The story of recurring silliness at Malawi Broadcasting Corportaion (MBC) is as old as our fond of curing symptoms.
For all we know is that MBC has been what it has always been: towing the line of the incumbent, simultaneously, throwing vulgar at the opposition.
We seem so worried, today, not because we care about honest journalism from the State broadcaster; rather, MBC has slapped Saulos Chilima—a politician whose followers are the loudest on social media.
But wait a minute.
When Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), accidentally, became the ruling party in 2006 after breaking from United Democratic Front (UDF), late president Bingu wa Mutharika used MBC to disparage former president Bakili Muluzi in the worst tones ever. Remember the Makiyolobasi of Bright Malopa, the Mizwanya programme of Lifred Nawena and others.
Former president Joyce Banda also faced verbal attacks on MBC when she left DPP while serving as State vice president.
Today, using the same MBC, the DPP administration wants to disparage Chilima in tones not so different, in principle, which Bingu used in dressing down Muluzi.
Truth be told, to borrow late Ralph Tenthani’s phrase, whoever becomes president, they will dearly keep MBC where it stands—because it’s their medium of propaganda and monopoly.
It’s not the journalists, a director general, or a director of news and current affairs, who controls narrative at MBC. Let’s forgive these overzealous and unfortunate folks such as Steve Maseya, for once.
The narrative at MBC is schemed at the higher level—where Maseya and fellow poor folks can’t even swung up to reach.
Let’s accept this: The Maseya folks we constantly attack are as powerless, though stupid, as you are and, in their deepest level of conscience, they feel the weight of their guilt.
But their comfort is found in the promised high level of protection and defence from the state.
Now, whenever you feel like calling MBC names, learn this: the staff there, especially the Maseya type of or Henery Haukeya, is used to being used, in a project way, and they know that a change of government will throw them in a rock bottom.
They know these truths, they are not dumb, and they prepare for it. So keep your blame against them to yourself. It won’t change them, it won’t change MBC.
With MBC, its a circus.
It’s a circus because MBC is just a symptom of what we need to change, as a country, in how we manage our parastatals.
It’s not about MBC; it’s about how, as a nation, we have given unchecked discretionary powers to the State, especially State House, to micromanage our parastatals.
MBC is always on the spotlight because it’s sins are published and broadcasted.
But think of ESCOM, Egenco, MACRA, MRA, Roads Fund, MERA, etc; how much is the State plundering these without our knowledge?
There, in parliament, where laws are made and, here on the ground, where active citizenry resides, is where answers to our recurring predicament lies.
We have blamed MBC for years and years. But what changed? Nothing. It hasn’t changed because we have been blaming a symptom.
The culprits behind MBC’s woes are politicians you so dearly support when in opposition. The moment they get to power, if you don’t check them, they will turn into the same monsters you are dealing with today.
The question we must ask Chilima and Lazarus Chakwera, today, is: What legislative steps will your government take to ensure that our parastatals, including MBC, are as transparent and accountable to the public as your government?
The answer to that question, I argue, is a breakpoint to the Malawi we want to have. Not these usual bash-MBC therapy. It’s a waste of time.
One Malawi, One Nation. Sokole! Sokole!Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :