Two weeks ago I visited Malawi. In my sojourn, I tried to connect the past, present and what could be the future.
Malawi used to be the prime sender of labour migrants to the mines in South Africa, competing in this regard with Mozambique and Lesotho.
The mining houses unashamedly exploited this labour to build the metropoles of the world and the sophisticated enclaves of South Africa.
That was so until 1969 when a chartered plane carrying migrant labour crashed, killing Malawian citizens. Expectedly, mining houses reacted callously, forcing then president Kamuzu Banda, who used to have a warm relationship with South Africa, to withdraw Malawian migrant labour from the mineral complex of South Africa.
With the frontier war in Mozambique intensifying and a guaranteed cheap labour supply from there becoming precarious, then prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd introduced his separate development policy.