They never love


And I and I lay hold on Babylon

the old dragon, and bound him

for ten thousand years, even


longer than that


When he appeared before Parliament last week, George Chaponda looked and sounded furious. Despite his normal sneering stare, good old George was audibly and visibly a man out-of-sorts and cornered. The way he rumbled and mumbled his purported explanation about the part he played in the shady maize deal between Malawi and Zambia was enough to make one wonder whether this Chaponda guy is fit to be minister or is only there by accident.


Three or four weeks ago, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) of South Africa and Super Sport celebrated a decade of their partnership. What struck me on the night was the address by South Africa’s Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula. Mbalula was articulate and in his speech, he took the audience on the path from the nascent days of the PSL to the grand business entity it has become. He even mentioned some important but seemingly minute details of the football business in South Africa. One could read that this was a man well informed, knowledgeable and fit to be called a Minister. I learnt later that Mbalula is only 45 years old. It made me start thinking about home.

Take, for instance, Chaponda’s confession that they flouted procedure in the purported procurement of maize from Zambia. The silly and lame excuse coated in the unconvincing allegory of a burning house that needed urgent attention can only convince a rustic inept. Every sane person would find fault in Chaponda’s dealings. Here was a minister who sanctioned a multi-billion dollar deal without following procedure and he wants all of us to clap hand and understand him. I will not.

What is undisputable here is that Chaponda acted carelessly and he is careless in dealing with the government business. It shocks me so much every time I hear the

rumour that Chaponda is or was once-upon-a-time president Peter Mutharika’s anointed successor. How can a man who showed disregard to procedure in conducting government business that has billions attached to it be entrusted with the biggest office on the land?

But Malawians can surprise you really. If you can read the minds of Malawians, you would see that we have a tendency of rewarding mediocrity and punishing people for good deeds. I have examples to boot. For his failure at the Ministry of Education and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Peter Mutharika was rewarded with the presidency while for his outstanding performance as head of Public Reforms, Vice President Saulos Chilima was stripped off his mandate. We love the bad like Chaponda.

Why did I earlier mention South Africa’s Fikile Mbalula? Ok, as I have already said, Mbalula’s seriousness and passion for his job impressed me a lot. Somehow, I think it is because he is still young and fresh. At home we mistakenly put too much trust in grandparents who should have been long sent to their retirement homes. We are still wowed by the tired adage that age is wisdom.

We tend to forget that, sometimes, old people tend to be megalomaniac and, because of their advanced years, begin to believe they are closest to God a thing which gives them licence to do all they wish and ignore wise counsel.

In case you are not aware, some of the most important offices in this country are held by people who are old and tired and should have long retired. Three people that easily come to my mind are Peter Mutharika, George Chaponda and Goodall Gondwe. Mutharika is 77 years old, Chaponda is 75 while Goodall is 81. Here we are talking of a President, Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Finance which are hugely important posts in this country.

Leaving such important offices to Septuagenarians and octogenarian is risky because what these people have in their mind is not the development of this country other than what luxuries they will have after office or, if I am to play God, the afterlife.

And one thing maybe only I think about is that these people have spent the most productive years of their lives abroad and they take Malawi as a retirement village. Assuming they were productive wherever they were, Mutharika, Chaponda and Gondwe did more abroad and very little for this country. And if you were to ask around, I doubt if any of these people have off-springs here at home. After messing up this country, these people will be on the first plane to US or wherever the people that matter in their lives are.

If you think I am not being fair to them, ask yourself why people who claim to love this country would knowingly flout procedure in a deal that would eventually cost this country billions of dollars knowing that poor Malawians will be forced to pay. If you ask me what I think of these people and what I think of this country, I swear they never love.

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