Bingu deserves mark on Chinese-funded stadium as ‘a matter of common sense’

Sometime last year, I made new friends and colleagues in some distant part of the world. Many people that surrounded me, and those I came into contact with, did not know what Malawi is, or where it is located on the globe. Most of them heard the word Malawi for the first time from me.

Bingu wa Mutharika

Bingu wa Mutharika

Malawi's Chinese-funded stadium under construction in Lilongwe

Malawi’s Chinese-funded stadium under construction in Lilongwe

One day my friends asked me to show them some pictures of Malawi. They wanted to know what Malawi looks like. I told them I would show them some pictures the following day. At my residence, I thought of downloading some great pictures that would impress my friends that I had a country that really belonged to this planet, and save myself from shame. I was only able to get pictures of three buildings and only two from the Capital. The pictures were the Malawi University of Science and Technology, the Parliament, and the five-star Hotel.  There were a number of pictures showing these buildings from different views, which I had sourced from the Internet.

I showed the pictures to my friends and they were impressed that Malawi was a progressive nation, and I felt so proud of my home. They asked me to show them more pictures, but I told them that I could not show them more because I had problems with downloading. You and I know that my problem was not downloading, but there were no more pictures to show.

If you think about the pictures I showed my friends, you will notice that they are all pictures which speak about the works of the hands of Bingu wa Mutharika. Why am I sharing this now? The Chinese funded state-of-the-art stadium which is under construction in Lilongwe has been named Bingu National Stadium, and some people have developed some headaches and stomach-aches over the naming.  The reason the naming is causing controversy only explains that the people of Malawi have chosen to always think with emotions and totally abandoned reasoning.

We have allowed our hatred towards Bingu, and our love for his opponents to dictate the terms and levels of our thinking on matters to do with anything that embodies him. In the process, we have ignored our responsibility towards the pursuit of our aspirations for a better Malawi with a great lifestyle and improved standards of living: a Malawi where youths have jobs, and are free to operate successful businesses; a Malawi where people have access to great sanitary facilities, and a reliable electricity supply; a Malawi where youths have access to relevant education at affordable costs, and live in an environment that enhances their innovation; a Malawi which allows effective political participation for the youths, through a transparent and accountable government that values the contribution of young people.

These and many more are our aspirations and dreams. But we cannot chase and realize these dreams if we sell our common sense to the vanity of cheap politics where our love for one politician and hatred for another, compromises our judgement to discern between important and useless arguments.

Common sense, will tell us that as ambitious youths, motivated by our desire to have a better Malawi with opportunities and room for prosperity, we have nothing, totally nothing to lose or benefit in the mere name of a stadium. Whatever government decides to call the stadium in Lilongwe, will not improve job and business opportunities for the youth. Whatever name is given to the stadium; water and electricity supply, and access to higher education, or availability of health and medical facilities will remain poor. Therefore, we need to find other topics of importance to argue on. We cannot spend time arguing on matters that do not resolve our immediate challenges, when we have so much at stake for the youths that need quick redress.

When Bakili Muluzi became president in 1994, he decided to erase the name of his predecessor, Kamuzu Banda, just because he was the dictator under whose regime many Malawians were exiled, persecuted and murdered. Muluzi, also had personal vendetta to settle with Kamuzu. So he removed the name of Kamuzu on several buildings of national significance, like Kamuzu International Airport, and Kamuzu Stadium. But when Bingu became president in 2004, he reinstated the name of Kamuzu, despite the fact that Bingu himself had been exiled by Kumuzu’s dictatorship. Bingu believed that despite Kumuzu’s short falls, his name deserved a place in our history, because of the great things he had achieved

Without regards to love or hatred over Bingu, I think there is no human dead or alive whose name deserves a mark on that stadium more than Bingu.  We can choose to change, to satisfy our emotions, or we can maintain his name, but one thing that remains true and very important, is that Bingu changed the face of Malawi, and gave us all a sense of pride through a number of magnificent infrastructure developments only in eight years, and left some in progress. He failed politically and economically especially at the start of his second term, but we cannot hate him forever, and deny his name the greatness it deserves just because of the failures. What matters is what he managed to give us when he could, even as he was subjected to human weakness; arrogance, tribalism, and dictatorial tendencies.

By November, I will show my friends one more picture from Malawi, the picture of Bingu National Stadium. I will tell them that, somehow, downloading worked and stopped again.

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Dr. Mango
Guest

Mgemi are you Ok? Your comments are quite strange. Please sober up!!

BalakaGuy
Guest

To those who hate the naming of the stadium Bingu,convince us which name do you think its proper,ok Joyce Banda national stadium,koma JB anapanga chiyani?mmadana ndi Bingu chifukwa ninji,he is the only president who changed the face of malawi after Kamuzu,ife ndiye tasangallala kwambiritu,nde mupite ku Thyolo mukaone MUST,i dont want to say much,may his soul rest in peace,musamatilankhulitse pambali ayi,amene zamunyasa akagwere uko.

mchinjiRasta
Guest
That stadium the Chinese are building all the five star u talking about ain’t for free….your aunties ur uncles ur children wud be paying for that thru tax…..and how many pipo pays tax in Malawi.?just cuz bingu initiated the project don’t mean he deserved his name on it…..and for opposition you too are just apiece of work….there are loads of pressing matters at hand which needs ur scrutiny n u busy bashing bingus name on a stadium…bunch of idiots….no wonder Raphael tenthani is being seen as effective in seeing government flaws that the leader of opposition….send that crown back to… Read more »
Mandevu Waluza
Guest

Please just name every thing that Kamuzu, Bakili, Bingu, Joyce and currently Peter what they have done to Malawians in their names full stop.

Charlie Hebdo
Guest
For heavens sake, this is a loan which every Malawian is paying. Give it a name that will make every Malawian proud. I am tired of people praising presidents for what they are employed to do. The perks they get, the free food they eat, the free accommodation they get, all the benefits they get amounting to millions every month, shows that they people value their services. If Bingu wanted his name to last forever, he would have named his Ndata Mansion Bingu Castle or Bingu whatever and not the funny name he gave it. DPP gurus, rename Ndata in… Read more »
Che Likoswe
Guest
I agree with Wadada Sibande. please MCP,PP leaders do not think that Malawians are still dull,or ignorant as before. Are you telling me that naming that stadium “Bingu”, is wrong?? Even if is wrong, what will it benefit the poor Malawians by naming it Bingu,or Chakwela? By the way, which name do you prefer? Pliz, and pliz, listen very well and listen very carefully. Concentrate on building your parties. If you want Malawians to like you, be sensible and be realistic. Change tactics now!! If you were in government by now, are you telling Malawians that this stadium will be… Read more »
sabiti
Guest

We have Bingu Intl Converence Centre already ,if that is the case name everything of his tenure after him and forget to name that heros acre in Mzuzu where those 20 inocent malawians Bingu heros Acre

Hastings
Guest

Bingu was a thug in a suit. He stole forex and blamed foreigners. Master of divide and conquer. We should name a toilet after him.

Dickson
Guest

Mayi amene anabeleka iwe, ndi mayi odala pobeleka mwana oziwa chomwe akunena…
It’s high time we stop jealousy and start appreciating when someone has done a commendable job…
Even if you kill yourself today, Bingu’s name shall live to be remembered because of the significant development he did while he was the president….

Optic Computer
Guest
In the first place, why did Sibande lie about the state of Malawi in the first place? If the guys discovered Malawi is no better place as he did, I bet his colleagues will laugh big about him being a psychotic liar. If we are ashamed of the state of our country there is no way we will work to improve things. Most people who are abused lie about the abuse in hope that things will change on their own…No! Nothing will change until we do something. Let the DPP government call the stadium whatever they may, only that in… Read more »

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