There is the world, I mean the real world and then there is Malawi. A small, very very poor country which seems to live in fantasy world. The dynamics of the changing world are far from us, we can’t do anything competently and we fail to even press for accountability from individual self to those who we elect or use our resources.
Last week I dwelled on individual creativity. This was based on the Presidents health. The whole country was told and the most mediocre believed that the DPP and Government were up to no good that the President had died and they were hiding. For the first time I agree with Dr. Kamuzu Banda- education alone is not enough, people should do some travelling.
I mean the President was in the United States of America, centre of democracy and access to information not in China or some East Asian countries where dictators can hide enjoying the elements of non-existent press in those country’s. I was shocked among the sharing and debating in whatsapp, facebook and other forums- were the country’s most educated, I mean up to PhD level that they believed the media and the Government of USA would be complicit to hiding a death within their boundaries. Really our standards and thinking should not be applied to other countries- it makes all of us look backward in a digitised world.
Those that propagated the Presidents death, quickly moved to another rumour machine, a plot had been hatched to kill Vice President. My God! My foot! This was barely hours after it was announced the President was not dead at all, but he will be returning on the 16th.
There were pictures all over of alleged military presence and anybody questioning the status quo, was labelled pro-Dpp and the debate was sure one sided. I went to Kamuzu International Airport for myself to see what would happen.
The President came down, with one arm, but he managed to walk and inspect guard of honour, managed to walk and recognised people that welcomed him. But not, there was something bigger he was hiding, suddenly I was bombarded with pictures with circles of a jacket turning, a swollen arm and theory that he was medically unfit. The rest as we know is part of our daily obsessesion and creation.
Looking at the energy and time and even cost of airtime spent to propagate rumours upon rumours, refine pictures and really wish the President dead or Vice President killed or even a former Law Society President suggesting that someone walking, recognising and talking to people is incapacitated, made me shed a tear.
I feel sorry for Malawi and the wasted generation we have become. We cry, eat and even get aroused I am sure talking politics. I have very little kind words for the State communications machinery for failing to handle a very simple matter, but I am angrier again at the wasted creativity Malawi always shows.
If it is about sharing rumours, homosexuals, pornography and politics, we are so agitated that we can even threaten to commit suicide if we don’t get answers. When its about demanding fair education systems, quality health and even accountability at Local Councils, Schools and ourselves making a contribution we pretend we cant see the suffering of the poor.
Our obsession with politics has elevated politicians to be demi-gods that we believe whatever crap comes out of their mouths. Look at poor Malawians that were made to sing insults by DPP officials just to challenge the rumour mongers. Imagine if those people were mobilised once as a party to grow some winter crops and feed themselves or bring down the cost of maize.
Malawi has been poor for the past 52 years because of politics and politicisation of everything. Then we have added tribalism and now corruption and insistent gossip and rumour mongering. The ethos of our country are gone, we are as Bingu prophesised “headless chickens.”
There is no personal responsibility, we drink, use airtime, support extramarital affairs, pay for prostitutes, spend whole day on whatsapp and special media talking politics or sharing naked photos. We have not adjusted our cosy facebook life styles that makes us go shopping everyday, post food from all hotels or resturants and indeed borrow our friends money or items without repaying.
Many of us are in debt. Many of us blame someone other than ourselves for failing. Many of us live beyond our means. A Bank clerk first loan will be a car not fees to complete his education, then cry the whole time Government says MWK55,000 is not enough to keep a student in University. We go to court get injunction.
Our zeal and energy is surprising always wrongly placed. The Chinese and Asians are operating restaurants cooking nsima we all go an eat. Nigerians are selling second hand radios, fridges and spare parts we all rush and buy. Be Forward is selling 11 year old cars, we buy and cry about forex shortages. We have no personal responsibility.
With our own hands, the only thing we are good at is gossip, rumour mongering and I am sorry to say sex and pornography. Very few are creative enough to survive in Malawi, we resort to politics, corruption and thieving as our easiest way out to pay for our expensive lifestyles.
If our relations trust us with money to assist them, we abuse the money. If we borrow money or take any item on credit, be assured that’s the last of it you will hear of it.
We wake up believing the DPP, MCP or someone else is the problem to our solution. We spend all nights on social media posting unrealistic photos of ourselves or sharing pornography. We have become a dreaming nation, dead asleep while our neighbours are progressing.
In Zambia they had an election, after it everyone went to make money on their own and develop their families, in Tanzania before that and Mozambique before that. You hear more about Magufuli and Uhuru Kenyatta than you hear from the citizens of their nations. I am sure we now are experts on Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. The only thing we are obsessed is politics and gossip.
Dzuka Malawi my nation. Take a bit of responsibility for yourself. Stop worshiping politicians, they are the reason we are poor. If we trimmed Parliament to 50 constituencies, cut off perks of Principal Secretarys and other Government officials, have the President pay tax and buy his own food, reduce cabinet to 10, reduce motorcades and type of vehicles, I am sure we can save half of our budget.
But nobody in opposition nor in Government wants to make such a commitment. Dr. Banda invented poverty and fear, Muluzi invented dependence on cash handouts, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika tried one term to rejuvenate the nations thinking before he lasped, Joyce Banda entrenched handouts from goats to chickens, the Professor has invented silence, nobody can be fired for anything, and anybody critiquing Government is an enemy. As a Law Scholar I wish he did what he was trained, evaluate two arguments and judge.
Dzuka Malawi, for 52 years we have gone nowhere, still the poorest peaceful and most lazy nation. Killing the President on social media, inventing assassination attempts for Vice President and worshipping politicians will not move your household an inch. The sad part, majority are between 20 and 50- who are supposed to be productive age group. I cry for my beloved country!
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