By Janet Karim
7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. 9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” John 8:7-11
When one listens to the news, watches the news or reads postings on social media, one or two things are very clear: things are not working well for Malawi, not working well for Africa, and secondly, there are maneuverers, tinker-tankers. Generally many, especially in Malawi are super angry, super accusatory, and ready to pull the plug or carpet from under the feet of the elected leaders. The situation is that bad; on the other hand, there is widespread poverty, structural “things are not working here anymore,” and the anger is causing an unhealthy disrespectful appetite for disparaging people in authority. In such a frame of mind, it is compelling that Malawians see or look for the big picture in all that is happening in Malawi.
The bigger picture is that not all the evil taking place in Malawi or Africa, is home-grown.
Across the proverbial street of our existence, are the Brits, Americans, the tall European Union, Russia, and China micromanaging one country after another in the developing countries, the majority of whom (48) are in Africa and includes Malawi. The micromanagers are seen one day speak from the left side of their mouths and the next day speak out of the right side. There are six points that portrays their tendencies, including the following: 1)ACP/EU New Partnership that takes over from ACP/EU Cotonou Agreement; 2) Privatization program; 3) Independence and forest fire development (to keep unwanted systems such as communism; 4) Africans and others in 2 world wars helping imperialists fight imperialist Germany; 5) Division of Africa in Berlin, Europe; and 6) Slavery.
Following the expiry of the Cotonou trade Agreement in 2019, the European Union flexed its muscles and prevailed, displaying to the world manipulative mastery with the January establishment of the stalled New Partnership Agreement. The new EU-ACP Partnership Agreement is the Post-Cotonou Agreement
The NPA, also known as the Samoa Agreement, is the overarching framework for EU relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and provides terms of agreement that are binding for the next 20 years for an initial period of 20 years. The NPA has evolved into a stronger arm-twisted institution with binding protocols that will compel the 79 ACP nations co-joined at the hip with the 27 European Union, growing into a big block. With the “voting as one” component of the NPA, it will serve as the new legal framework for EU relations with 47 African, 16 Caribbean, and 15 Pacific countries, and the Republic of Maldives.
The agreement aims to strengthen the capacity of the EU and the ACP countries to address global challenges together and sites six priority areas
It lays down common principles and covers the following six priority areas: democracy and human rights, sustainable economic growth and development, climate change, human and social development, peace and security, and migration and mobility. Nothing about food security, industrialization. And yet, the entity represents around 2 billion people and more than half of the seats at the United Nations. The EU has morphed from 27 to a global 106 giant.
Voila! The big picture: A stronger European Union in the world, rubbing shoulders with its newly diminished partners. TheEU countries are partners from a smaller group (with 27 members) that has robbed 79 independent sovereigns of their right to vote, their right to make decisions, and the small group set agendas for the people that gave them the vote to rule the country. Among the agendas include gay rights, access to contraceptive and abortion rights even for young girls, and sexuality education. OH MALAWI! MY MALAWI! OH AFRICA, MY AFRICA!
It has long been the view of this author that, watching the state players of the Malawi Privatization program, the strategy where the Malawi Government sold all the shares it held in commercial entities, led to the country-wide buying of commercial companies, factories and nation-wide providers of services mostly by non-Malawians. Almost overnight, labor-intensive factories closed, with some uplifting machines, and hurling them across the border and setting up shop in neighboring countries.
During Malawi’s first 31 years of independence, there was forest fire development with the western allies led by the US, the UN and the EU, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, and Israel. From 1964 to 1990, Malawi and other African countries experienced rapid growth, with donor countries falling all over themselves to finance projects in Malawi and Africa.
The big picture: to keep unwanted government systems such as communism and socialism out of Africa and other spheres of NATO influence.
The other big picture is three-pronged. The first is that of Africans and others taking part in two major world wars that helped the imperialist western allies fighting with imperialist Germany. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and surely pan-Africanists saw the irony and used it to gain leaps to gain freedom, voting rights, and independent status for the entire continent and India.
The second was the dividing Africa into countries, in 1884, in Berlin, Germany in Europe, and without a single African present in the room. This is the big picture of how the Allies (Africa’s colonial masters, ergo imperialists) were able to entice, lure, or compel African soldiers to fight in World War I and World War II, wars to stop the spread of imperialism. The big picture: the imperialists are still here commandeering, rib-poking our leaders, shaming them into agreeing to or doing some bizarre thing.
Failure to comply: they have been known to drop information about you, use your own country’s media with dirt stories about leaders, corruption, and other vices.
Regrettably the imperialists have been with us (they never left after African countries became independent. This worked out well for them as many African countries have discovered minerals such as gold, diamonds, uranium, and oil, which have been mined and then ferried to European countries, processed, made billions of dollars selling them, and then turned around to loan African countries money for its development projects.
Lastly in 1619 slave ships took Africans from West Africa and later the East. The big picture here is there is animosity between the African-American and the African-African, due to narratives that fly about African chiefs selling them into slavery. The big picture here is the ability the Europeans appear to have in creating this thereby keeping African Americas separated from Africa-Africans.
These are the optics in the big pictures; thus while you are muse and dream about “we are yet to find someone whom we can call a leader,” I hold with love and respect all the six Malawi leaders and their VPs, they are all great leaders that have ruled Malawi with much love in their hearts for Malawi; leaders that are good-natured, kind-hearted but their legends are marred by foreign intervention.
In Malawi, in a year when the country was hit hard by hurricane Freddie, Malawi was strong-armed by Washington institutions (IMF and World Bank) to devalue its currency by 44%. This is economic murder because in the same year, the EU was hovering over Malawi with threats and coaxing it to sign the emasculating NPA. The big picture: Malawi on the floor with the effects of Freddie, devaluation, and corruption in high places and all over the government sector.
In my memories are pictures of three uncles who fought in World War II, fighting the evil imperialists Germany and Japan. The irony of this big picture is that the colonial rulers that African countries helped to defeat Hitler and Hirohito, are still here, still controlling, still puppeteering, still dividing us, and still causing us to hate or fight one another.
My plea to Malawians is please can we all proverbially hug our leaders; the weight of foreign influence interference is too much. Pray Malawi, Pray!