Malawi’s second citizen had one of those rare occasions of these days, of visiting a project in Nsanje on February 6 2018 that is working on construction of dykes to protect citizens from the perennial ravages of floods. If wishes were horses one would have prayed that he came out once too often, based on what he said and did in Nsanje.
In his typical no nonsense and business minded fashion the, Vice President went about doing what he joined the business of leadership for: making sure that he gets things done by being accountable for his actions and holding those under his charge equally accountable.
So one must believe that the second citizen dutifully went to Nsanje expecting to see serious works, especially considering that it was none other than the World Bank funding the project and as such their standards of scrutiny and supervision and project governance are considered to be generations ahead of those by most of us locals who are chronically cursed with the “kusolola” virus.
Lo and behold what he found was a pile of freshly scrapped earth heaped on a stretch of a hastily elevated ridge purported to be a dyke. The whole affair was a shame of a shambles and ended up being a total and utter prank prayed on no lesser that the Vice President.
Unknown to the clowns that that assembled this circus of a dyke was the fact that this gentleman fondly called SKC, throughout his journey of leadership; as director of entertainment for Unima students’ union, then AFORD students’ wing president in Unima, then as a corporate top dog in several firms right to being the Vice President of Malawi, has never had time and patience for any monkey affairs. He is far too serious for clowns and time wasters. At least that they must have known if they were bona fide contractors.
So as it turns out these jokers of a contractor or their harbingers and all those that congregated were told what must be said BUT is often never said; that the money that they are squandering both by putting up substandard structures and then inviting leaders to inspect or launch such mediocre facilities belongs to tax payers who sweat and toil for the money.
Most painfully in most cases the poor tax payers surrender that money to “Ceaser” at the proverbial gunpoint.
So the least one expected from the contractors was to at least do a decent and honest job and in lieu of that they should have been civilized and kept their buffoonery to themselves and not do an April Fools’ Day on the VP and the nation.
Here comes the most enigmatic part; the VP, having condemned the substandard and shoddy work and demanded accountability for the benefit of Malawians, it has been most bamboozling to see some citizens seeking to create political hurricanes in tea cups.
There have been claims, mostly awash on social media, that there is no real issue on the dyke and that the VP is politically spin doctoring to pimp some objectives or shoal the fortunes of some political quarters. That’s cheap and decadent propaganda that speaks of nothing but of entities either in desperation or utter state of ignorance or are heavily imbued with a diabolical agenda. Or all the three vices.
It is in the character of this gentleman to call a spade a spade and he is never been shy to admonish stupidity wherever he sees it rearing its ugly head. That’s who one Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima is: serious, focused, eternally committed with an avowed philosophy that says “failure is not an option”, a mantra he preached to some of us on and since the 5th of January 2005 at the old Mpira House in Nyambadwe when we first embarked on the legendary FAM Cup fundraising campaign.
- Henceforth and hitherto, he has repeated this motto at every other moment of great occasion when he took on seemingly insurmountable challenges and faithfully overcame. That is why he is nicknamed in “Chairman Mao!” by those of us that have known him for a great while. So if we are one of those who have no spine to call mediocre by its name, let those who the cap fits wear it.
Wilkins George Mijiga, Writing as a Patriot and Citizen