Friday, October 7, 2011

Cry, my beloved Malawi

I spent a few weeks in Malawi in the month of September. It was great to be home and to see family and friends after an unusually lengthy break. It was also an opportunity to work on some outstanding projects at home before taking on some new work responsibilities.
I was impressed with how resolute Lecturers at Chancellor College remain in the struggle for Academic Freedom. On a couple of occasions, I walked in solidarity with my colleagues as they took part in their daily freedom walk around the Chirunga campus and sang the abridged version of the national anthem.
I also had the opportunity to watch the Malawi Flames take on Tunisia in an Africa Cup of Nations soccer qualifier game at the Kamuzu Stadium. It is perhaps a reflection of how far Malawi soccer has advanced (well, the national team version that is) that most people came home disappointed with a 0-0 result against one of the giants of African soccer.
Sadly, there were so many challenging encounters that made me somewhat happy to leave it all behind. Driving to Neno on one of the worst roads imaginable or to Nakhunda in Zomba on a road that has no right to be in a city (if one believes the bill board on the road side from Zomba to Nankhunda) made me wonder what stuff the President and his cronies are smoking when they say Malawi has made so much development progress.
The constant struggle for fuel - where the only reliable source of diesel  is Tsangano turn off-  or the frustrating lack of forex in the country,  just demonstrated how challenging life has become in my beloved Malawi. This is not even to mention the high and ever increasing price of commodities.
Now to hear of extra judicial killings of innocent demonstrators and student activists while the  defenders of the regime froth on their mouths with a lot of stupid diatribes; a clue-less civil society that appears to care more about preserving their jobs than standing up for the ordinary citizen, I dread to think where my beloved Malawi will be in a year's time.
A failed leadership, an apathetic public, an incompetent civil society can only translate into a failed state. That is what Malawi has become. 

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