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Don’t just blame the Politicians – Z Allan Ntata


Looting and want to live happier even after losing power?
Don’t get me wrong. We do have a leadership crisis in the country. We cannot beat about the bush on this issue.When you hear a so called energy minister talking about ESCOM, the national electricity power supply company as though he has just landed from Mars, when in fact he is the ultimate boss of that particular company, you have to resign to the fact that power outages and blackouts are here to stay.

Reacting to the said minister’s ignorance regarding the inefficiencies and inadequacies of a parastatal 100 per cent under his control, one of my colleagues took exception.

The first sad fact about ESCOM is that it is failing to provide electricity yet only 10 per cent of the 17 million Malawians are connected to the electricity grid, while some of our neighbouring countries have an 85 per cent connection rate.

The second sad fact is that the minister was deliberately feigning ignorance on matters he knows very well.

“Honourable Minister”, my colleague said, “Let me help you understand why ESCOM is failing. If you folks steal from it, it will fail.

“If you folks create dubious companies that ESCOM pays for supplying nothing, it will fail. If you guys abuse ESCOM’s assets, it will fail. So don’t pretend you don’t know why ESCOM is failing like this.”

Z Allan Ntata
ESCOM  unfortunately, is not the only institution failing Malawians. Water supply is also erratic with services offered hovering at around 30 per cent of what they’re supposed to deliver, resulting in patients dying in hospitals because of blackouts and water shortages, have now been added to  lack of hospital equipment and drugs.

Meanwhile, politicians and their cronies are building 28 house compounds and fighting for who will scam MACRA or  who will get the cut in military procurements.

And while Rome is burning thus, while Nero is posing with Bill Clinton and rubbing shoulders with world rulers, I chanced upon a senior Democratic Progress Party (DPP) minister while on a short visit to Blantyre.

So, naturally snatching at the opportunity to put this politician in his place, I was about to begin heaping the entire fault on him and his fellow politicians when he stopped me in mid sentence.

According to him, it is an open secret that there is no leadership in the DPP. The daily corruption and looting stories we are reading in the media are true and are the result of an “everyone for himself God for us all” policy that the higher echelons of the party have now adopted in lieu of a constitution.

Apparently, President Peter Mutharika’s greatest phobia is not the fear of failing to bring 24 hour electricity to all Malawians who can afford electricity, nor the failure to live up to his promise and bring cashgate looters and pillagers to book as he so loudly proclaimed in the DPP manifesto.

Mutharika’s greatest fear in not that he is failing to lead the nation to prosperity or that it is looking increasingly clear that he will leave no development legacy whatsoever as compared to his brother.

Peter Mutharika’s is most concerned only that should he lose the presidency, he should never again experience the financial misery he went through when he was suddenly thrust into the opposition after the death of his brother.

And this mentality has of course caught on, and to last man in the DPP. Everyone who is in a position with room to loot is looting to ensure that if they ever find themselves out of the ruling seat, they should not struggle the way they did when Joyce Banda took over the presidency.

This explains why there is no progress, no direction and no leadership. It is a dog eat dog style of government with the masses left to fend for themselves.

Add to this the leaked audio clip of a conversation between Mrs Patricia Kaliati and her informer, there is no doubt that there is no leadership to reign in the infighting and the bickering over what are deemed more lucrative positions which serve as highways to looting street.

But if it is true that there is a leadership vacuum, and all we can do as a people is acknowledge this from the discomfort of our blacked out and waterless living rooms and kitchens, then the joke is on us.

The greatest culprit in all of this mess that our country is in at the moment is us, the populace; the citizens.

How long shall we continue to watch the drama and fold our hands thinking the solution is not in fact ours to implement?

I have accepted the blame. The politicians may be responsible for creating the mess, but for correcting and fixing the problems facing our nation, that responsibility is mine. It is ours as the people in whom the legitimacy and legality of the politicians’ power is derived.

So if we are not doing anything about it but mourn, complain and whine, we are the ones to blame. My question, then, is simply this: What are you doing for your country?

What are you willing to do for your country to have better leadership?

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Z Allan Ntata’s Uncommon Sense: Don’t just blame the Politicians

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