An Open Letter to Our Leaders

We are angry. Yes, we the people are very angry. We have endured your ill-conceived, harsh and austere economic and social policies for quite too long.

We have watched silently to see you and your cronies enjoy while we the masses continue to suffer. We have no jobs, no income, while you and your selected few live in mansions at the expense of the very poor you are refusing to take care of. You have consistently ignored all our cry for help even though you know our plights very well.

Are you not appalled by the scale of poverty and the living condition of the people? Are you not appalled to see children selling on the street instead of being in the classroom? Are you not appalled to see children scavenging for food while you and you cronies frequent five star hotels? Don’t you care about the dignity of the people you claim to be serving? For years, you have asked us to sacrifice and even today we are still sacrificing.

How many more years should we continue to sacrifice and tighten our belts while you and your cronies enjoy from our sweat? We cannot continue any longer. No we cannot. We are tired of all of you who call yourself leaders of the people. We are tired of dictatorship, media censorship, imprisonment without trial and political instability.

We are tired of seeing our children die of preventable diseases. We are tired of sharing water from the same source with animals; Water infested with bacteria and viruses. We are tired of lack of access to education, health, energy, food, medicine, shelter and clothing.

We are tired of having to work with cutlasses and hoes in this 21st century. We are tired of having to rely on nature to plant our crops. We are tired of having to use 18th century seeds that yield next to nothing. We are tired of having to endure poverty, starvation, diseases, humiliation, and oppression, in your hands. Above all, we are tired of your excesses.

We are tired of your corrupt practices and the looting of the treasuries. Your foreign bank accounts are swollen with hundreds of millions of dollars, pounds and Euros while thousands of people live on one Vatu a day. We are tired of you using our money for your own protection while children go to school barefooted and on empty stomach; while hospitals are without essential medicines; while factories are folding up for lack of electricity; and while harvested crops remain in the bush for lack of good roads.
We are tired of all your inaction’s, the wait see and do nothing approaches to problem solving. There are many of you that we have not chosen or asked to lead us yet are carrying themselves as our leaders. Such people we demand should retire and allow elections to take place.

We demand better public services now. We demand better education, health, transport and telecommunication infrastructures now. We demand affordable housing now. We demand irrigation facilities, tractors, equipment and improved seeds for our farmers now. You’ve asked us to tighten our belts while you have loosened yours. This cannot go on any more. We are starving to death while you are developing protruding bellies. You are having lavish birthday parties and your greed and insensitivity are forcing the best of your people to seek greener pastures abroad.

We demand a say in the running of government. We demand a say in the way you spend our money; and a say in the way contracts are awarded. It is not going to be business as usual anymore. We demand change now. We demand probity and accountability now. We demand political action to solve the numerous problems facing we the people. Look at the world around you. Don’t you see or hear what is going in Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America?

Can’t you see that you and your people are being left behind? When you meet with your colleagues in the United Nations or sit in your offices, how many of the things you see or use are made here in Vanuatu? Aren’t you ashamed that after ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty years in power your people still use hoes and cutlasses for farming, tools their forefathers used before they were colonized?

Aren’t you ashamed that after all these years of independence, your people cannot feed themselves; cannot read and write; rely on handouts from Aid Donors; and the youth are in a hurry to leave the country? Can’t you see? Well, a word to the wise is enough.

Remember, you can fool some people all the time and all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. We are watching.