Dear Reader,

On 10 June 2024, Malawi experienced a significant event that will long be remembered. The aircraft carrying Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima (SKC) was reported missing at approximately 10:14 am. Search efforts were initiated several hours after the last contact with the plane. The incident raised questions among the public, particularly regarding the timeline of events. Of note was the reported location of the crash site, which was said to be in relatively close proximity to a road. This detail, along with the 24-hour period before the aircraft was located, has led to discussions about the search and rescue protocols in place. The circumstances surrounding this event have naturally prompted inquiries from various sectors of society. As more information becomes available, it is hoped that a clearer picture will emerge to address the concerns raised by the public and to potentially inform future emergency response procedures.

While we are failing to find answers to the situation and accepting that it happened, it is quite important to draw a few lessons from SKC’s life. SKC was a goal getter. Following him from his university days as a Director of Entertainment to the last day in his life, he had set goals and was meant to achieve them. As a people of Malawi, we need to learn how to set goals and follow them through. SKC was a focused person that never allowed the environment to determine his future. SKC was a motivator for both the old and the young; one question is how many people are motivating others. SKC was an achiever. At a young age, he was the vice president and one asks how possible was this to be believed by the old and young alike and that he supported in governing Malawi. SKC showed the importance of being open and frank with issues.

During his tenure of office, we heard so many stories about SKC returning people from the meetings because they were late. He was a strict timekeeper and no wonder he was achieving in so many areas. As a people of Malawi, one big challenge is time management and we misuse the time on things that we are not supposed to have misused on. We can write pages on SKC’s life and what we learn from it. As of now, we need to reflect on his life and build the nation. May the Soul of SKC and the other 8 people rest in peace.

July 6 is Independence Day and we are informed that the Government has dedicated the day to the lives of SKC and the other 8 Malawians who died in a plane crash on 10 June 2024. While this is being done, the country should spend time reflecting on Malawi at 60 years as this is the 60th birthday of Malawi. 60 years of independence? Or 60 years of dependence? This is the question we are left to ponder with. We need to reflect on the achievements and failures for the last 60 years while thinking on how we intend to move to the next 60 years. We have a vision for 2063 and we need to reflect whether our current strategies will make us move in the right direction or not. While thinking about these issues, it’s high time people of Malawi start finding solutions to our challenges that are realistic and focussed on production and not consumption. We need to ask hard questions why we are exporting labour to countries that spend energy to have soft water while Malawi has a lot of fresh water fit for production. We just need a bit of rethinking and bringing back lost glory.

Child protection is not for the faint-hearted as it demands a lot beyond education and commitment. Child protection is a calling that needs to be enhanced if children are to be protected. Behind the child protection profession are HEROES that are never celebrated because they have not invented any extraordinary machinery. However, there are professionals or heroes that we do recognize. Heroes who spend sleepless nights and tiresome days to protect the children at different levels. Child Protection Professionals Day falls on 7 July every year. Let us shout out to these unsung heroes on this Day as we celebrate together for the good work to protect children. Send a message about these heroes on the 7 July 2024 to to recognize the child protection professionals.

July is blessed with a number of commemorations starting with World Population Day on 11 July. The World Population Day comes a few months after Malawi hosted a huge population conference in Lilongwe. The world population has already passed 8.1 billion and Malawi’s population continues to increase with high levels of teenage pregnancies. The question that one continues to ask is “what are we doing to deal with this high population growth?”. 15 July is the World Youth Skills Day under the theme “Youth Skills for Peace and Development”. Enhancing peace development is focusing on mental health management as most young people do not have peace due to many economic challenges in Malawi. We therefore need to enhance young people’s skills to create peaceful co-existence and management of the processes.

We finish our discussions with the realization that 1 in 3 victims of trafficking in persons worldwide are children. This is a daunting task for the world and Malawi in particular and it’s high time we need to start focusing on child trafficking. As we commemorate the World Day against trafficking on July 30, 2024 under the theme “Leave no child behind in the fight against human trafficking”, we need to reflect seriously on our actions in responding to trafficking in persons especially in our porous borders in Machinga, Mangochi, Phalombe, Dedza and Mwanza. Children are trafficked for purposes of child labour and this has become a norm. We need massive awareness and engagement.
Wishing you a Happy July 2024.


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