By Madalitso Musa
Yesterday, during a graduation ceremony at African Bible College, President Lazarus Chakwera, a rhetorical master, was again on the podium doing what he does best: immaculate speeches in a borrowed tongue and promises.
But he also unveiled something that has always been the curse of all our leaders past and present; superfluous arrogance that hurts Malawians and leaves them with bitterness that ferments in them only waiting to explode.
In what he thought was motivating the graduates who will be initiated to this world of hopelessness due to, a greater effect, leadership malfunctioning, Chakwera hinted that Malawians are cry-babies who want everything to be done for them. He might be partially right but gravely wrong.
Look here, how do you describe as a cry-baby a Malawian who has to walk 15 kilometres to a menial job because he or she cannot afford a kabaza fare because he or she wants to save a nickel for bonya and maize flour for a day?
The President, who has on numerous times confessed ignorance on some of the happenings in this country, should not have the audacity to rudely describe his people who are gnawing teeth as cry-babies. No. not at all.
Yes, some of us understand that the world economy is experiencing a recession but that should not be an excuse to run down a country with manufactured hunger and careless rise in cost of living.
For the poor, who are in majority in this country, buying bread is like buying some state-of-the-art plasma television. Buying a packet of sugar is a dream achieved today.
Cooking oil is way beyond some servant to sweat and toil for a compensation called salary that will even end before payday. Even for the lucky or unlucky ones who own vehicles, they have to think twice before parking at a gas station to have a drop in their fuel tank.
Now, when these people complain they become cry-babies?
Our reverend president ought to be one who has the welfare of people as a priority and even in their misery comfort them other than insult them with executive nonchalance.
Once upon a time, when Malawians were in that fuel crisis of 2010-2011, the then first lady Callista Mutharika, who was in her finest hour during Bingu wa Mutharika’s ill-fated regime, rudely told suffering Malawians living in rural areas that they do not need electricity or fuel.
Her husband, too, I remember in a grand show of I-do-not-care attitude, told those complaining to go on the middle of the road to see if no vehicle would hit them. What sheer arrogance and disrespect to a suffering people who you are supposed to guide, love and protect.
Any leader, who has ever suffered and known it, should not be one to ignore the suffering of the people. Chakwera should be old enough and know that time changes and the people he today call cry-babies are the very same who demonstrated days on end, risked their lives and queued at the break of dawn, in the afternoon and at dusk hoping for a better Malawi.
Today the trappings of power have shown. What is funny with our leaders is that once they pass through those gates of state residences, they forget what they were before. Whatever happened to humility?
During the past week, the monstrous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) gathered its touted party ‘gurus’ in a spurious show of a sham briefing on the concerns of how this country is being managed.
Well, DPP, as most of us know, is just another grouping that terrorised Malawi in governance, thievery, corruption and everything you can think of about a regime that was an antithesis of democracy and good governance.
Now seeing that DPP has garnered the confidence to go public and claim they ran our affairs better should clearly be something the Tonse Alliance government should be ashamed of.
Even senile people such as Goodall Gondwe now have the strength that the can run the economy better?
I might have digressed a bit, but Chakwera should have been sensitive on commenting about Malawians. He and his cabal no longer know the price of sugar, cooking oil and all these necessities that are skyrocketing; they get them free.