Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Citizen's Apology to Britain and Malawi's Development Partners

On behalf of my fellow Malawians I write an apology to Her Majesty and the people of United Kingdom for the expulsion of their envoy, Fergus Cochrane-Dyet, in our country, Malawi back in April 2011. I might not be better positioned to make this apology but it is very necessary to make this apology because we are the people who are feeling the effects of your decision to withhold aid. There are people whom we trusted to make these decisions on our behalf but of late they have abandoned us constructively that is why we have decided to come in the open and say what the majority needs to be done.

From the time Your Majesty decided to without aid to us, life has not been easy because you were the main bilateral donor to us. Being an influential country, many other partners followed your example of withholding aid to us though some have different reasons ranging from poor governance and poor human rights record. Your Majesty is a very busy person but i know that you have advisers who update you on what is happening in the Malawi since you left with your aid package. Here are some of the problems we are facing:

FUEL AND FOREX SCARCITY

From April, we have been experiencing very serious Forex and Fuel scarcities affecting our day to day lives. Malawians are finding it hard to make ends meet in the wake of these problems which are getting worse each passing day. The biggest problem is that the people whom we trusted with solving these problems are ignoring us. They seem not to have a clear answer to this problem. We the majority of Malawians know that the root cause of these scarcities is your decision to withhold aid hence this apology. We are on our knees asking you to reconsider this decision for the sake of the people who are suffering, the lives we are losing each passing day for lack of fuel in ambulances, lack of medicine in hospitals and many more serious problems.

POOR HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD

You surely have heard about 20 July 2011. This is the day that Malawians decided to tell the leadership that they have had enough of the suffering. Thousands took to the streets, led by the civil society, to make their voices heard. It is very sad that in the course of exercising this constitutional right, police fired teargas and live bullets on people and 20 people lost their lives. Since then things have completely changed in the country. We are no longer free in our own country. Activists houses are being burnt in broad daylight and investigations on these are not getting anywhere. Even this apology will attract very serious results to yours truly.

THE RISING COST OF LIVING

Because of the scarcity of Forex and Fuel, commodity prices are rising each passing day affecting us very badly. The cost of living has risen very highly in the past months. Basic goods like food, medicine and other services have become very expensive regardless of the fact that our salaries are still the same. For an average Malawian who lives below a dollar per day, it is very tough to take care of their families. Even the zero deficit budget is leaving its dangerous marks on the lives of Malawians. It is at these times that we need our developmental friends to give us a hand.

WAY TO GO

We ask you Your Majesty, The European Union, IMF, American President, Germany and all the development partners to consider resuming aid to Malawi. It might not be directly through the government but you can find a way to help out suffering citizens. We know the idea of coming up with a zero deficit budget was partly an insult to you because you have been standing with us all these years and we cant just abandon you and claim that we are standing on our own.

We eagerly wait for your positive response.