LILONGWE (MalawiTalk) –President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has condemned a culture of waste which he says is entrenched and deep-rooted in the minds of most Malawians, saying one of the ways to create a great citizenry fit for the task of building the great Malawi by 2063 is to decisively rid of “wasteful conduct” destroying precious resources that God has given the o enable it to develop.
The President was speaking at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe Tuesday morning during the virtual launch of the country’s second long-term national development plan, dubbed “Malawi 2063 (Mw2063).”
In his speech, Chakwera said Malawi should get rid of one of its greatest, most common, and most repeated national sins of “waste. “
He said: “As a people, we must cure our proclivity for waste.”
President Chakwera said Malawians waste too much time on “trivia and idleness.”
Said Chakwera: “We waste too much money on entitlements and consumption; we waste too much land on crops for subsistence living in an annual cycle of poverty and dependency; we waste too much aid on sustaining the careers and livelihoods of foreigners whose very professions depend on us remaining in abject poverty.”
The Malawi leader further said the country waste too many public offices on people who sit around adding no value to the quest for good government.
“We waste too many foreign embassy jobs on people who are nothing more than diplomatic tourists,” he said.
Other “national sins of watse” he said include too much public discourse on politics of division, one-up-man-ship, fault-finding, slander, and misinformation.
Chakwera says such a negative mindset is what had led to the poor performance of Vision 2020 which has been succeded by Malawi 2063.
“We waste too much of our minds and thoughts on gossip and frivolous tales about other people’s private affairs.
“We waste too much of our business activities on get-rich-quick schemes that fuel the greed and corruption now strangling the government’s entire procurement system with overpriced goods and underdelivered services,” said Chakwera.
He said to make matters worse, not only are Malawians blind to their collective wastefulness, but they are quick to regard other things as wasteful which are not.
“For example, our development budget is always criminally low compared to our recurrent budget, as is our investment in strengthening governance institutions. This is because in our warped thinking, investing heavily in development and governance feels like a waste of money, while spending public funds on ourselves does not.
“Similarly, we are unwilling to make the investments in world class talent and infrastructure necessary for long term growth, because we wrongly believe that if human talent and infrastructure is expensive, then it is wasteful. Our collective confusion about what is wasteful and what is not has paralyzed our ability to make sensible choices and sensible investments in the future we say we want,” he said.
The President encouraged the nation to resolve to no longer tolerate or smile on anyone who engages in wasteful conduct.
Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima said earlier that Malawi 2063 plan is anchored on three key pillars: Agriculture productivity and commercialization, Industrialization, and Urbanization (with development of tourism hubs as a key component.
“The achievement of these three pillars will be catalysed by seven enablers that will include environmental sustainability, economic infrastructure, Human capital development, and Private sector dynamism,” Chilima said.
Chilima said all political parties in the country will be required to align their respective party aspirations to the country’s long-term blueprint to avoid short-termism by political administrations, which he noted was a result of Vision 2020 – which expired last December – had high failure rate in its implementation.
The National Planning Commission (NPC) an independent institution established by an Act of Parliament in 2017, is mandated to formulate the medium and long-term development plans of the country and coordinate their implementation.