We reward the crooked and persecute the honest
We cheer the corrupt and sneer at the dignified
We insult the walkers and praise the talkers, the essence of walk the talk stopped counting years ago.
Cry thy beloved Malawi, oh how you break my heart so.
A screaming headline in one of our national papers read: CSOs DEMOS FLOP AGAIN. And sadly that was the case. The demonstrations that have been organised by CSOs for the past few years have always ended up being a “joke” because they are poorly patronized and people from certain quarters find this funny. And that is where our mindset malaise is conveniently pivoted; we applaud the wrong things and ridicule the right things.
Let us be honest with ourselves, our self-serving mentalities injure us in the long run. Malawi has seen numerous strikes the past three years, universities, teachers, health personnel and other private entities. People stand up for their immediate interests but fail to rise up for their country and the bigger picture. This is why protests will have police and journalists out-numbering the actual protestors. We prefer the passive aggressive Facebook and Twitter protests. Not to mention that many of us, in our deepest heart of hearts, do not want this country cleaned up because we benefit from basking in the rot.
I like what Honourable Kamlepo Kalua wrote on his face page, and I quote: Fighting corruption has a price. We all want to fight corruption but are corrupt ourselves. This fight should not just be for crooked politicians, it should be for all of us as citizens. If you are a police officer or driver, don’t indulge in corruption. If you are a passport officer, do not delay passports to get bribes from applicants. If you work at the Road Traffic Department do not delay the process just to get bribes. The culture of “Kupatsana kenakake” is reinforcing corruption. If we look within ourselves, we might all be corrupt in different forms. To win this fight, it should begin with ME, YOU, and all, no matter how small the bribe.
All the important institutions in the country are poisoned with corruption and mismanagement of resources. The people who engage in these activities walk around the streets being cheered and respected. Akuti Big Man Wamkulu. Most of us are aware that most of these people are acquiring their wealth and maintaining expensive lifestyles through dubious means. Unfortunately, our vanity and mediocrity surpass our sense of national and personal values. We envy the Range Rovers and the mansions in leafy suburbs regardless of the cost the whole country is paying.
We should not be surprised when the gangrene that is killing the country is nurtured. People who are blatantly defying the laws of this country because they have millions they never earned walk around free in the streets. Arrogantly smirking at everyone else. These are the people we hold in high regard. These are the people we are allowing to become role models for our children. It’s painful to imagine what will become of this country in the next decade if we continue down this dark path of destruction.
The industrial growth that is supposedly tasked to bail the country out of poverty is not spared when it comes to the rot. We are yet to get to the point where the industry upholds hard work and integrity and resilience. We want to get rich here and now by whatever means necessary. So the industry itself is a refuge for politics and corruption. Many of the businesses rely on underhand deals to thrive and get contracts and loans.
There are people that have a job, be it formal or informal, only because of corruption. They are employed by corruption. They have a name because of corruption. Without corruption they would be nothing. Without corruption they would be nameless. And this is why there are strong undercurrents that protect corrupt fat-cats and defile progress.
We support corruption through our action and inaction. We support the corrupt through our envy and reverence of them. We might as well get on the rooftops and cheer at clowns. But as Honourable Kamlepo Kalua said, it begins with you and me. Every one of us is the key to change and progress in this country.
I rest my case.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues