The other day I saw an interesting post on FB. It shows some of the thinking of some DPP apologists. It went as follows:
“You have been in fore front telling donors not to support DPP government and now there is no money for by-election because money has been channelled [sic] to equally important areas. So why are you making noise with unrealistic demands. This is obvious that you are under influence of opposition who have nothing to offer but full of jealousy. Don’t cheat us with your NGO when some of you want to contest as MCP mps”
It shows a lot of flaws in the thinking:
- The CSOs are blamed for the stop in budget funding, as if donors are some kind of tap that can be opened in the correct way and funds will flood. This type of thinking totally overlooks donors as actors who design their own policies. If you want to understand their thinking, read “ the white man’s burden” by Easterly. This also greatly overestimates the power CSOs are supposed to have over donors. The reason donors did cut off budget support is ongoing corruption and wasteful spending in government: NGOs are far more efficient in implementing projects cost-effectively.
- It shows a one party state thinking: It supposes the government should not be contradicted, the government is supposed to be accepted by all with no criticism. This is undemocratic thinking that was supposed to be left behind in 1994.
- It shows “developmental state” thinking as if there is a number of steps a country is supposed to go through to develop. This type of thinking has been debunked long ago. If this would work, Malawi would have been developed long ago. But western countries developed at the cost of their colonies: we provided the cheap raw materials for the UK industry to develop. We cannot take the same route because there are no colonies for us to exploit.
- The world hegemony at the moment is neo-liberal, which is good for the rich and bad for the poor like us. So we should not slave-like follow the directives and conditionalities of donor countries, we should operate strategically with what is available.
Our ruling class is obsessed with western style status symbols like luxury cars, western bank accounts in western currency. And they are obsessed with protocol. If you have something worthwhile to communicate, you do not need protocol, you can communicate straight ahead. But if you have nothing to say, you will want to use protocol (with no communication) to underline the power relationship (the ruling class power). Protocol is empty western habit, that obscures what is really going on. But our ruling class has nothing to communicate, because the real action is all behind the scenes: power struggles within the ruling class, corruption, diversion of funds, you name it. But all that is not being discussed in public, that is all secret palace politics.
An easy way to debunk the statement on top would be:
There is money for Cashgate, tractorgate, maizegate, Northern Water-gate. There is money for dubious arms deals. There is money for State Residences. There is money for a bloated Presidential convoy.
There is no money for democracy, There is no money to hire the 10,000 qualified teacher we need to educate our children. There is no money for drugs (at least, not for drugs reaching the patients, only for drugs being tapped off along the way)
But I feel the longer story is more informational. What are your comments?