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The art of resigning

With Tsibweni Chalo:

Mdzukulu, for the first time in the history of our country, we have a case against the election of a President full throttle in court and everyone has the opportunity to follow everything on radio.

The proceedings in the case are sometimes nice to the ear. Nevertheless, I will not go into the details of the case for fear of committing that legal sin called sub judice.

There have also been demonstrations aimed at forcing Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Jane Ansah, to resign from her position for leading a team that apparently mismanaged the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

Thousands of people have been pouring into the streets of our cities to express their anger towards Ansah who, up to now, does not seem ready to throw in the towel.

In the midst of all the tumultuousness, politician Uladi Mussa has reportedly decided to resign from his role as President Peter Mutharika’s adviser on parliamentary affairs, a position he was shoved into after failing to retain that parliamentary seat in Salima South.

A few others who failed to make it to Parliament were given similar positions and continue doing their job— whatever form it comes in.

Mdzukulu, what is, however, interesting is that Mussa has been ‘forced’ to resign for apparently taking part in a passport scam whose case is still in court.

The United States (US) Government designated him and his spouse such that they are not allowed to enter its territories.

Now, the US Embassy in Malawi has welcomed Mussa’s resignation which, obviously, is related to the passport issue.

But, Mdzukulu, another thing that has thrilled me most is that a politician can really resign from a lucrative position in Malawi.

That is where I am tempted to believe that Mussa was forced to call it quits after the US Government made it clear that they would not be dealing with him in anything.

Is it not ironic that news about his resignation did not really first come from Mussa himself? But, in any case, there is a lesson for others to learn from what he has done, or been forced to do.

Sometimes, when it is clear that your position is not tenable, stepping aside may be the best option. Doing that early enough is ideal for preserving your integrity.

But, Mdzukulu, I know that most politicians seldom follow conventional tenets of the way we should react to accusations levelled against us.

There have been several of them who have been implicated in high-profile scandals but have put their feet down, refusing to resign until they are forced to or are fired.

Elsewhere, it is so easy to resign. The moment one feels that they have done something wrong or is being accused of doing something wrong, they quickly step aside.

But, Mdzukulu, I know that in Malawi, most politicians and other high-profile officials’ concern is their bellies. Everything else seems to come second such that if their positions give them easy leeway to easy money, they will do everything—or even do nothing—to maintain them.

That is why it is even more difficult to accept that Mussa voluntarily stepped down from that advisory role coveted by many.

He is not a member of Parliament anymore. He is not a Cabinet minister. He is a mere Central-Region vice-president of the governing Democratic Progressive Party. Of course, he is also a businessman.

So, for now, he has given up on something big or he has been forced to do so.

Nevertheless, all I can do is wish him all the best in his future endeavours (as is tritely said when someone leaves a position).

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