If you want to make yourself savvy in musical circles, you will obviously spend plenty of your time with the likes of Lucius Banda, Skeffa, Lulu, Wendy Harawa and many more. If your interest lies in the financial arena, to learn more about the stock exchange, banking and bonds, you will rub shoulders with the Tom Mpinganjira’s, Joseph Mwanamvekha’s , Perks Ligoyas, aMark Lungu , Mathews Chikaonda, Friday Jumbe and the Gondwes’. You will usually derive common grounds of interest with the people you have chosen to associate with.
When I was growing up, my father will spank me for moving around with the ruffians who smoked chamba, drank kachasu and were involved in street fights in the locations. I soon learnt how to choose my friends. I remember at high school it would be me, Walter, Takesure, Lovemore and Nigel, no more, no less up until my college days. I was very selective with my friends. It was more about the quality of friends I had than how many friends I had. I preferred the four acquaintances l have mentioned above, friends who had qualities I so much endeared and wanted to emulate. Today, l am what l am because of the friends l chose to associate with.
In short, your choice of friends, the people you choose to mix with define your character. Remember the old adage, birds of the same feathers flock together. As much as we may not want to believe it, friends wield a high level of power in our lives, they can make you or break us.
President Bingu wa Mutharika has made his choice of friends. It is these friends who chose to grace the COMESA Summit in Lilongwe while a good number of COMESA’s progressive Presidents stayed away.
It is sadenning to note that COMESA’s progressive leadership, the likes of Tanzania’s Jakaya Mrisho Kwikwete, Zambia’s Michael Chilufya Sata, Mozambique’s Armando Emilio Guebuza, DRC’s Joseph Kabila, and Mauritius’s Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolan all decided to shun the meeting and send in their stand-ins. Some countries even sent in low-level representation sending mere cabinet ministers to such an important summit. We will never know what has kept these progressive gentlemen away from Malawian soils but we may speculate that they do not want to be soiled by Bingu’s latest reputation which has seen him plunder the economy and kill his own kin.
Top on the list of Bingu’s friends decided to attend the summit are Africa’s two worst despots – Sudan’s Omar al Bashir and Zimbabwe’s Robert Gabriel Mugabe aka Bob. The were welcomed with open arms on Malawian soil for the summit.
Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, is a murder who has fuelled one of Africa’s longest and ugly civil wars in the horn of Africa and is wanted for genocide by the International Criminal Court of Justice while Zimbabwe’s Mugabe has on one hand used state sponsored militias to silence his critics while on the other bankrupted and impoverished his once prosperous nation – from Africa’s bread basket into Africa’s basket case.
One would have thought that Mutharika with all his degrees and intelligence would not have pursued the disastrous policies that have bankrupted Zimbabwe which is only next door here for him to see. Bingu himself has been a casualty of Mugabe’s poor economic stewardship and misgovernance which saw him dump his once prosperous Bineth farm in Suri Suri, near Zimbabwe’s cotton growing town of Kadoma about 130km from Zimbabwe’s capital Harare along the Bulawayo road.
Bingu with his intelligence and crop of learned advisors should have known that time for rhetoric against evils of colonial rule were long gone and have become tedious and boring and can only be used by failed dictators like Mugabe and Al Bashir who are beyond redemption who use it to divert and camouflage against the murders, corrupt policies they have chosen to espouse.
It is not a secret Mugabe and Bingu have become close buddies to the extent Bingu has named a road in Thyolo after Robert Mugabe. In 2007, Zimbabwe’s Governor of the Central bank was flown into the country in a private jet to negotiate for US$100 million grains with our Ministry of Agriculture and Central Bank which Zimbabwe has failed to settle in full leaving an unpaid balance of US$22 million which from reports elsewhere Malawi’s central bank is contemplating writing off.
Most of Malawi’s foreign policy has been at the mercy of Zimbabwean schemers who have been focal to many policy decisions. Chief among some of their policy recommendations being Malawi’s dumping of erstwhile ally Taiwan for Mainland China. It is not a secret Malawi’s Intelligence, military and police services are driven by Zimbabweans, with several officers secretly attached to Malawian security institutions.
Malawi has even gone to an extent of importing German Sheperd Police dogs from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)s Marlborough Canine Unit near situated near Harare’s biggest shopping mall the Westgate along the Chirundu/Zambia road which goes to prove how closely knit these buddies are.
Bingu’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are close buddies too with Mugabe’s Zanu PF which saw ZANU PF send its Deputy President John Landa Nkomo to DPP’s 2008 Convention at the COMESA Hall in Blantyre while the DPP will later send its then Secretary General Binton Kuntsaira to lead a delegation to ZANU PF’s congress in 2009. There are a lot of such filthy deals between Mugabe and Bingu which l prefer to make good reading in 2014 including how the 2009 elections was rigged in favour of Bingu by the Zimbabwean intelligence operatives.
Today we see Bingu brutally put down demonstrations against the government and the police sanctioned killing of would be whistle-blowers like the late Robert Chasowa. He is learning fast from Mugabe and Al Bashir how they rig elections and put down rebellions and of course how to mass murder your own citizens.
Bingu’s coterie of friends does not end there. Today he has a blossoming relationship with Mahmoud Ahmadineja, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran another tyranny who has even donated $50million to Malawi. A controversial figure both within and outside Iran and suffers from economic lapses and disregard for human rights like Bingu, Mugabe and Bashir. His election of 2009 was widely disputed and saw him undertake state sanctioned murders of the opposition just in order to silence them. Last year this man visited Mugabe and was guarded by helicopters in the air and ground soldiers and given the longest ever VIP convoy in Zimbabwe’s history.
These are the friends our Bingu chooses to wine and dine with to the detriment of Malawians their economy and development. Like l said at first, our choice of friends define our character and the many Presidents that have refused to come to Malawi for the summit have done so not on purpose but I would assume in solidarity with the Malawian masses who today face the dangers of yet another despot.
The bible says that blessed is the man who doesn’t walk the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sits in the seat of mockers. Our President should change his evil friends which may earn him good friends internationally and probably votes for his DPP party in 2014. Otherwise should he continue on his disastrous path adzagwa chagada come 2014. (He will fall flat on his face come 2014).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :