Monday, July 20, 2009


They are out there yet we hardly see them
they choose not to complain......
They struggle with life yet continue to live
stoically accepting their situations.....
Every morning they wake up to face the same things
no food, no clothes, no fees, no friends, no money, no hope....
In silence they watch their kids dressed in tatters
scrambling for the little food they have
Yet we choose to ignore them
They silently pray we come to their rescue.....

We have them here, you have them there yet we don't know them....
everyday we pass them, riding buses with them even chatting
If only we knew their situations....
they try to laugh with us yet tears of pain are secretly flowing
We have them in offices, schools, stadiums, car parks....
yet nobody seems to care
Somebody somewhere needs you......

There are many in our church, i believe yours too.....
zealous with church work, running up and down
They dance, confess, recite, worship and sing.....
yet nothing changes their situations
They praise God for our testimonies, new job, new car, house,business
clapping hands, shouting on top of their voices amen!! amen!!
The state of their shoes, suits, bibles or hymns reminds them everything....
spiritually satisfied yet on empty stomachs they go
If only you could discern.....
that someone somewhere needs you

In our neighborhood we have them, hope yours too
happy when rain comes for their crops.......
Yet their houses dangerously leak
yes !! they have dreams, plans and hopes.....
Good futures, educated children, beautiful houses, cars
yet they fail to find a starting point......
next month's salary, next years farm produce, next time
whilst days are turning to weeks, months and years.....
Yet we are there prosperous and rich than ever
all along they are there, next door, next bench, next desk, next pew.....
Check out your neighbor, friend, relative...
because he needs you.........

(dedicated to those who lack basic needs in life)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Despite that June and July are the coldest months of the year in Malawi, 28 year old, Jimmy Masangwi is spending all the nights of these months outside. Not that he doesn't have a home but it is what his work demands him to do. He works as a security guard for a certain security company in Blantyre.

Operating security firms is one of the blossoming businesses in the country that has attracted alot of people's interest. Walk in the streets of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba and Mzuzu and see how many rapid response cars and uniformed security guards you will meet. Many business people including high profile politicians are operating security companies which are creating the much needed employment.

An interview with Masangwi and several other guards working with different security firms revealed the problems that these guards are going through in their companies. Chief among a list of problems is the salary that they are getting after spending 30 sleepless nights.Some get as little as K4,000 (US$28) per month. As if this is not enough, they get their money as late as the 7th of the following month.

This is a very sad development considering the fact that life has become expensive and people cannot survive on US$28 the whole month. These are people who have families that depend on them, they have to pay house rents, buy food and other necessities, pay for the children's school fees.

Masangwi also said that when companies or individuals hire guards from the security firm, they pay alot of money which in most cases is charged on daily basis, but the guards themselves get very little at the end of the month.

Recently a high profile politician who runs a security firm was locked in his office by his employees because of misunderstandings over salaries. Unfortunately these guards have no means of communicating their grievances to the relevant authorities because only a few of the security firms have labour unions.

As Malawi continues to enjoy the international recognition as one country whose economy is growing faster, these security guards are still a long way from benefiting the gains of this economic growth. They rarely get salary increments and their conditions of service are very poor despite being a sector which employs alot of people.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


It has been reported in the media that residents of Zomba City took to task the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM)over the frequent electricity blackouts the city is experiencing. I totally agree with the idea of meeting the electricity providers but how the meeting in Zomba ended does not impress me.

Instead of giving the Zomba residents what they are demanding, power all day - everyday, ESCOM officials fed them with their everyday excuses that they publish in the media. They even had to seek the intervention of their Corporate Spokesperson, Kitty Chinseu to explain to the angry residents why they were not having power throughout.

It is a known fact that the frequent blackouts are affecting our day to day lives, alot of companies are losing money, and in some cases lives are being lost in hospitals because of these. In some cases foreign companies are afraid of investing in the country because of these frequent blackouts.

Much as i applaud people from Zomba for raising their concerns, I believe this is a national disaster that needs to be addressed very soon. Energy is one priority area that the President outlined in his State of the Nation address but very little is being done on the ground. One can argue that more time is needed to deal with this issue but alot of time and money have already been wasted.

Maybe its time now that the general public joined together and addressed our concerns to ESCOM. Last year we saw a rare public unity in demanding Parliament to pass the budget. People had to camp at the Parliament Building for several days to force honorable members to pass the budget. I think if we take the same way in forcing ESCOM to give us power all day and everyday, things will change.

We are always told of load shedding, machine breakdowns, silt and many excuses which have been there for many years. Should we say that we have no long term solutions to the problems we face? This is a serious matter and needs to be addressed very urgently. If we are serious of developing our country, turning it from an importing nation to an exporting nation, we need power all day - everyday.

I urge the Consumer Association of Malawi and other civil society organisations to strongly condemn ESCOM and mobilise people against this power utility company. We can even march to present a ultimatum demanding power throughout. This is a problem that is affecting every Malawian from the city to the village and needs urgent attention.

Monday, July 6, 2009


When i switched on my radio this morning, one local radio station was playing a track by Thomas Chibade, Sitilora. The musician urges the leaders to maintain peace that Malawi is experiencing. He goes on to sing about how wars in several african countries is affecting people. He concludes with the title of the song sitilora.

I totally agree with Chibade that as Malawians we will not allow that this country should be involved in any war. We cannot support leaders who preach about or encourage war in our peaceful country. We have seen how our friends have been affected by wars in the different countries in Africa and beyond. I had time to talk to a few people who had been directly affected by the Mozambican war both Malawians and Mozambicans. They are some who are still being affected by the what happened even after the war ended a few years back. Thats why Chibade sings that the leaders will reconcile afterwards even though our relatives have died and our property destroyed.

As we celebrate the 45 years of independence, lets put this in mind. We don't want any war in Malawi. We have been a peaceful nation save for a few acts of violence that claimed lives of fellow Malawians. We have just been rated the second peaceful country in the world. Let us maintain it.

The announcer at the local radio station seemed to know that the source of conflicts in many of the waring countries are leaders because the next song he played was Tigonjerane by Billy Kaunda. In Tigonjerane, Billy urges all Malawians to accept other people's views. He says tolerance should start in the family, churches and in political parties. There is no better time to play this song than now when we are celebrating independence a few months after we had elections. Though fair and peaceful other quarters are failing to digest the results.

We have a choice to remain a peaceful nation and continue being called the "warm heart of Africa" or follow the path of other nations. It all goes back to our day to day living, our leaders decisions and tolerance of other people's views. That's why i totally agree with Billy Kaunda and Thomas Chibade that Tiyeni tigonjerane and Sitilora kuti muyambitse nkhondo muno.