Greetings our esteemed readers

YONECO wishes all Malawians a happy 2022 International Labour Day on 1 May 2022. However, we should not turn a blind eye to our failure, as a country, to create the famous one million Jobs for the younger generation. It is very clear that as a country, our definition of employment only whirls around white collar jobs only. It is obvious that we are struggling and each one of us needs to reflect on why we are in this predicament.

In the same vein, Malawians are also celebrating the International Labor Day at a time when the cost of living has increasingly become unbearable. We have seen fuel prices going up, basic commodities rising despite the fact that we are in the season of exporting tobacco, our main forex earner. We have very limited hope. We are also observing some heavy taxation issues and when we check, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) seems to have gone up overnight.

As laymen, we are beginning to believe that something is not adding up. We need to put this in the equation as we are commemorating this year’s International Labor Day. Our workers need some serious considerations. While the above is true, workers through the unions need to rethink the issues of work ethics, commitment and diligence in their dealings. The success of the enterprises and subsequent welfare of the employees depends on quality of work.

While thinking about our labor issues and high cost of living, it could be an opportunity to reflect on how we manage our time. Sometimes some very difficult questions have to be asked. We need to think through the aspect of time management as Malawians and the culture of commenting on petty issues through social media.

Recently, there was a wedding of a Minister. It was amazing to see how Malawians had the time to dig out the past of the two adults that have decided to move on with life. It is a fact that one person is a public figure but is already a successful person. This is not the only time things have happened this way. We have tended to spend time gossiping about other people and planning to make them fail. As a matter of consequence, we fail to progress since the precious time we had to manage our personal issues was wasted on things that did not concern us.

As a people, we need to set our priorities right and spend time on the right things. Let us remember that Vision 2063 has mindset change as a central pillar in achieving it. We cannot realize Vision 2063 if all we will be doing is spending time on digging other people’s pasts, gossiping and destroying them.

As we celebrate this year’s Internal Labor Day, let us remember that some workers are usually absent despite being in their offices. It is sad that groups on WhatsApp and other social media platforms are created for this very useless purposes like gossiping. The beauty is that while you are spending your time on gossiping, others will be spending theirs on personal growth and development. My plea to the young people of today is that they should break this chain of gossip and move forward.

Kamuzu Day apparently falls on May 14 every year. This is the Day we celebrate the life of Malawi’s first president, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda. It would be good to remember the day by reflecting on the good things that were done under his regime. It is clear that we have had some bad experiences during his regime but there are equally bad things happening today with the only difference being that now we can talk about them.

However, for us to progress, it would be great that we learn from the good things. Matters relating to cautious development aspects, quality of things produced and focus on Malawi as a country. These are the things we need to reflect on and learn from Dr. Banda’ leadership. For instance, the Great Hall at the University of Malawi is a testimony of the quality things Kamuzu left. Can we celebrate his life in style?

On 17 May 2022, Malawi will join the world in cerebrating the International Helpline Day. This annual commemoration event comes at a time when child protection in Malawi has become deadly and risky. In 2021, the Tithandizane toll-free Helpline Services received 2, 006 cases of child marriages; 1, 552 cases of defilement and 293 cases of child labor. Technically, this roughly means that 6 children are being married off every day in Malawi while 4 children are being defiled every day in the country. Between January and March 2022 a total of 225 cases of child marriages and 294 cases of defilement have been reported. These are children and not just numbers. As we celebrate the International Child Helpline Day, we need to refocus on matters relating to child protection and in particular the girl child.

Wishing you all the best in May, 2022


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