Of pacts with Nigeria, ode to the Captain
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, the best thing to say so far is we are in interesting times in Malawi.
This week, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan and his trademark hat were in town, walking our red carpets and talking like a ‘big boy’—“We will help with this or that; we will assist with drilling your oil and offer market to some of your produce, blaaablaaablaaa!”
At the end of the circus, the Abuja oga and his Lilongwe counterpart or their foreign ministers signed two very vague agreements—one on technical economic cooperation and the other on expertise exchange.
The big wigs also talked about abolishing visas between the two countries? Esteemed Raw Stuffers, on that issue alone, my citizen antennas (or ears) rolled out. My eyes grew big and my boyish six-inch smile flashed on, showing my Raw Stuffish deformed and scattered dental formula.
Free passage between Malawi and Nigeria? Yes, Nigeria is a big country with colossal resources, including oil that we all need. It has millions of nice folks, charming and disarming characters. The fellows also produce exciting African films.
But, esteemed Raw Stuffers, let’s not bury our heads in the sand. We have also heard things about Nigerians: Corruption and fraud; fights over their own oil they barely use; Boko Haram killings; charms and witchcraft; trade in ‘high powered’ cigarettes (chamba), cocaine and other narcotics.
And when these fellows come to a country, under free or strict passage, we have heard they camp in their large numbers and quickly cannibalise business, forex and property.
Of course, not all the ‘fish’ in Nigeria is bad. But, don’t we say when one fish is rotten in a basket the whole container goes bad?
Now, now, we are not being ‘Nigerphobic’ here. No xenophobia intended. But, esteemed Raw Stuffers, allowing these or any folks to walk into our Republic without any paperwork? Gee! What free Christmas!
What is our government trying to achieve? What is in it for us? Have we, through Parliament, been asked our views about this monumental policy shift?
Or, is it a sign of desperation by Capital Hill that it wants to please or be in cohorts with anyone who has wealth to help with our poverty?
Our point, esteemed patriotic Malawians, is that any leader, including Acheemwa Banda, should not do with Malawi whatever pleases them or comes to their minds. To be raw, Malawi is not their uncle’s maize or cassava field. It is home to about 14 million Malawians, we Raw Stuffers inclusive.
It is not chuma cha masiye (deceased property), an NGO or one’s private school/business. As the Tcheya once said, running government is serious ‘b’bisinesi’. It involves wide consultation on issues that involve the pipo.
Already, the Chinese and the folks from north-east Africa and the Great Lakes region akutilemera (are yoking us big time), should we add free-flowing Nigerians?
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, there is no harm in having one or two ogas in town, normal professionals and investors we really need. But just opening the floodgates?
Otherwise, is there something we Raw Stuffers are missing here? Or, our man Moses Kunkuyu, Uncle Steve Nhlane or Foreign Minister Ephraim Mganda Chiume—a team we Raw Stuffers respect so much—have not effectively marketed Lilongwe’s pacts with Abuja. Tidyekanapo agalu apa!
Esteemed patriots, we lament the passing of yet another great Raw Stuffer, Captain Stanley Masauli. There goes a gentleman, a man some of us talked with on frequent basis, a man who freely gave advice, criticism and counsel from his retirement home at Magalasi in Blantyre.
There goes a man who would quickly promise you a bottle of wine when you did or said a great thing. In fact, I did not collect my last bottle from the gentleman. And, true to his gentleman’s DNA, he kept calling me to go and collect; but unfortunately, fate had its way.
There goes a man who flew his planes at Luchenza Flying Club, our home. We, as tiny little boys, osasamba, otuwambuu from Welemu Village along the Thuchila, stood by the fences of the club, admiring Captain Masauli and azungu, flying their birds.
Fly thee well Captain, Order of the Senior Raw Stuffers (OSRS).