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The citizenry cannot endure in silence

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Mdzukulu, Haggai Institute, lecturer and leader of leaders John Edmund Haggai said: “Leadership is the discipline of deliberately exerting special influence within a group to move it towards goals of beneficial permanence that fulfill the group’s real needs.”

But the political history of Malawi is replete with politicians – some with their astounding rhetoric – who had or have betrayed the trust and turned government into personal fiefdom they use to accumulate wealth for themselves, their family and their clan.

Such self-seeking rulers and their cronies, mdzukulu – ranging from relatives, advisers, religious leaders, media practitioners, academics, civil servants, party members, legal practitioners, concubines and all other opportunists of some kind – ironically, have amassed millions and billions in wealth while the poor sink deeper into poverty, living on less than a dollar a day.

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Yet, truly, great leaders’ greatness is measured by the multitude of followers that they make great and not how they have used their greatness to make themselves great—great leaders do not build themselves up, they build others up (they build humanity up), they build multitudes out of poverty, misery and hopelessness.

But most Malawian leaders, mdzukulu, have built themselves up on the shoulders of, on the sweat and sacrifice of poor Malawians,

They have built themselves earthly empires; they have made themselves insanely rich while their stepping stones are wallowing in abject poverty.

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And what is more worrying is that whosoever attempts to raise a finger against such unethical leadership is met with all sorts of taunts and insults thrown from all possible angles. The latest obscene responses to criticisms, mdzukulu, are ‘rubbish’ and ‘zachamba’[nonsense] by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Cenral Region President Hetherwick Ntaba and the party’s Secretary General Greselder Jeffrey respectively.

DPP is being accused of pocketing money from some of the country’s parastatals and Mzuzu and Blantyre city councils for its fundraising Blue Night event in Lilongwe recently.

But, mdzukulu, what Jeffrey, Ntaba and other President Peter Mutharika moles ought to know is that if the President works for himself and serves himself then the citizenry including the ‘nonsensical’ critics have no business or right to indeed demand answers, accountability and transparency from the President and his cohorts.

Absent that, then the citizenry have a right to know how government officials including the First Citizen handle matters on behalf of the taxpayers and this forms the underpinning of and an important element of fiscal transparency and good governance in a democratic set-up.

As it stands, mdzukulu, the DPP government is mired in one scam after another: National Aids Commission scam, a humongous maize scam, Farm Input Subsidy Programme contracting scam and the Blue Night scam just to single out a few.

But Jeffrey and Ntaba and other DPP zealots, in all honesty and seriousness, believe the citizenry have no right to ask (through the media or otherwise) any probing questions or seek any clarifications, demand transparency and accountability or indeed expect any answers to such burning issues.

In recent times, Muthrika and DPP have been repeatedly highlighting to gatherings of any kind purported activities his government has so far done in ‘fighting’ several challenges including corruption.

One would like to think that it is the height of naivety to believe Mutharika and DPP’s fairy tales and expecting too much that the DPP government would be radical on corruption and embezzlement of public resources since Jeffrey and Ntaba have manifestly depicted that kleptocracy is an integral of the party and its administration’s political DNA.

But, mdzukulu, the DPP gurus ought to know that the citizenry’s constitutional expectation is that the President will provide strong, steady, visionary, ethical and sacrificial leadership; that the President will put into place informed and deliberate polices that will grow and invigorate the ailing Malawi economy and bring some measure of fiscal sense in their livelihoods.

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