“…A wretched soul, buried with adversity, we bid be quite when we hear it cry. But were we burdened with like weight of pain, as much or more we should ourselves complain…” William Shakespeare, English Dramatist & Poet (1564 – 1616)
In the Holy Scriptures, the almighty God clearly declares in the Book of 1 Samuel Chapter 2 Vs 30 that: “…I will honour those who honour me, and I will treat with contempt those who despise me…” Here, the Supreme Being is not mincing words as to how He severely deals with those who do wrong.
In this context I strongly believe that the pendulum of the human psyche swing between sense and nonsense, and not necessarily between right and wrong.
“Nobody can acquire honour,” said Great statesman and third American President (1801-09) and Author of the Declaration of Independence, “Thomas Jefferson, “by doing what is wrong…” So we must always thrive to stay away from wrongdoing, if we want honour by our side, all the time.
Do I think Malawians did right in speculating that their leader, President Bingu wa Mutharika was dead? I beg to differ. And do I think president Mutharika did the needful by loosing sleep over baseless and senseless rumours that he is dead, when he knew he was as fit as a rail? I beg to differ.
Rumours and gossips will always be there. But what else do people do with rumours if not spreading them? Nothing, absolutely nothing.
Former President Bakili Muluzi who has been sick since he left office has been ‘killed’ or died so many times through rumours. Muluzi is not the only one to have been reported dead, so many others have fallen victims of death rumours.
And recently, it was the incumbent president Bingu wa Mutharika who the rumour mill was at work yet again. Nothing new and nothing special.
Why president Mutharika was gravely waked up by mere rumours and fabrications, it beggars belief.
If Mutharika knew that he was in a robust shape why waste his breathe trying to justify that he is well? Was his returning home ‘alive and kicking’ not the surest physical evidence for all rumour mongers and gossipers to be ashamed?
I believe the whole situation was blown out of proportion by the President’s official spokesperson Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba when he tried to play hide and seek over the president’s whereabouts. I believe he should have just come out of the cocoon and tell the motherland who have the ‘right to know’ where their ‘beloved’ leader was.
Did Malawians need the president’s brother Peter Mutharika to divulge to Malawians that he was in Hong Kong on Holiday? What does Dr. Ntaba get paid for as the president’s spokesperson?
Is President Mutharika’s whereabouts and or health condition a private family matter or an official matter? I believe the latter is true and that the government could have done better in informing the people of their leader’s whereabouts because he (Bingu) was travelling at the expense of their money, the taxpayer’s money.
In his own words the president said on arrival at Kamuzu International Airport that he doesn’t need to tell ‘anyone’ to go on holiday. He illustrated that there is no provision in Malawi Constitution that demands him to tell Malawians when he want to go on holiday and where, that is true, because in principal there is no such provision as a ‘Presidential holiday’ in the statues either. Or is there?
While it is pragmatic that all head of states in the world go on a vacation, it is sensible that they don’t go away when there is a crisis in their countries or take an absence without leave.
And Mutharika aptly said on his return that even vehicles such as VX, Mercedes Benz or is it Hammer need a service, I absolutely agree with the president.
But can a car be taken to a garage to undisclosed location without the knowledge of the owner? I beg to differ.
Whatever the case, holidays are designed help people to reflesh and unwind people’s minds, recharge themselves and return to work with vigour and ready to rumble. But judging at what happened at Kamuzu International Airport on Monday, I am afraid to say that it seems it is far from hope to expect positive developments.
Instead of preaching peace, unity and solidarity among Malawians on his return from a ‘service’ he was in an uncompromising mood, hard-nosingly calling people names to an extent of saying that Malawians are jealousy of him and ungrateful. Really?
Instead of telling Malawians how he and his government would fight an avalanche of problems facing the country he was on a ‘High Horse’ bragging that he has developed Malawi, and that he has eliminated hunger and the HIV AIDs pandemic.
The question is, why did Malawians vote him into office? Was it not for him to lead the people in developing the country? As a president is it not his noble obligation to lead the nation in developing Malawi and fighting hunger and diseases?
If what he does for Malawi is a favour then why does he get paid? Why does he get free accommodation, free cars, free fuel and yes free everything? Do people get paid for doing favours? As a ‘father’ of a nation does he need to always strike a chord to the electorates what he has done for the country? Is that not why you are the head of state?
What does it means for people to wish someone dead more so when that person is their leader? Does that not imply that they hate such a leader with passion? Does that not tell the president that something is wrong? Was it not an opportunity for him to show Malawians that he is an epitome of love and unity on his return by preaching love, unity and forgiveness?
Was it not a chance for him to diligently inform Malawians that the current financial crisis is not his fault but due to the global meltdown?
Was it not a right time for him to ask Malawians not to ask not what their government would do for them but ask what they can do for their government?
Was it not a an opportune time for the president to tell Malawians that hard times are long but not forever and that fuel, forex problems will one day come to an end? That there is power in unity and that in togetherness Malawians can ably change their situation?
I am of the opinion that in life an impending crisis or opportunity can work wonders for keeping us on our toes. Whatever we do, whoever or whatever we are, our day is coming when we shall face our judgement day and this day, unfortunately will come when we least expect it, like a ‘thief in the night.’
Death like tax is certain in life. Ready or not it will come; therefore we must not worry ourselves about it for it is imminent, ready or not.
Malawi’s life expectancy is pegged at 36 years and if one is 60 years old one must be living in a borrowed time and if one is over 70, twice the expectancy age, everyday is a bonus.
I think the best way is to live a day as it comes for nobody will live forever. If there’s one thing in life that goes up and never comes down then it is age, the older you grow the closer you get to death.
But as ‘children of the light’ we must always live in light and not in darkness. My concern is not with the achievements in life so much as the manner in which they are achieved.
Living in the light implies that we have nothing to hide; our way of life must be transparent when we live in the public domain. I consider it best that we should concentrate in doing good other than trying to argue with those that wish us bad and perhaps always pray to God for his continued mercies.
Who knows what God will do to us at the end of each day? The sure thing is that each one of us no matter who we are will face our own critical moment when we meet our maker. And none of us know when that day will be. So why bother?
I envisaged that the president’s return from a ‘recess’ or to borrow his own words a ‘service’ would be a great opportunity to make amends with the citizens and consequently regain people’s trust and belief in him. But instead the president was full of himself.
I implore the president to search his heart why his own people wished he was dead. He must also establish what people say on the ground other than taking every word from his bootlickers who are only doing things to please him while on the other hand trying to butter their own bread.
The president can only establish the truth of how people feel about him by listening more to dissenting and opposing views not from boot lickers. Furthermore, the president must resist from pride for pride comes before honour. And the only way he can be honoured by Malawians is if does good not wrong.
The book of First Samuel in the Holy Bible records the transition in Israel from the period of the judges to the monarchy. This change in Israel’s national life revolved mainly around three men: Samuel, the last of the great judges; Saul, Israel’s first King and David, whose early adventures before coming to power are interwoven with accounts of Samuel and Saul.
The theme of the book of Samuel, like that of all historical writings in the Old Testament, is that truthfulness brings success, while arrogance brings disaster as evidenced clearly in the Lord’s word to the priest Eli that he will honour those who honour him and treat with contempt those who despise him.
And the two books of Kings in the bible records that each ruler is judged according to his loyalty to God, and national success is seen depending on this loyalty. Idolatry and disobedience on the other hand lead to disaster. Similarly Malawian post-colonial history records a period of three men; Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Dr. Elson Bakili Muluzi and Professor Bingu wa Mutharika. And it is only history that will judge these three men accordingly. Ready or not!
American sixteenth President Abraham Lincoln said: “…Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We will be remembered in spite of ourselves. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down, in honour or dishonour, to the latest generation…”
Ready or not we will all die and history will judge us!