I went on Easter reflection and phew, many and many things have happened since we spoke. Imagine Gerald Viola joins a long list of those that have departed State House since 2014, of course scribes are now on their best behaviour even putting out stories about leading contenders for the position of “clown of the year.”
Yes you gotta be a clown to accept a position whose job tenure is six months, in which half of those you have to behave like a circus clown. My suggestion is that the President needs a politician as a spokesperson not a professional. My justification is too long for today.
Anyway for any appointment, there is disappointment. For every birth there is death. Just remember “khukhala bwino ndi wanthu ukakhala pa mwamba, potsika uzawapeza.” We wish Gerald all the best, your legacy is your outbursts against Zodiak Broadcasting Station. People remember only the bad stories.
Again while I was away, literally I left my smart phones and gadgets home and disappeared to Mua Mission for a retreat of my mental and physical faculties for two weeks. I am glad I did.
The other day MP Julian Lunguzi told me there was a graduation for MCP veteran John Tembo. I was quite surprised that the man was studying. She said no no, its an honorary degree from the University of Malawi. I was impressed. If there is a man who deserves such an honour, JZU fits the bill.
Eeesish before I hear the protests of how ruthless he was during one party regime, that is well documented and indeed the family (meaning JZU, Mama and I) run Malawi literally as a personal kingdom and proudly declared all opponents as feed for crocodiles in the Shire. It was not an empty threat.
But history is written by winners. Malawians in 1993 won their freedom and democracy was returned to us. As winners we write what we want. We arrested Tembo for the Mwanza murders, our courts acquitted him, clearing him one of the most controversial scars of our political history. The death of three Cabinet Ministers and an MP. That’s what the courts said, Tembo was clean. Public opinion says another.
But at his age, Tembo has seen and accepted that democracy is better. People can speak or cartoon themselves without Government being worried. God has kept him long enough to enjoy the same that was denied to Orton Chirwa, Masauko Chipemembere and Attati Mpakati. We praise heavens for that.
It is the other John Tembo that I celebrate. Mature and principled politician. When cartoons and greedy buffoons filled our landscape changing political parties faster than underwears, JZU, now Dr John Tembo lived by principle of politics of loyalty.
He might have slipped and backed a third term or fought Gwanda Chakuamba and Hetherwick Ntaba, but he never ditched his values. He is a sign of what a political leader should be, not the chameleons that have dined with every President since 1964 and have party clothes of all parties.
The other Dr John Tembo is his humane side. He loves and treat people who work for him or who needs help as a human being. He laughs and jokes with adults and he plays with children alike. All the institutions he chaired he cared for staff welfare.
Apart from our greedy national cartoons we call politicians, the next greedy lot are corporate thieves who rip off companies to the bone and close them if their pay is not good. How on earth can one man claim MWK6 million monthly vehicle allowance on top of allowances as chairman of many subsidiaries of his conglomerate?
Most companies are in red and you never here Managers being sacked for failing to turn it around. They are the same boys club from the 1960’s.
Dr. John Tembo was different wherever he was, he demanded perfection and performance and rewarded hard work. Stories are abound of this everywhere. Even in his house hold, his cooks, drivers and bodyguards have stayed with him for years, showing his great humane side. Many of us cant keep maids and guards for a month.
All in all, a very hearty congratulations Dr. John Zenus Ungapake Tembo, you were a leader of your times – the strongman. You were a principled politician of our multiparty “osati dzibwana tikuona panozi.” I am yet to get you a congratulatory gift as I am still consulting, but a Lion skin would not be a bad idea.
Of course the pictures from Zomba’s Chancellor College Great Hall were different. A smiling John Tembo with Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika. I saw picture of Dr. Lazarus Chakwera at the Great Hall. Such images send powerful messages to our porn-sharing, blood-loving and albino hunting nation we are fast becoming.
We might differ politically, but we really in the end still have to live together.
I thought the President deserved more commendation on Malawi return to the IMF programme. Forget the screams from anybody, or ask them to ask Prophet Mboro of South Africa to take them to one of his daily sojourns to heaven.
The IMF programme is an independent barometer of where our nation is heading. After cashgate and Government operating 40 percent below budget, add floods and food shortages. Then add our wastefulness, we were no where near making sense as which direction we were heading.
The kwacha hit al all high against all currencies, the food shortage was worsening and other essential services such as health and education were affected, but in the best of it all, we have some hope now, that we continue on a path like this, we can recover and forget this period.
I know most of us like writing or speaking on social media, but the truth is President Mutharika for four months now, since his UK trip has not undertaken a foreign trip, so too his deputy. This is saving us millions. Of course many of us don’t notice, we notice the negative only.
To our donors, come with an exit aid plan. Give us 10 year financing plan with aid being reduced by certain percentage each year until you exit, while building infrastructure to allow Malawi become independent. Trade with us fairly buy our products fairly, lets have fair tax treatment.
For the British, let us negotiate the Tea Act that affects at least four million Malawians in Thyolo, Mulanje and Phalombe to reclaim land or own shares in tea estates. They have given labour for years after their land was taken from them. It time we started fair trading and sharing of what we own. The same with sugar plantations in Chikwawa and Nchalo, we need fair shares for the profits for the people.
Finally, lets talk about Prophets. Especially Prophet Mboro of South Africa, utsiiru sapatsilana!
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