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Leadership by propaganda

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Mdzukulu, great leader s desire only to serve, not to lead, observes Myles Munroe, a best-selling author and a widely acknowledged expert in leadership matters.

But because of the passion, Munroe adds, focus, relentlessness, tirelessness, consistency and the commitment they display in the selling, promotion, pursuit and elaboration of their vision, they inspire and motivate a trusted following that embraces and shares their vision and eventually chooses them to lead the cause despite their reticence.

Sadly, mdzukulu, these qualities and traits have not only been non-existent in post-Hastings Kamuzu Banda Malawi pseudo-leaders but never been cultivated or aggressively encouraged.

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Thus, since Malawi embraced multiparty politics in 1993, the country in Bakili Muluzi, Bingu wa Mutharika, Joyce Banda and the sitting President Peter Mutharika has had not only a visionless democracy but a heartless ‘theft-o-cracy’.

To fortify their cult status, generated from one’s ego, a slow-on-the-uptake populace and fraudulent public institutions, the four leaders, mdzukulu, have exercised propaganda that is anathema to visionary leadership.

Propaganda is the name given to something written or spoken with the intention of making people believe what the writer or speaker wants them to believe. It is often unscrupulous, making use of various manipulative techniques to propagate a particular doctrine or practice.

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Propaganda works in more than 10 ways.

The propagandis t , among others, repeats asser t ions again and again, that is, mdzukulu, uses a ‘brainwashing’ technique (if you hear something often enough, you begin to believe it, even if it is not supported by evidence), a favourite strategy in advertising, which is just another form of propaganda.

The propagandist also glamorises the situation being propagated

The propagandis t , mdzukulu, uses facts to give the assertion credibility but selects only those facts convenient to the purpose.

President Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government is not spared of these propaganda strategies.

Mdzukulu, it is reported the Office of the President and Cabinet has moved to reduce unnecessary expenditures incurred through travcel and use of government vehicles following the poor performance of the 2017/2018 national budget.

However, mdzukulu, Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara in a circular dated March 23 2018 says the measures have not extended to the presidency.

The measures have also restricted business class travel to heads of the three arms of government, the Speaker, the Chief Justice and Chief Secretary to the Government.

But, mdzukulu, distinguished Malawian essayists, Desmond Dudwa Phiri, commonly known as D.D. Phiri, chronicles that when Malawi attained self-government in 1963, senior servants in the government told the then prime minister Hastings Kamuzu Banda that there were inadequate funds for running the government.

Banda reacted, he records, by ordering a 10-percent cut-off from his and his ministers’ salaries.

He also directed a freeze on the increments of the highest paid Malawian civil servants.

Besides, D.D. Phiri calls to mind during World War II photographs – captioned “The Royal Family is saving petrol due to wartime shortages” – of the British Royal Family on a trip travelling by horse-drawn coaches.

And one is obliged to think that such precedents and many more would guide the current DPP and Mutharika.

But our of presidents, mdzukulu, vice-presidents, Cabinet ministers and top government officials take it as a matter of right to live a very expensive lifestyle which includes designated residential areas, allocation of fleet of vehicles, a litany of all sorts of allowances, privileged child education in private schools and healthcare programmers usually outside the country, with India and South Africa as frequent institutions.

But all this is at the expense of the many suffering Malawians who are heavily taxed but fed to only but propaganda.

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