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Beyond the blue ropes

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It is not very far from the truth that we are a nation that is obsessed with trivia. Last week, one would say, we wasted some productive hours posting pictures of one Kamlepo Kalua with his hands and legs tied after being “dumped” at Kwacha by his purported abductors. Someone believes the story was just a joke we should have just laughed off and proceeded with our businesses.

The story about Kamlepo’s “abduction” is hilarious just as it is shocking. The prologue to the tale was the invasion of Kamlepo’s and his son’s compounds by the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA). It is very true—I can say it louder— that the MRA has become a convenient tool used to harass people or institutions that are not in good books with the monstrous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government. Since I knew Kamlepo when I was a toddler in shorts around 1993—and he was driving an Opel, I think—he has always been outspoken, sometimes making sense and sometimes vomiting nonsense. Since the People’s Party was booted out of government, Kamlepo has been a pain in the wrong place of the DPP. So, adding one and two the invasion of Kamlepo’s residence might indeed be pure harassment. Of course I do not think Kamlepo is a saint.

But what must be seriously analysed is the purportedly staged abduction. It is comical that someone goes missing for a week only to be found—save for the ropes—spit and polish, neatly dressed, smelling of a nice cologne, neatly shaven and without a scratch or anything suspicious.

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Instinctively, if one finds someone tied and dumped on the roadside, the reaction would be to unshackle him other than calling photographers and journalists for a photo shoot. If at all Kamlepo was abducted, as he wants us to believe, then his abductors must have been smart, sophisticated and of grade A. Kamlepo should tell us that his abductors bathed him, shaved him, washed his clothes and fed him for a week.

Of course you cannot completely rule out foul play especially when we are being governed by a political party that has no clue of how to run a country other than terrorising citizens with violence.

What is making this whole thing easy but at the same time not easy to comprehend are the sources of the two versions of the story as well as the reputation of the party that is governing us. Kamlepo’s version cannot be easily trusted simply because other circumstances of the alleged abduction, subsequent release and chiefly because he is a politician who would want to gain a mile by hook or by crook. The other version by the police cannot just be taken hook, line and sinker. Our police— whisper it—have a reputation of lying and cannot be trusted. A good example is when in 2011, the same police produced a fake suicide note after Robert Chasowa was clobbered to death by you-know-who. So, you see, it is difficult to believe who is saying the truth. Apart from this, being under a gruesome party called DPP—whose terrorists beat up policemen last week— one might take advantage to fake an abduction thinking that people would straight away start blaming the ruling party.

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This said, let me argue on the presumption that the abduction was staged. If someone is able to stage abduction with the sole purpose to fool Malawians into sympathising with him, then this just tells you what politicians think of us as citizens. Clearly, politicians think Malawians have tennis ball brains, devoid of analytical skills and can easily be wowed by any stunt however ineptly performed.

Because politicians think Malawians are slow, they have the courage to lie to us and steal from us thinking that we cannot read between the lines.

Two years from now, we will, again, go to the polls to elect our leaders. Before that, there will be a campaign period when, as expected, we will be lied to and be given false hopes that this country will transform in a flash. The reason these politicians lie to us is because we have made them believe that we cannot pick out the truth from lies.

I must say that being lied to, is demeaning and personally I get incensed when someone lies to me or dupes me. This is the reason I always say all politicians can go hang together with their political parties and tricks.

So, as a country we must not just laugh off the antics by one Kamlepo Kalua, but we should analyse the thinking behind what happened, what really happened, who is telling the truth and what country we are living in. This Kamlepo “abduction” must be looked at beyond the blue ropes.

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