who know nothing but short-sighted survival of self with us as the engine. We have lost our right to criticize and complain about Malawi’s ills. Our inaction and laissez-faire or the-devil-may-care attitude are the inherent conduits of the situation as we see it today.

Better still; maybe when coming back from our tours we should end all our flights in Malawi’s neighboring countries then travel by road into Malawi just to bypass these airport ghosts.

Mwina ndi mizinu pa airport. Tiyeni tidziyenda pa lorry tikamabwelela kumudzi. Nanga ndi chani abale anzanga ine inu? Zinazi kamba’nga mwala ndithu.


About Hastings Fukula Nyekanyeka Betha

Born in Malawian and advocate of community mobilization, citizens' active participation in sustainable community development, and youth empowerment. Primarily focusing on "Organizing Against Poverty" by encouraging a new generation of players to participate in and influence the development of our communities
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13 Responses to Mizimu (Ghosts) Causing Stagnation and Retrogression in Malawi?

  1. Lovely hard hitting piece! I totally agree with you we blame every one else for our ills except for ourselves!

  2. Doing some research on social norms and came across the social convention theory which was used to explain why people do not stop certain behaviours. Theory argues that its impossible for one individual to break away from the community because their is no incentive in deviating. So even if these educated people come here and want to change everyone else is doing it a particular way and there is no merit for you to do it differently. I mean do we award those people that do it right in Malawi? At present there is lack of clear governance structures to allow for transparency. How do we name and shame people and most importantly how do we recognise those that doing well in the political arena especially. Until there is a way of awarding good behaviour its business as usual I would argue. Behaviour change through advocacy like this will take time but it would take the majority to step away and support those that are breaking away to change this equilibrium state we are in. I think your blog and many others I am reading would suggest that the tides are changing .. keep on keeping on

  3. Thomas Louis Munthali says:

    Good one Nyex, it is indeed our responsibility to take our beloved country forward. i guess our altitudes and our priorities are misplaced. Talking of KIA and Chileka International Air Port, how do we a low in this day and age the use of dzimabuku or hard cover for collating one’s pass port details upon entry into our beloved country? i am sure investing in a new computerised system would not cost an arm and a leg. That process is really depressing. However, complaining will not help, we need to start acting. i therefore will volunteer to follow up with the relevant authorities to ensure that the manual system is discontinued, that is my promise and i will keep you posted. How about starting a movement whereby we tackle one or several issues at a time.

  4. Its got nothing to do with ghosts. as you have rightly put it, the blame is on us. we want freedom from all this but we are not ready to fight for it. we do not want to sacrifice for our country. we dont even take the first step so that if we fail we should fail trying.

  5. Alick Mjuma Nyasulu says:

    by the way KIA and Chileka are now fully computerised….but very hard hitting..kodi mkunena ine?

  6. ferdinand says:

    Quite an interesting blog, the only pathetic thing is that 99.99% of malawians reading this blog will just agree with you and do nothing. May the lord almighty help me to be in the 0.01%.

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  8. Alex Phiri says:

    Splitting hairs. Poverty and corruption is at the root of it all. Theft has become part of the culture – everybody from houseboys to the head of state are continually crafting quick get-rich schemes. Unfortunately, we don’t have effective checks and balances to curb abuse of public resources. We will not change Malawi by changing morality, but rather by stopping these idiots who as you aptly describe them, are hell bent on wrecking havoc on Malawi

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  13. Thanks for the tip, I will be taking off from mozambique and walk in.???
    In ur thinking 92 billion, 24 billion and the other unknown stolen money contribute to nothing to current situation. But the blame goes to pple trying to talk about tax money , miss used.
    I know u have a negative prospective on guy who have travel, not all are good and not all malawians who have not travelled are perfect. I am telling you a person can come back as a deport but most guys don’t come the same. It’s a learning process. The thing is u spend time fighting in media instead of working things out. I would say you go visit in country in 1 of the donor country, u can cry. Malawi is so poor infact u can see it as u coming out of the plain in so called airport.why do we steal.
    About the spirits and ur prays, most of us believe in spiritual so much, infact u will see asing’anga ndi ambili kuno even most of them are going out there. I know our parents long ago believed in it. And no wander why we connect so much in country. Am a Christian I can understand but not all citizen understand ur spiritualism .
    It all start with responsible readers to direct the country. Can we have proper followers with corrupt readership . Kuphunzira sinkalasi mokha, yendani and make sure u come the airport , it’s just low but on but no evil spirit waiting.

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