Twoweeks ago, the monstrous Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia decided to shut down Teranga FM and Hilltop Radio. The reason behind this blatant throttling of freedom of expression was that the two stations did not relent in taking Jammeh to task over his decision to cling to power despite people of The Gambia speaking through the ballot that they had had enough of Jammeh’s rule.
Jammeh has proven to be a bloody usurper who thinks less of The Gambia and more of himself. Just like to his hideous cousins Pierre Nkuruzinza of Burundi and Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo, all that matters is their stay in power regardless of the mess they have created in their countries. And such horrid leaders do not stop at anything. They will use whatever artillery at their disposal to silence every voice that speaks of their shady dealings.
It was not strange on Friday when the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) decided to close Times Group’s offices for reasons that remain debatable to this point. It is sheer naivety to believe that the closure was absolutely a decision made by the management of MRA. The sane will easily know that there is some puppeteer that is doing his work, however clumsily, on the management of MRA.
Whatever has been made or will be made official as the reason for the sealing of Times Group’s offices, the truth remains that all this is a counterattack on the media house that has shaken the foundation of the corrupt regime that we currently have in place. Since this Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) bumped into government in 2014, it has not hidden its burning disdain against Times Group. President Peter Mutharika has been leading his sycophants in his religious objurgating of Times as a station
that has a pathological hatred of his leadership and the DPP. But this is ironic. When this Mutharika guy was being tossed left-right-centre by the People’s Party-led regime and was being shunned by the heavily politicised Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Times Group gave him the platform just like it did to everyone who offered to run this country.
In all the generosity towards Peter, little did we know that we are creating a monster that will preside over one of the most debilitating leadership this country has ever seen. Perhaps, I am skirting around the point too much, here is what I believe had led to all this.
The revelations about the dubious maize deal between Admarc and Zambia’s Kaloswe Courier Limited have put the government off-balance and they know pretty well that what they thought would be hidden forever has finally been revealed. We are talking about a deal that has seen K9.5 billion lost in questionable circumstances, and probably ended up in some greedy people’s pockets.
The maize scam, has told Malawians about the heartless government we have. A government that is ready to obtain court orders, seal offices, kill or employ whatever diabolic tactic you can think of just to protect its selfish acts.
Two weeks ago, Mutharika instituted a bogus Commission of Inquiry that has been solely put in place to absolve people that have been muddled in the maize scam. I call it bogus because, on Thursday, a member of the Commission inadvertently revealed how compromised she is when she could not manage to hide her partiality by posting on social media, her side of the maize scam.
It is now telling that people are currently shaking and know that the revelations of the maize deal is damning. On Thursday, I received a press statement signed by the Secretary General of the DPP. The statement, to all those who still think properly, was nothing other than garbage, hastily written by a rustic inept who is very desperate to defend some devious act.
I read the whole of it because our job demands that we should not tire to give an ear or eye even to idiots.
The press statement I am talking about was an attempt to justify the suspicious procurement of maize by Admarc. What I failed to understand is that, in everything that has been written about the maize deal, at no point was the DPP mentioned. It was Admarc, Ministry of Agriculture, Kaloswe Courier Limited and Zambia Corporative Federation. In a typical proverbial outsider who wept more than the bereaved, the DPP decided to drag itself into this scandal.
It was at that point that I realised that, somehow, someone at the DPP secretariat knows the dirty side of the deal and wants to defend themselves before even they have been mentioned as accomplices.
Think of this. When we were very young, we used to do some funny things. Most of you will remember that when we have messed up something at home and mother or father came asking who was responsible, the guilty one was the first to shout “I did not do it”; that answer was always the confession of the guilty.