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Comic deference

Our Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe is on some grand exhibition of his senility. He seems to like and enjoy every moment and opportunity he has to remind us that he is someone who is supposed to be at his retirement home.

At 82, as nature does to all of us, Goodall is receding to his infantile years. Goodall, once upon a time was a sharp economist and a marvel to listen to every time he opened his mouth.

For those who remember, former president Bingu wa Mutharika had his best years when the country’s economy was left in the hands of Goodall. Even Joyce Banda, an avowed nemesis of the Midnight Six, had to bury the hatchet and invite Goodall into cabinet to help solve economic problems that beset her time. Simply put, Goodall has had some stellar years as Minister of Finance and he is, perhaps, the finest this country has had. But age is a crook and time is the savage that changes all of us to become what we were not.

Take for example the serial blunders that the once-upon-a-time brilliant Goodall is making. Right now, the octogenarian is failing to explain the dubious K4billion which he promised to share with some 86 members of Parliament for whatever reason. His recalcitrance to pave the way for investigations into the matter is pure evidence that the man feels he is too big and cannot be held accountable.

Goodall’s megalomania is manifested in more than one way. Just recently, he alongside some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wasted guards held a press briefing where they pledged support to their fellow old man Peter Mutharika, who some block of the DPP feels must leave the stage for young, innovative and exuberant candidate.

From the press briefing, Goodall had the cheek to insult the youthful generation of this country when he declared that only retirees are fit to run affairs of the country. Goodall, in his thinking, life begins at 70 and that all of us below that are babies in diapers and must never think of leadership.

Goodall’s statement is purely one from an old man living in the dark ages and left behind of civilisation.

What was thought to be a show of solidarity and defence to their fellow old man, Goodall and co have just managed to create a huge cleft between the old and the youth.

What the likes of Goodall are failing to appreciate is that there is growing resentment of old politicians who most revolutionary Malawians believe are the reason for our state of arrested development. Actually, even within the DPP—the party in which Goodall is one of the vice presidents—there is a disgruntlement from some youth who believe the party thinks all they have to offer is blind and mindless support.

From that statement, Goodall has not only insulted the young generation within and outside his party but he has raised the middle finger on two of his bosses—the vice president, Saulos Chilima and President Mutharika.

He might not have said it directly, but when he said running a country is not for babies, Goodall was referring to his boss, Chilima, who has been receiving massive support from people in the party. Chilima was chosen to be where he is after gaining confidence from Goodall’s top-most boss, Mutharika. By saying whatever he said, Goodall subtly questioned the wisdom of Mutharika in putting trust in a baby.

All said, Goodall has started a war of generations and instead of defending his master—Mutharika—Goodall has only succeeded in creating more problems.

Going by what Goodall said, we can as well and rightly conclude that what he has for the vice president, Chilima is nothing but comic deference.

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