Bakili gives Malawi jetgate debate an artistic touch

Former Malawi Broadcasting Corporation Radio 2 FM personality Tailos Bakili has added an artistic touch to the controversial debate on the sale of the presidential Jet by personifying the jet and asking it to give answers.

This comes hot on the heels of contradictory statements passed on by government officials on the controversial sale.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Minister of Finance Maxwell Mkwezalamba claimed the money realized from the sale was used to offset a loan the Malawi government owed Paramount Group of Companies.

A young lady carrying a placard asking President Joyce Banda to tell the nation where the money for the government Jet she sold went- Pic Lucky Mkandawire
A young lady carrying a placard asking President Joyce Banda to tell the nation where the money for the government Jet she sold went- Pic Lucky Mkandawire

Mkwezalamba surprised the nation by claiming that the government did not know that there was a link between Bohnox Enterprises Ltd, who bought the Jet and Paramount Group of Companies.

But Bakili, famously known as Tai B writing on his face book page compared the Jet sale confusion to the 1980”s Bushmen comedy “the gods must be crazy”.

Bakili, a journalist, writer and filmmaker further declared that women who sell tomatoes on the street would have done a better job of selling the jet than the educated government officials.

This is the full version of Tailos Bakili’s letter to the Presidential jet

[highlight style=’pear-green’] OPEN LETTER TO OUR PRESIDENTIAL JET [/highlight]

Dearest Presidential Jet,

I wish you could speak so that you can tell us what is really going on.

These humans have failed to give us a proper explanation.

Our educated government officials are giving us conflicting answers and now Malawians don’t know who to believe.

Dearest JET, you have brought a lot of confusions to my country. The way you were acquired and the way you have been disposed of all smack of insincerity at the highest level.

On 20th July 2011, I, together with well-meaning Malawians, took to the streets demanding better services from the government of the Late Bingu Wa Mutharika.

One of our demands was that you should be sold off.

We hated you  Presidential JET, but please don’t take it personal. It wasn’t about you. It was about our country. We felt you were very expensive to maintain and that as a developing country, we really didn’t need your luxury services.

Money spent servicing you could have been better used, for example, to fix and maintain Mortuaries and other health facilities at different hospitals and giving our people a better life.

But when our President Bingu Wa Mutharika died, we peacefully ushered in his vice president to become our President.

I don’t want to go in to the stories of conspiracy to stop the vice president from ascending to power. That is irrelevant at this point.

When President Joyce Banda said her government was going to sell you, Presidential Jet, I was happy.

The President even promised that the proceeds of the jet sale would be used to buy maize to feed the hungry.

Frankly, I wasn’t for the idea of buying maize from your sale. I felt like after selling you, we would use the proceeds to invest in some sustainable development like an Agricultural Irrigation scheme which would continually feed and benefit thousands of people for years to come.

But anyway, that’s beside the point.

I, as well as all Malawians expected your sale to be a straight forward affair.

  1. Sell the Jet,
  2.  bring the money home and
  3.  we debate on how to use the proceeds.

However, Malawi has now awakened to the fact that your sale has brought more controversy, misconceptions and confusion to the country.

JET, why are you doing this to us?

It reminds me of a comedy movie I watched many years ago, “The gods must be crazy”, of how a coca cola bottle brought confusion, misperceptions and misery to a tiny bushman village.

The bushman community called the coca cola bottle a curse. And today we are about to declare you, my dearest presidential jet, a curse to Malawi.

But this bushman community was very intelligent. Possibly much more intelligent than we are.

They decided to dispose of the bottle and throw it at the “end” of the world.

Xixo was charged with the responsibility of disposing the bottle. He walked for years to reach the “end” of the world.

As I watched the movie, I thought Xixo was so stupid. But today, listening to the controversy surrounding the sale of the Jet , I now hold Xixo in high esteem.

Dearest Jet, It would have been easy for Xixo. He could have just walked a few kilometers, find a deep pit and dump the bottle in there.

But Xixo was not as corrupt as we are. He had love for his community. The agreement was that he should throw away the bottle at the “end” of the world.

He sacrificed his life to reach the “end” of the world (at least in his mind) and disposed of the coca cola bottle.

Today 2014, we sent our educated and highly intelligent people to dispose of you, presidential jet.

We gave them the mandate to sell the jet on our behalf.

But unlike Xixo, these were lazy and corrupt gentlemen and ladies.

They couldn’t even find out simple, straight forward and  important information about the buyer of the plane.

Today they tell us that that they didn’t know that Bohnox Enterprise Ltd , a company which bought you, is a subsidiary of Paramount Group. What a load of nonsense!!!!

Our Educated and intelligent Minister of Finance says he and the rest of the equally educated and highly intelligent persons didn’t know that there was a relationship between Bohnox and Paramount.

But something I have observed about these educated and intelligent people is that they seem not to know anything.

Unlike Xixo who had to physically walk to the end of the world, these people could have simply googled while  in the luxury of their five star offices and got all the answers they needed.

What do they use the internet for? Is it just for downloading blue movies?

This is either sheer laziness to find out vital information or there is something we are not being told.

Today I regret that we sent these educated gentlemen and ladies to sell our jet.

Had we known, we could have sort the services of those women who sell tomatoes along the M1 road (around Lizulu) to sell the Jet on our behalf.

Those Lizulu women are crafty at selling things and they would have done a better job. They would surely have found the best buyer; sell the jet and come back home with the money. They wouldn’t have been duped.

I am sure the Lizulu women would have accounted for every penny and not divert the money to buy weapons as if we are at war.

Moreover, the Lizulu women would have known that any peace keeping mission is paid for by the United Nations or any sanctioning body.

The Lizulu women would have prioritized bringing peace to Malawi than Congo.

The Lizulu women know better that there is no peace in Malawi, for peace is not only the absence of violence.

The Lizulu women would have known that there is no peace at KCH, Queens and other Health facilities where there are no drugs.

The Lizulu women know that there is no peace in schools where our kids are still learning under trees in the 21st Century and their teachers have to fight just to get their salaries.

The Lizulu women would have known that you do not start spending money at the market. You go home first and budget.

The Lizulu women would have known that proceeds from the sale of a national asset should be handled with the utmost transparency.


The Lizulu women would have known that you do not spend public funds without approval from parliament which is constitutionally mandated to approve such disbursements.

Why was the government in a hurry to spend? Or did they use the “doctrine of necessity”? Was it an urgent thing to buy guns?

And to justify their point, they claim that they did not directly pay, but paramount Group confiscated the money from Bohnox because we owed them dosh.

Dearest Jet, though you are no longer ours, we have heard that you still offer services to our President. We hear she has used you several times to go around the world.

We are told that the people who own you now are very kind. They are called well-wishers. They well wish our president.

But if they were truly well-wishers, why did they grab our money at “gun point”?  Why did they dupe us? The sums do not add up here.

Which is why I request you, JET, to speak and tell us the truth. The humans have failed to convince me.

Yours confused friend,


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