Of the leadership we want
Before we get into today’s substantive issues, let us put on record that what we saw in the Capital this week is what we want to see for the rest of this country’s shelf-life.
We want to see leaders from all corners of the country, from all sectors of society, all and sundry, coming together time and again to deliberate on issues that affect us all, regardless of our political, religious or tribal affiliations.
Mbwiiye, it was gratifying and soothing to see some ‘old political blankets’ wobbling to the New State House to listen to the current rulers and offer advice on how best to handle the Malawi-Tanzania issue.
Mbwiiye, it was quite exhilarating (to use a Dausian word) to see original, genuine boyish smiles on faces such as Ababa’s—who rarely smiles—feeling good and commending the Capital leadership.
It was also an opportunity to re-assemble the rich collection of political minds that this country has, for our children to see. In the ‘archive’ team, one saw youthful leaders as well as ‘old brass’ that date as far back as the colonial and MCP times, in grey hair all over, sharing light moments with the high table and the rest of the team.
Mbwiiye, the collection of wisdom in that hall was just amazing. It is something this country has not experienced since the multiparty days. Even our Capital Assembly has not had this experience apart from making noise when an opportunity avails itself or seeking increased perks when the MPs deem it fit.
In fact, as I watched the ‘assemblage’ on TV, an idea flashed through my mind, that it is high time we reconsidered the idea of a Senate, where our sages would sit and add quality to deliberations of the Lower House and/or provide direction when issues of national importance occur and when we need a Malawian solution, not sectarian party positions.
I also said to myself if this was the approach to issues that affect us all, for example, the hard economic times we are going through, the lack of training and jobs for our youths, HIV and Aids, etc, this country would have been elsewhere by now.
My suggestion is that the good lady of the Capital will call for such meetings frequently so that the country’s sages help to set the national agenda, one that would transcend political parties’ terms.
For example, this ‘group of elders’ would identify strategic issues, plans and activities that go beyond political parties’ five-year terms and ensure that whoever comes into power at the Capital has a national blue-print from which to formulate annual plans and national policies.
Mbwiiye, believe me, this is how great countries and civilisations were built. For example, look at how the Indian iron, steel and ICT industries were built. The ideas and strategies date back to the Mahatma Gandhi or Nehru days. And today, the Indians are also, like Americans, out in space exploration. They are economic giants that, seriously, do not need imports for basic survival.
And, because of such overall, general direction, such countries have very easy, democratic elections because everyone knows who they want to lead their country, what qualifications and experience the candidates should have, etc. Yet here, because we have not prioritised what we, as a country, want to pursue and what really our problem is, we allow each and every cowboy or cowgirl to mess us up.
If you don’t agree with me, see what our Capital leaders have put us through over the years, especially since the days of multipartyism. There was one who turned the economy up-side-down; messed up all systems and went home with allegations that he even helped himself to public coffers.
Then another one came and spent his time behaving like a frothing boxer, always swearing all over and itching for street fights, calling us all sorts of names from tiankhwenzule tating’onoting’ono to brainless chickens. The fellow went further, calling our technical partners idiots and imperialists, apart from deporting them like ordinary ‘Mungo Parks’.
Then we have the current leadership, which is spending more time in the villages instead of the Capital, making all sorts of contradictory policy statements.
The point, Mbwiiye, is that it seems our leaders, possibly with the exception of the original Ngwazi, don’t have a clue of what they are supposed to be doing once elected into office.
That is why for the good first part of their terms, they spend time attending to political party rallies, minor administrative functions, flying helicopters and jets all over, more or less trying to show that they are presidents.
They, in brief, don’t believe that they are Capital leaders; hence, the excitement.
In fact, for some of them to show that they are working, they go on a massive staff firing campaign, knocking off experienced Capital Service officials or those operatives deemed pro-previous ruling party. Or, they engage in insulting and ridiculing the previous administrations which, in my considered view, is a complete waste of taxpayers’ time and resources. We, as a country, need to move out of such mud.
That is why, as I told you last week, when we return to the Capital in 2014, we will run a very clinical government; one that will add value to people’s lives. Mark my words.
Mbwiiye, we shall see our team beyond quota system spectacles. We will not abuse public office; for example, paying ourselves dubious monies through the courts or recruiting ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ from home. We have learnt a very huge lesson from such mistakes.
Our government will work along the model and principles of the initial Greek and Roman democracies, where the people’s voices mattered more that the rulers’.
All laws, I repeat, all laws will be in operation as per Constitution. For example, we will not apply Section 65 selectively as is the case at the moment. We will live by the rule, not corruption of the law.
And the current Capital leaders know this. That is why they are busy sponsoring some busy-bodies to disrupt our new strategies and dynamic leadership that the Moya left in place.
That antic, I swear by the late Moya’s mausoleum, will never yield anything. In our language we say: Ankola fisi! (They will catch a hyena on their political traps).
Mbwiiye, I am still writing you for and on behalf of the late Moya original, whose sound economic and leadership ideas people are now agreeing with.
Again, think about these things as we head for 2014, in the name of.
The late Rt.Hon.K.L.Mphwanye,
OSP, OLM, OCK, OLT
Achiever of MDGs, Professor of Government
Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa), Western Pacific