First of the snakes


Press Secretary, Gerald Viola, is a man I know very little about. Before I knew the face, I knew his voice sometime back on MBC and I had mistaken it for the legendary Joshua Kambwiri’s. When I knew the two were different people I started listening to Viola with a little disdain because I had earlier taken him for a mimic man who was trying to be another Kambwiri. But with age I learnt that people can have distinctly similar features.

I lost track of him, until 2013 when I heard he was under Employment at Galaxy Radio. It must have been that year when he earned himself sometime in the cooler for his passing daring approach to journalism or broadcasting. The guy, whether out of blatant inanity or sheer bravery, went on air to read names of suspected cashgaters and their companies from a list whose authenticity remains questionable to date.

If you think just like I do, that act endeared Viola to the DPP because, as most of us know, Cashgate was the sucker punch on the People’s Party’s political ambitions. So, if you ask me, my honest and raw take is that Viola found himself rising astronomically in government not because he is the brightest bulb in the box, but by sheer exuding more blue in his hue even at a time he was supposed to be professional.


Conscience that his only asset and weapon for survival is to show the world that his blood is more blue that Peter Mutharika’s, Viola, I am afraid, seems to have gone a little too far and berserk.

If you are not aware why of all important people and issues in society one would waste newspaper print, time and energy talking about a press secretary let me remind you.

Recently, it was revealed that Viola made an attempt to bulldoze government ministries, departments and agencies to advertise more with Galaxy FM, which is owned by the Mutharika family, other than the other media houses or advertising agencies.


Without coating words in lumps of sugar, Viola’s laughable and inane act was simply an attempt to make the Mutharika family richer from our taxes while the rest of us go home poor.

If this country is to start making sense and be a place to live for all of us, we seriously cannot afford to have too many of Viola’s thinking in important government positions.

The major problem with this country is that we tend to reward people for their blind loyalty other than professional acumen. And because of this we have ended up having presidents who are surrounded by not-so-decorous people whose only purpose is to jump onto the national gravy train. I fear for Peter Mutharika.

Examples abound for us how political bigotry and abuse of power have dragged this country to the pathetic state we are in but it seems we just don’t want to learn. Look at the mess that became of MSB. Once upon a time, someone could easily walk into the bank and demand, not ask for, a loan and his only collateral and identification being his closeness to the ruling party. In the end, the bank staggered under the weight of toxic loans until it was sold for a song.

What the nation should be afraid of is that there must be several other orders made on government departments whose only target is to make rich those close to the throne, and the Galaxy FM is just one of the many.

I had expected Viola and whoever commissions him to have learnt that this country belongs to us all and such decrees and orders are retrogressive but it appears power corrupts.

I would seriously suggest that government should hire serious dietary professionals to test the food and whiskies of state house because I am beginning to believe that the food and the whiskies there have some illegal substance that numbs people brains.

I have a friend who, while working elsewhere, had astounding intelligence and remarkable wisdom that we could all envy. The moment he found a job at state house, politics and blind loyalty ate up all the threads of sanity and turned him into a drooling minion.

But we must not forget that time, the savage, has his own ways of turning things around and those who have grown too much wings will one day find themselves failing even to crawl.

To people like me, Viola’s mad and selfish order is an example of how greedy, crooked and heartless people can be once they taste power.

If you remember a while ago, it was the same DPP government that issued an order against advertising with The Nation newspaper in an attempt to kill media freedom.

By the day, I must confess; my aversion to crooked government’s like this one we have is growing and I have no kind words for its leadership and the attendant minions.

If at all Mutharika wants to keep his shrunken political mojo erect, he should heed that allegory of snakes benignly given by his deputy Saulos Chilima the other day in Ndirande. All snakes slithering in the government and DPP undergrowth must be quickly expended and if you ask me, I will, tell you that Viola is the first of the snakes.

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