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The wrong precedent

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The way a parent behaves sets a precedent for the way the children that look up to them reckon they can and should behave. Sometimes the way we treat others, sets a precedent for how others reckon they should treat us and other people at large. For instance, people who were bullied in school, usually end up bullying others later in life —in their workplaces, in sports or in social interactions.

There is a reason we have leadership in life. And there is a reason a country has figures of authority that govern the country. The terms closely associated with leadership are direction, control, management, guidance and supervision. Unfortunately, things seem to be working upside down, our leaders have no control, no sense of guidance and it is the people that look up to the so-called leaders that end up needing to guide and manage the leadership instead.

It sends a very bad picture when chaos and confusion seemingly emanate from the very source that is supposed to cultivate order and protocol. It sends a worse picture when the people that are supposed to uphold the integrity of the country fail to do so at the cost of their own families and the country at large. However, the incredible picture is the one that comes when the people that are supposed to develop the country and protect it are perpetrators of its downfall. Where is the integrity and accountability?

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People should be able to respect themselves, their position, their responsibilities, their families and their country enough to step down when there are seemingly conflicts of interests and when their positions come to bad light without compromising the integrity of the country at large and without soliciting unnecessary ridicule. The country has been a circus in recent times as important and respected positions have been allowed to become a fulcrum of ridicule.

What precedents are we setting for the country’s leadership at large and what precedents are we setting for the future generation? Our moral standing has been eroded so much that I doubt we can honestly call this country a God-fearing nation any longer.

Sadly though, the leaders and influencers that are poisoning the soul of this country are shielded from accountability. How many petty criminals, small time crooks and even innocent people do we have living in destitute persecution without proper rehabilitation and trial when we protect people that destroy the moral threshold and integrity of the whole country? Openly and defiantly at that.

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Where is this country going? A long ride to hell sounds accurate.

On the other hand, let us stop pointing fingers and constantly ranting on social media with zero initiative. What are we doing about our situation? How are we leading in our own lives? Who are we protecting at the cost of many? Some of us are out there ranting about the poor governance by the authorities when in our own corners arrogantly and unashamedly dishing out poor service, leadership and comradely to others. Where is the love in this country? Is this passive aggressive precedent the one we want to set for this country?

A fellow writer, Levi Kabwato, lamented that “there’s nothing happening in Malawi that all its citizens do not deserve”. This caught my attention enough to seek him to qualify on this notion.

His response was: “We are in this mess because we have allowed it to be so because of our inactive citizenship. We, as citizens, have outsourced the responsibility to govern to people and institutions we’re not familiar with, nor have interest in. The reward we have reaped is clear for all to see.”

He could not have said it any better.

It is always a shame that when activists like Billy Mayaya stage a protest, none of us are found there. But at least he acts and makes the initiative. There can be no change without action. This country is being fed a raw deal by authorities, service providers and ripped off by other international companies that come in the name of ‘bailing out poor little Malawi’… but we sit and watch and rant. Action, just as efficiency, is something we are yet to familiarise ourselves with.

Now is this the precedent we want to continue setting for Malawi, 52 years on? Such a precedent defies all manner of logic and patriotism.

I rest my case

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