News in town last week was about President Peter Mutharika’s national address. As expected, everyone took turns to react, and the reaction was interesting. Those who think blue believe Peter’s address to the nation was the best speech since Martin Luther Jnr’s “I have a dream” or Barak Obama’s “Yes we can”. For those on the other fence, Peter’s speech that night was one of those executive blubbers and gibberish that served nothing other than confirming the old man’s ineptitude.
I think otherwise. Peter’s speech that night, like it or not, was one of well written pieces that I have listened to for a long time. It was one fantastic piece that sounded well for connoisseurs of art like me. And I am sure I can rightly guess who wrote it. Sadly, the content was nothing other than Peter’s attempt to make us believe he is doing something as president. The whole talk about correcting the water and electricity woes that have crippled the nation was, to me, a mantra that has long lost its resonance. That assurance that he, meaning Peter, feels terrible to see you and I wallowing in poverty is, without mincing words, a big lie that only serves to make us believe we are all in this state of privation.
And Peter claimed something about his purported crusade to get rid of corruption from this country. In his speech, just like his predecessors, Peter wanted to create an image in us of him as an angry and valiant warrior armoured with a double edged sword and a lead shield riding on the back of an agile horse prancing on a battle field against corruption. But that was all poetry meant to serenade us into believing we are doing something to rid this ulcer that has eaten into the nation’s flesh.
But when you read into what was said, you are left disappointed especially with the fact that almost what was said was a familiar lullaby that has not even helped this country an ounce. You should be naive to believe that any of our presidents has ever taken the fight against corruption seriously. The truth remains that corruption is even greater in higher places and the culprits are mostly people who have very close links to the president. Unless Peter is one damned snoring and drooling president, I will not take him by his word that he is fighting corruption. Overnight, Peter’s camarilla has grown stinking rich with some building mansions at legendary speed. You ask them what exactly they do for a living all there is to show is being close to the president. Now, which idiot would believe that Peter is indeed fighting corruption when he, I swear, is part of it? Come to think of the K577 billion that was conveniently reduced to K236 billion just to make it sound lighter.
Of course, Peter will get away with it just like all close to him as long as they are in power. They are even shielded by high sounding offices like the Attorney General’s, Accountant General, general this, general that, chief this, chief that, director this, director that. If you believe the Teller of Tales sees things from the prism of prejudice all you have to ask yourself is how on earth people who immediately after Bingu wa Mutharika became the embodiment of poverty and once Peter and his DPP returned to power have become millionaires. Those who surrounded Joyce Banda were swimming in a pool of riches between April 2012 and May 2014, but look at them now. This, for all those who have the proverbial eyes, is to just show you how corrupt our government’s are.
I said earlier of our leaders — Peter included — playing blind to serious things in an attempt to protect their pack. Think of it that right now no one seems interesting in finding out who strangled Robert Chasowa or those who squeezed the life out of Issa Njauju. A serious president, like what Peter wants us to believe he is, would has made sure that these issues are thoroughly investigated and brought to light. But what with all these conspiracy theories that those involved are close to the throne.
And Peter said something about solving our water woes. I understand there is this grand Likhubula project which I honestly think will bring sanity. But I was left shell shocked with the president’s celebration that we are doing fine in making water available for all just because we have managed to build some boreholes.
Good people, it is a defeatist mentality for a nation that claims 52 years of independence to celebrate drilling boreholes yet it has one of the biggest lakes and rivers in this corner of the globe. Two and a half years into his presidency, Peter still seems out of depth and all he is doing is to lead Malawians into celebrating petty things. And this, if you have not noticed, is really damaging our psyche. We have become a nation that accepts backwardness as a norm.
I have an example. The Malawi University of Science and Technology — Must if you want to sound romantic — is operating with water from boreholes. The irony of a university of science and technology having no tap water is pretty damning but we believe it is normal. It is in our psyche as I said it earlier. We do things in reverse and we are awkwardly backward. The summary of us is that while others have long advanced to tap water we are still a borehole nation
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