Tuesday, March 17, 2009


As we draw close to the General Elections day on May 19, a lot is being said by those who are aspiring to become Members of Parliament in the different constituencies. The media is awash with promises and lies from these aspirants who want to woo as many votes as they can. Some go to the extent of promosing things that they will not deliver or cannot deliver even if they are elected to the position.

In my view there is little or in some cases nothing that Members of Parliaments contribute to the development of the area apart from representing the constituency in the august house. We have a lot of constituencies that remain undeveloped up to this very date despite having MP's who represents them and claims to bring development.

A constituency is a second smallest political divide that a Parliamentarian manages and cannot take a lot of time if one is serious of developing it. For instance a constituency can have a few number of schools, hospitals bridges and roads that a person can facilitate to develop in a short period of time. A development conscious MP will not need over 20 years to develop an area with 5 primary schools, 1 secondary, 3 bridges and 4 markets. But we have MP's who have been representing their respective areas for over 20 years and their constituencies are yet to be developed.

My constituency, Blantyre City South, has had over four MP's since Malawi became independent in 1964 but we are yet to see meaningful development. Instead of developing, the little we had is also going down. Yet every five years we line up in various schools and other public places to vote for people who promise us development. The roads we used to have become impassable every rainy season, bridges are rotten, the schools are in a mess.

In fact we have a school, Naotcha Primary, every MP who comes promises to develop it since 1994 it is still in the same state it was. Already i hear some aspirants are promising to develop it. The road from Chilobwe Trading Centre to Naotcha is one of the shameful reminders of the failure by the Parliamentarians to bring development to the constituency.

It is clearly evident that politics in Malawi and in many parts of Africa has become a get-rich-quick business that everyone need to venture into. A few years in politics will transform one from rags to riches and the simplest entry point is contesting as a Member of Parliament.

This years elections have attracted the interest of every Jim and Jane. Retired civil servants, musicians, business people, religious leaders, comedians have filed their nominations to contest in the 193 constituencies throughout the country. They all have two similar statements, "I want to develop the area" and "people have asked me to contest".

Even as official campaign period starts today (March 17) alot more will be said, coffins will be bought, fake bridges will be built and handouts will be given. Come May 19 people will vote based on these promises and lies hoping that their areas will develop, but five years from now some areas will be the same, others will be worse than before and only a few will be developed.