“To divide and rule could only tear us apart;
In everyman chest, there beats a heart.
So soon we’ll find out who is the real revolutionaries;
And I don’t want my people to be tricked by mercenaries.” Bob Marley, Zimbabwe
Rumours of scribes, allegations of Facebook administrators and various societal leaders being “bought” in Malawi are bad news.
Not only is this bad news – if these rumours are true- because this is blatant manifestation of underhand and archaic attempts to delimit freedom of expression and the free flow of information – both vital ingredients on the road to 2014; but it is outright suicidal, for those who sell themselves and their souls – never mind the price.
No-one in their right minds wants to see unscrupulous, self-centred and turncoat politicians like the Zikhale Ng’omas of this world on the loose, dangling millions to choke freedom of expression and the free flow of information. And no-one, in full control of his/her faculties, would want to be associated with these migrant predators.
While I am treating these rumours as such (mere rumours) and giving the “Zikhales” of our world an undeserved benefit of doubt – until concrete evidence comes forth; to be on the safe side, I want to counsel people, especially young Malawians who could in the end become victims if they allow themselves to be used.
I hope that Malawian youths will not needlessly sacrifice their lives and future for a penny by allowing themselves to be abused by vultures most of whom, as politicians, are an insult even to this ignoble profession.
Why ignoble? No-one explains why this profession and prostitution (the oldest profession) are not necessarily worlds apart better than Ronald Reagan:
“It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”
With respect to politics (and some decadents that masquarade as ‘politicians’ in Malawi) I fully concur with the late Ronald Reagan.
Coming back to business, rather than re-invent the wheel, I have taken the liberty of enlisting an expert on the Art of War (and deception). Didn’t the elders say mutu umodzi siwusenza denga?
Many are familiar with Sun Tzu (also referred to as “Sun Wu” and “Sunzi”), a high-ranking military general, strategist and tactician, believed to have compiled the book called the Art of War; a book reputed to have had massive influence over the years on Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and beyond.
In the context of Malawi today – if indeed Zikhale Ng’omas are on the loose – it could save lives of young Malawians, hence my borrowing a leaf or two from the ancient eastern general, so that the youth in Malawi can learn from wisdom from the ancient east, live and thrive.
The Art of War as a survival toolkit:
I will dare say and submit that if one Malawian youth (M.H.S.R.I.P.), in August/September 2011, had been familiar with this book, or even just Chapter 13 thereof, he could have been alive today.
As the story of how he met his untimely and horrible end unfolded, I wept, because having read the book, events surrounding his death fitted.
Chapter 13 of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”, lists at least five categories (and ways) in which people, especially the gullible, can be used by unscrupulous and self-centred politicians to advance their cause and selfish interests.
While the immediate rewards – the carrots dangled – may seem tantalizing; what follows is, at best, being discarded like a used condom and loss of reputation and credibility, and at worst, death.
I will leave it at that, suffice to say that forewarned is forearmed.
Modalities of deception:
As we approach May 2014, politicians are and will increasingly try to use youths (and even unwitting adults) to serve for various parties ends in many ways. For the purpose of this write-up we will focus on those being enlisted to be sodomised as spies – in the widest sense of the word.
Sun Tzu offers five categories of spies, and I will submit that none of them is associated with ‘honour and glory’.
One by one, drawing on Sun Tzu’s (and Tu Mu’s) taxonomy, they are as below:
1) Local spies:
This category includes ordinary people, seemingly serving party X, but secretly reporting to party Y for some sort of incentive, paid or promised.
Please note that X and/or Y could be any political party.
2) Inward (internal) spies:
On one hand are well-intentioned men/women who feel side-lined or aggrieved at being in subordinate positions, or who may have been passed over in the distribution of posts; and on the other hand, are people who want their side to be defeated so that they may have a chance of displaying their ability and talents, and fickle turncoats who always want to have a foot in each boat.
We have a lot of the later in Malawi, which explains the wholesale defections whenever the occupant of Kamuzu Palace changes.
3) Converted spies (or double agents):
This categorises people belonging to party X enticed with bribes and liberal promises by party Y, and induced to carry back false information and to spy on their own party X.
This category cannot be ruled out, hence the again, the defections and most importantly the re-defections because some political parties plant spies. Most vulnerable in this regard are those parties that ill-advisedly treat every defector as heaven-sent and a cause for merry-making to the scale of the biblical prodigal son’s return.
Personally, I pity such parties, because they celebrate the return of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
4) Doomed spies:
Spies in this category are according to Sun Tzu ‘disposable’ when they have served their purpose.
A classic example is where camp X will do (or say) things calculated to deceive this lot. This lot, believing that what they have witnessed or heard is the truth go camp Y and thinking they are “spilling the beans” they relay falsehoods, upon which camp Y will act or base its decisions on – to its own peril.
In ancient China, these spies were eventually put to death – lest they discover their mistake and remedy the deception by explaining the deception.
Rings a bell, doesn’t it?
5) Surviving spies:
Defined, as per Tu Mu, this is the ordinary class of spies. Paraphrasing Tu Mu: a surviving spy is a person of keen intellect, though in outward appearance could pretend to be a fool.
They may front a shabby exterior, when in fact they have an iron will. Under the unassuming outward appearance theyare endowed with physical strength and courage; are thoroughly accustomed to all sorts of dirty work, and for their cause they will even put up with shame and ignominy.
These are the people that will defect after elections from Party X to Y and will be rewarded with unexplainable senior positions, usually sent to embassies, when to the untrained eye they were serving in an opposing camp!
Thanks to technology (the internet) Chapter 13 of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, dedicated to the Use of Spies is available online.
I would urge critical minds, and even the so called political party strategists, to read it (or the entire book) religiously.
Unfortunately this advice and the free availability of the book is a double edged sword.
IF at the hands of youths it is deemed useless, senseless, a stretch of Wise One’s imagination, Grade “A” trash, or as some love to say, the rantings of the dull fool from the west, it will be a gold-mine in the hands of the manipulators, some of whom might not have been aware at all that they are not in any way inventing the wheel in as far as manipulation is concerned.
Sun Tzu, in the Art of War, predicted whatever the manipulators are doing to you today.
After all has been said and done, what can I take home? It is obvious that the warm heart of Africa, on the road to 2014, is getting hotter and hotter.
I want to plead with the youths of Malawi, by all means, to play a role towards their destiny but for no-one but themselves and their progeny.
Makwerakwera, mudzakwera nazo ya kuntaya and honestly, I don’t want to see Malawian youths tricked by mercenaries.
“Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny,
And in this judgement there is no partiality.
So arm in arms, with arms, we’ll fight this little struggle,
‘Cause that’s the only way we can overcome our little trouble.” Bob Marley, Zimbabwe