In Saturday’s column Reverend Nick Chakwera shows his true colours: he is a politician, more than a cleric, and promotes American -foreign- political culture.
He talks rightwing American politics to such an extend that he lost connection with the Malawian situation. In effect, he is promoting privatising all that can possibly be privatised, including health care and education. In the US we see what this does, even when it has been done only very partially: glaring inequality, no opportunities for the children of the poor, and consequently astronomical crime rates.
He asks: do you want to pay your neighbours hospital bills? And if you don’t, he concludes that health care should be privatised. When we all know what that means in the Malawian situation: the poor will die like rats. The same can be applied to education, and in a way it is already being done: government retreating on education, lowering funding with every round of inflation, has undermined the great system we used to have under Kamuzu Banda: that also the children of the poor could access higher education if they had the talent. It was state funded, so the whole state would profit from a good and broad knowledge base. Not any more: even the publicly funded education is impossible without bringing funds from home, and more and more education is private, which means it is only accessible for those students who have well funded parents. This seems to be the direction that Nick Chakwera wants to go: only the children of the rich get education, only the rich can access health care, and so on. And the poverty trap will be much worse than it is now. And then, when the poor are in a hopeless situation, what other way is there for them than crime to get to a decent level of living? NONE. And that is exactly what we see happening now, and it needs to stop. Our politicians need to stop enriching themselves at the expense of the population and come up with creative solutions for the problems that plague us.
And Chakwera is out of touch with Malawi when he promotes the ideology of the American Christian Right. He should know better than that, but the fact that he fills his column with imported politics instead of religion shows he has run out of ideas and is just copy-and-pasting the ideas of his American (neo-colonial) masters.