Refreshing leadership antic
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, let’s acknowledge one more plus for Acheemwa JB who, this week, met several society leaders to brief them and seek their views on the Malawi-Tanzania border dispute.
As Ababa JZU noted, this is refreshing. It does not happen every day. And, in the country’s 48 year-plus history of independence, this is probably the first time a president has called on the people to bang heads on the way forward in view of a national crisis.
It never happened during the colonial times. The good old man from Kasungu, the late HKB, never consulted anyone. He was the law and the Caesar. The late Professor Moya was even worse. He saw everyone else as cartoons, including global partners; hence, he ran Malawi as a private firm, the way he managed his Ndata Farm.
For Atcheya, anyamata a patawuni, he was also not known for consulting on critical national issues. He particularly, without listening to criticism, structurally battered the economy and left in tatters.
But what Acheemwa has done sounds a fresh chapter in the history of local governance; more especially in the matters at hand (war), as this can directly and adversely affect every Malawian.
Of course, some folks are rightly arguing that Acheemwa is using the Yao-Lhomwe nj’jinjire une principle. It is about mice digging. When the hunting team establishes evidence that there are a lot of mice on the hole being dug, everybody wants to participate in the digging; hence, the nj’jinjire une (let me take my turn to dig) language.
Yet, when it is established that a snake may be in the hole, very few volunteer to dig.
In simpo English, the cynics are arguing that in these rough times, the President is highly consultative; but when it comes to good moments, she confines herself to a few individuals and cohorts?
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, the fact still remains that as she talks on our behalf in Maputo, JB will have an idea of what her key leaders in civil society, the faith community, the media or political groups think about the situation along our north-eastern frontier.
You will agree with us, Raw Stuffers, that if the Moya were around, the language would have been tingoswanapo basi or let’s just meet on the Songwe border and exchange firepower. Now, we all know that when that happens, the human being loses value, guns and tanks take over, countries and civilisations fall.
In the case of Malawi and Tanzania, the whole rich history of neighbourliness dating to one hundred years back would go up in flames. The strong inter-marriage and communal links between the two countries, especially in the border area itself, would see wreckage of families and otherwise closely-knit communities.
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, the strong business element between the two countries, especially the traditional Northern Corridor that is a major lifeline for Malawi and Tanzanian business people, would also go derelict, the way the Beira Corridor between Maputo and Salisbury/Harare was incapacitated during the dark hours of Zimbabwe’s history. It has not fully recovered, years after the Chimurenga or Mozambican civil war.
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, we all know what war is all about. It is not fun. It can take the whole people’s clock a hundred years back with just one or two bombs flying across the frontiers.
This is why the stance taken by JB to sit down and talk things over with our northern neighbour over a cup of tea or glass of water gives a very refreshing and cooling effect to the whole saga.
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, we are saying all this as Malawians, not as PP, DPP, UDF, Petra, Aford, MCP or any briefcase party. We have not been ‘sconned’ either, because there is nothing to be ‘sconned’ about. It is the question of ‘Malawi first, my country first’ as the late Professor Moya, in his rare wisdom, once said when he lived and ruled this country.
This is why we say congratulations Chemwaali. You have our support.
We need to see the same consultative spirit in addressing other national issues, for example, the nationwide strikes that are dogging the economy as a result of the Western-fuelled 10 and 49 percent devaluations and the rising inflation. Things are just unbearable.