aside Equal per diems for all!!

This article is purely coming from a place of hate.

But relax, don’t hold your breath, this editorial has been thoroughly screened to ensure that it hasn’t been peppered with the usual delightful language so characteristic of Pabwalo authors.

Today I would like us (Boys and Girls) to discuss the state of development work in our fine republic.

It is no secret; our friends in the civil service have been castigated time and time again over the rampant corruption and downright thievery that are plaguing the work and delivery of our government departments. In fact, two years ago I dedicated a whole article on some of the mechanisms and strategies government workers use to fill their pockets with money from public coffers and general misuse of public resources. We are not here to reminisce about that.

However, most of the feedback I got from that article centered around how every  sector of Malawian society is equally crooked to the next. People can have varying opinion to this, but the truth remains: no segment of the development context in Malawi has been left untainted e.g. a village savings and loans beneficiary is just as unethical as any member of the clergy overseeing charity work in his zone of influence….aliyese akumafuna kudyapo penapake, ndalama isamangodusa ulele.

Individuals mostly left out from such allegations are those lucky enough to have secured jobs in the donor community and multi-lateral organisations…achina ‘yu eni’ , ‘USAIDE’, ‘UKAIDI’ ndi azinzawo…pretty much ntchito zonse zogwira ndi azungu. Apparently these folks are unblemished and exhibit the finest display of professionalism.


In the first place, what is it that motivates the most pious of people in our civil service and NGOs to risk considerable jail time and disgrace by pilfering dough intended to shove this country out of poverty one way or another.

Simple answer:

Poverty…and we do adhere to the ‘it starts with you’ concept in this country.

How can one be expected to battle national poverty, hunger etc if one is struggling to make ends meet and living a life far worse off than a volunteer from some of these international organisations?…it truly doesn’t make sense: a Malawian with a paying job receiving far much less income and benefits than a so called volunteer from a patron organization or under the same project kapena kuchokera from same line of funding…

It doesn’t stop there…

Remember the time our donor community reprimanded us over the exorbitant allowances some of us were awarding ourselves m’mabungwe mu? They stressed the need for a ‘service’ oriented approach which resulted in the standardized rates currently being utilized by all development partners across the country.

Well, let’s rephrase thatà ‘ all development partners minus the donors themselves and certain multilateral/international organizations who  enjoy completely different  ‘standard rates’ from everybody else…

Tipite makamaka pa nkhani ya DSA, abale anzanga mutati musuzumile kuti onzathu aku ‘yu eni’ okulandira ndalama zingati pa night, mutha kukomoka, sizoyanjanisa ndi tima 20-25 pin amatipasa tija, akulu akulu wa timangofanana nawo pa nkhani ya fuel basi.

And their justifications?

Apparently enafe we cannot be paid as much money in allowances and salaries over the same work when we are doing a service (that word again!) to our native country.

Peanuts for the locals AKA monkeys

But how come the rates in those privileged organization are uniform to all staff Foreign or Malawian?

Aren’t those Malawians there also doing a service to Malawi by virtue of working in their motherland? Or do they renounce their citizenship as part of orientation into those organisations?….i don’t know

That i work for he ‘yu eni’ look

So what do you think happens when two people are tasked to go to the same geographical area , to go do some work (more or less similar) that will result in the same outcome but you create different welfare conditions for each based on organization affiliation?

One will appear to be more professional than the other of course!!!…winayo akamwa mowa the whole night ndikukokaso…simple quid pro quo

The disturbing thing that bothers my mind is why this is ok to most of us? Did I miss something?…just because someone works for the ‘yu eni’ nde azilandira DSA yambiri kuposa ena tonsefe koma tabwera kuzagwira ntchito yofanana? Olo atakhala mzungu, nde  uzungu wo upanga factor in bwanji?


The bigger question has to be ‘who does development work really benefit in Malawi?’ because it seems we have been at this status quo of underachieving our development goals for a very long time and nothing is significantly changing, all we are getting is new complaints and new scapegoats.

I think a review of how our partnerships in development work are designed and function is way overdue!

Otherwise we shall all remain tasteless gentlemen





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