Nation of cowards


President Peter Mutharika is a very happy and satisfied man. In two months, he has raked in an honorary doctorate and two splendid recognitions for his stellar performance as head of state. We can only envy him.

In this damned world of rotten jealousy, it is never easy for reputable international organisations to recognise and appreciate someone’s good deeds. Peter is surely an achiever and worth of all the praise. Really, you must have an overflowing chalice of charisma to convince people that you are deserving of awards despite obvious mismanagement of a country.

Think of this, Malawi is at the moment the poorest country in the world and one of the most corrupt countries you can think of. Besides, we are still a country that has decided to stay put in the mire of underdevelopment with tobacco barns being used as classrooms, having constant stock-outs of drugs in our referral hospitals, a nation with a massive population of loafers and everything bad you can think of yet our president, unabashedly, celebrates being honoured for all this mess. I have this gut feeling that the institutions that are busy honouring our president know that we are a naive and drooling nation that can easily be pocked fun at, so they have chosen to mock our foolery through our president.


But somehow, I feel like at the back of his mind, Peter knows that all these awards and honours are a mockery to his being because, the picture of him holding aloft one of his awards really shows a great degree of discomfiture of him. A closer look can easily show that this is a man constipated by the conscience of accepting an award that does nothing but to mock his ineptitude.

Peter knows that his government has failed to make Malawi a better place to live in. On his watch, Malawi has become a nation of bandits, shysters, liars and cowards. Think of it that until now, his buddies that are said to have been involved in looting government coffers of K577 billion, now conveniently reduced to K236 billion, are still holding top positions in the government and he is not even ashamed.

Unless you tell me that Peter is one sleepy and naive guy, I will tell you that he has entertained grand thievery and abuse of office to disturbing proportions. Just think of people that have complained or resigned from positions on grounds that some state-connected minions were pushing them to make dubious payments or whatever.


Elsewhere, just a rumour of such shenanigans should have given rise to serious investigations, yet here at home everyone is just ok with it and only looking forward to May 2019 when we will be accorded another opportunity to make another mistake of choosing a president.

Daily, we have electricity blackouts for 16 hours or more, dry taps for two days yet we consider this as normal and the best we can do is remain hushed. The CEOs of Escom and water boards will only give you the same mantra of hopelessness— ranging from low levels of water and to high levels of water— and after that, jump into their K50 million vehicles nonchalantly. Their greatest fear is some useless remonstration from an out-of-sorts Minister of Energy who, without shame, went to town damning Escom for failing the country yet he is supposed to be the very centre of policies.

In this country, people get away with murder. Take, for instance, that people know that a small group of people are stealing from our taxes and have become overnight billionaires. I am talking about people who have become big, too big that they can make institution heads pee in their briefs or knickers in the name of political power yet we do nothing as a nation. We are, sadly, mentally imprisoned in the one-party rule that presidents and their cronies are quasi-divine figures that cannot be shaken. And these demigods know that we are too meek and silly to question their actions; that is why they do anything they fancy a pastime even if it means driving this nation to perdition.

As a nation, we are too afraid of politicians as if they are an immortal bunch and we are rodents that exist at their mercy. Everyone thinks we must just watch and live with the disturbing condemnation of cowardice while the nation is being raped. I refuse that. It is just like our religious institutions that have taken advantage of our boring docility to play tricks on us.

These days in our commercial churches, we have been hypnotised to believe that whatever we profess is true or is going to be true. A perspiring preacher will howl at you to look at your neighbour and make a proclamation such as “Tell your neighbour you are going to be rich, tell your neighbour you are good looking, tell your neighbour this is the year of breakthroughs”, and many other vain prophesies of such kind. So, dear Malawians, as you finish reading this, let me wear my clerical robes and allow me to implore you to say something: Tell your neighbour we are a nation of cowards.

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