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When leaders behave like headless chickens

Born in a country run by an incompetent and mediocre bunch of leaders in whose world the term standard does not exist, we, Malawians, must know that we are living dangerously in this treacherous world.

And, more often than not, it is the poorest of the poor that bear the full brunt of such inept administrations.

As a nation, we, Malawians, are coming to terms with this fact under the Peter Mutharika administration and the results have been catastrophic.

The ineptness and chaos and selfishness that characterised the celebration of 53 years of poverty, under-development and mediocrity since independence from the British have been well documented.

But nothing said so far dwarfs the tragedy of losing seven children who went to Bingu National Stadium (BNS) to watch a free match on Thursday to celebrate independence with their country, only to go back to their homes dead.

We have discussed endlessly what could have happened and did not happen that could have led to the deaths of the kids who the country has led down.

We scratched our heads as to what could have happened for a stampede to form at the stadium when the match was free and common sense could have dictated that its gates should be flung wide open for everybody who fancied going there to enter hassle free.

What we conveniently forgot is that you do not take anything for granted when you have leaders that behave like headless chickens at the top.

It turns out somebody in the DPP administration ordered that the stadium should not be opened until the DPP women and cadets, clad in their blue colours, had vintage seats.

Since these people, who appear to be more equal than the rest of us, were attending another presidential function at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC), the stadium was kept shut and an impatient crowd that included children formed at one entrance of BNS and the recipe for the disaster was well mixed, ready to explode and it did.

Put into the equation the teargas that the police seem to throw wantonly at anything that resembles a crowd these days, and you have your reason why the seven children perished in broad daylight while we watched or heard in total horror.

Simply put, it is the lack of thoroughness, incompetence and the DPP politicisation of the Independence Day celebrations that killed those helpless children.

Lack of standards will surely kill citizens. If you have a government that does not know standards, you are in danger whether you are on the treacherous roads or on the unforgiving waters of Lake Malawi.

We, Malawians, should not be surprised at all that we are perishing due to carnage on the roads. It is because we have a government that allows corruption to thrive at Road Traffic which, in turn, allows rickety vehicles, driven by incompetent drivers that cause accidents, to ply the roads.

We, Malawians, should not be perplexed that many people perished in Rumphi after a boat capsised on Lake Malawi. This is because we have no government that regulates anything.

What we have, instead, is a selfish ruling party that milks every other regulator on the statute books and uses its resources for its own good and sustenance.

Malawians know of ministers in this government that collect huge sums of money from one particular regulator for things that have nothing to do with the country.

Nobody in this government bothers with any regulation to protect lives because they, like headless chickens, are busy presiding over chaos and as I keep on saying that the only regret is that it is poor people dying as a result of deep rooted negligence.

In the issue at hand, who ordered that gates should not be opened for fear that commoners and plebeians from Mtandire, Senti and Mgona would fill up the stadium and leave out DPP cadets and women?

This is the problem that came about due to the politicisation of Independence Day celebrations.

DPP was not there during the fight for independence in the 1960s. Why should they have this idea that, 53 years later, they are more Malawian than the rest of us to monopolise the celebrations?

What was the organising committee organising during the celebrations if it did not think through the security issues associated with a free football match?

Maybe this is expecting too much from a government that does not seem to know its left from its right.

The only regret, I repeat, is that it is poor people perishing in our full view as a result of this telling incompetence of this DPP government.

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