Poverty and its effects

As a country in which the majority of its citizens live in or are threatened by Poverty, Malawians can learn a few things from the events unfolding in the US regarding police brutality:

(1) The Police’s duty is to protect all citizens: Due in part to funding shortages, it is no secret that Malawian police officers are not adequately trained. This means they are not always able to serve the communities in which they work to the best that  their training expects, in particular they often fail to protect poor people. This leads to security lapses, especially in poor areas of the country, where thuggery has been on the increase. It also causes people to lose faith in the police. Recently the British Government issued a warning to its citizens in Malawi, regarding the worsening security situation inthe country. Thus security shortages will have an impact on investors decisions to invest in your country.

(2) That the face of oppression is the same: Low wages, Insufficient Investment into job creation by the government, lack of unions standing up for or protecting workers rights;  Insufficient or non-existent safety net schemes for the poor; Lack of investment in deprived areas, ….it all creates an environment in which those on low wages or working in the informal sector are particularly vulnerable to changes in the economic situation like a weakening currency and the high cost of living. Since the last budget had very little that would help those at the bottom, Malawians should task their government to do more to help poor people live with dignity. In my view, its not so much that Malawians are not hard working, instead it is that there are too few opportunities in Malawi, forcing some onto a life of crime.

(3) United protest movements achieve far more than isolated incidents: You may not like John Kapito or agree with the decisions of the Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA), but if you are unhappy with the way your government is doing things, if you are tired with the water shortages – in a country with a large fresh water lake, if you see no hope in the governments effort to manage the failing currency, if you have been upset by the betrayal by the government regarding raising of minister salaries, and would like to change things, then protesting together is the way forward.


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