Allan Mandindi writes:
I have been following Malawi Politics since my early teen, back in Malawi. Thank God that I was also lucky to have witnessed Kamuzu’s Malawi and even saw Kamuzu several times, although at a distance, but I take this as a privilege. When Multi-party democracy was introduced, as a young boy I walked to attended a rally by Chakufwa Chihana in City Centre – in-between Capital Hill and Chinese Gardens. Then going back to my secondary school days at Phwezi, it was all politics as the school was run by politicians, we use to see in the evenings convoys going to the white House. This is directors office at Phwezi, located on hilltop overlooking the school. But all this time never understood what Politics was all about. Until I arrived in the United Kingdom.
It is sad that today even the learned amongst us, does not understand what politics is all about. There is a massive gap in political education in Malawi starting from secondary schools to colleges. I think as we are becoming more mature as a democracy, we need people to understand what politics is all about and how the systems of government functions. This need to start from secondary school, as many young people in our country are showing more interest in. Politics.
One famous political scientist- Harold Laswell defines politics as, who gets what, when and how. I think this is a great definition of politics – it is all about distribution of national resources to benefit the country, not only one part or region.
This distribution of national resources has to benefit all people, the communities, the wards and the constituencies. This is atask that involves elected politicians to use their skills to bring development in their areas or using their political influence through lobbying. When it comes to the executive, Ministers need to come up with policies that can change the public services to benefit the needs of Malawians through quality service delivery.
Politics As a Public Service
Politics should not only be about serving our own interests, but be about public service – servant leadership as Dr. Lazarus Chakwera preaches – serving the people, not serving ourselves – this means making policies that can uplift peoples lives. If every politician was in politics for this reason, Africa could have been transformed by now. I consider myself very lucky that I have the opportunity to get involved in Politics in both the United Kingdom and Malawi, this has allowed me to apply comperative politics and have good understanding. In the United Kingdom those that join Politics already have interest to make change as activist – champion a certain cause and they just wait for their time and opportunity to make the change they want . This is why we see when someone is given the opportunity, within a short period, we start seeing change. In Africa people become politicians just by appointment because or because of their community status, something that is dangerous.
Politics should be about public service, introducing policies that will make people remember your tenure. Most of the people that are rushing for presidency but have been in government – if we ask, what changes have the contributed to Malawi. Im sure they cant point a single successful policy that has transformed the livelihood of poor Malawians.
Our Failure to Hold Politicians Accountable
Most of our politicians in Malawi have failed us, especially those that have been in government from the Vice president to cabinet ministers, they cannot point a single peace of policy or legislation they have championed and successfully achieved. But when we try to scrutinise them, their followers will come out and defend them.
I think I we need to see change in Malawi, there is need to properly scrutinise those that have been in government on their track record. We need people who can go into office to make a difference. I applaud Dr. Lazarus Chakwera he promised Malawians that he will end the rigging, alot of people did not believe, but now Malawi has been saved, we will have laws that can safeguard peoples votes. The next thing is corruption, nepotism and regionalism and I have great home that if Malawians can all rally behind Chakwera we will see change.