07:39 pm - Monday 19 November 2018

political education a must in Malawi

By Analytical Rose - Tue Jan 15, 9:50 am

By Analytical Rose,
I am Malawian and of course what happens to Malawi is of great importance to me . I have to admit that I don’t at the moment live in Malawi but I go there very frequently and I intend to go back there very soon. Because I live outside the country, I have the previlage of being able to compare political systems I am exposed to, I am able to look at Malawi from outside, and while I appreciate the importance of actually being in a system to appreciate the intricacies of what really is going on, I also value the strategic place my type of situation can provide one.

I was a very young child when The Late Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda ruled Malawi with an Iron fist. This style of leading the country had its advocates and its antagonists. One of the legacies of the Kamuzu era is the fact that we regard teaching politics in our country as being a danger. From what I gathered in those days, it was said that if you have students exposed to political principles you are planting the very seeds for disturbalising elements. It is believed or used to be believed that such students would as they got to understand politics start such things as uprisings in the country etc…. I would like to make a case for reviewing this stand. I want to make this case because, I am of the opinion that we now have reached a point in our development where we need to understand a lot more of the roles we are required to play as citizens.

Political Education in Malawi

Political Education in Malawi

When I observe acts by our law makers that seem to irritate, annoy, surprise or indeed shock the voter, an honest analysis of the situation leaves me realising that a lot of it is born of ignorance. I would like to challenge just how much of the Malawian MP really understands what an MP position is all about? How much do our leaders understand about the position of the president. Sometimes, especially in this government, you hear things being said, or done in a manner that makes one cringe!I think we need to appreciate that a political position is a job like any other and in most jobs we do in life we train for those jobs, the same should be for politics. To become a president is no joke, one has to understand such a continuam  of attiquette to become a respectable and successful president that it is daunting really!, Let me list a few:

They need to know how to behave at which gathering
They need to know what they say means so many different things depend o where and who they are speaking to
They need to know they cannot say certain things till the National assembly have made up their minds
Presidents are supposed to be dignified, you cannot start picking on people’s natural short comings at a public speech as we have had recently

A president needs to be knowlegeable in affairs of the world, to be able to make decidisons about her country in ralation to the world. The volume to read on a daily basis is such that a president needs to be an avid reader
Just chosing your advisors, you need as a president need to know exactly what you want from your advisers and what levels of intergroty they have

The list my fellow Malawians is very long and I am sure you can add your own to it. Most of our leaders have not got any where near this degree of sophistication to be able to address most issues in politics and I feel very strongly that this is contributing to the poor performances our leaders seem to put out. So we need in Malawi to introduce political sciences in the university. Our children need to be able to learn about politics in a controlled enviroment so they can make better leaders in future. We cannot live in fear, we have to trust Malawians. We have to teach and train them well so that they do well in their  political careers like we train them in other careers and I am sure Malawian politics will move in the right direction for us. Political concepts need to be taught so that people taking on these jobs can stand up to any other politician in the world. At present we are scratching the surface!

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  1. Thank you chief, this is the sort of debate I was hoping for. May be I am wrong, may be politicians in Malawi do know what is expected of them and they are just not bothered with protocol.

    Ok, suppose you are correct chief, suppose poverty is the root cause of all this dysfunctionality in our country, how are we going to address poverty if we do not start of by practicing productive politics. You see the way I see it is that, policy makers have to be trully selfless, they have to see the global picture and they have to  have one goal and that is to move the country forward. Then each citizen has a duty to help put such policies into practice so that we can become solvent.

    Outside our country I have witnessed interesting things that contirbute to progress. In the UK amongst manay countries, when people want a service, they all unite and do what it takes to get that service and when they get it they look after the service because it is that service that enables them to get to work to ward off poverty just as an example.

    Could there be other factors involved that we are over looking, thatvrender us so vulnerable politically; I recall as a child, in Malawi there was such unity in villages such that people were able to do self help, guard what ever they regarded as theirs, have we lost this oneness in our desparate need to amass wealth? are we really poor or do we just mismanage ourselves big time such that nothing works around us and we get no where!

    When I put this concept to someone living in Malawi recently, very recently he said to me ” people who work, and are honest are getting on in Malawi”. Do you know, I hope this is true and that it is happening on a large scale because we need to change direction in a big way. 

    I know very little about Chasowa and so I can’t comment. What I have read leaves me confused, but I was hoping that political education can sharpen the thinking of younger candidates who actually do understand tha value of political concepts, who can see that corruption is the biggest enemy to development; getting afluent is not a quick fix; it is along hard wearing road to travel; stability is the duty of the citzens not the president alone but every single sitizen in the country.

    I like your challenge, re joining politics, I rather like to point out that actually one can contribute to ones country in so many different ways contributing to developing ones country and so yes I am rather looking forward to that journey back to see how I can help this desparate situation.

    The point of it all chief is that even ganyu is what you live on, you need to be connected to the policies that ganyu doing in Malawi productive for you. Just struggling to get ganyu without having some understand of what those policy makers are doing to your ganyu dependent life is self defeatist. I am very encouraged because I notice that the Malawian hs truly chnged, in manay ways they are not as accepting as tolerant as they used to be and this surely has to be a good thing.

  2. You indeed took your time to write this article and it is very clear that you are not in Malawi. At Chanco we teach political science and indeed students are very active in politics, not to mention the late Chasowa.

    The issue in Malawi is poverty, nothing but poverty. All politicians are after money hence they keep changing parties. People with money do not practice active politics. The average person in the street is so poor such that he cannot engage in politics. He would rather go ku ganyu… Until we get rid of poverty things will never change in Malawi. Kamuzu was indeed correct, UMBULI, UPHAWI NDI MATENDA!!! People like you should indeed come here and join poliyics, lets see if you will be able to chnage things. Kamuzu and Bingu tried but where we are. Notice I have excluded Mulizi.

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