Silence speaks so much louder than screaming tantrums. Never give anyone an excuse to say that you're crazy.-Taylor Swift-USA Musician
The wise say silence is golden. Most often it actually saves one's integrity to leave some matters unsaid instead of cartooning all over in an attempt to showcase that you know better than the rest while all you achieve at the end of your 'noise' is just sending a confirmation to your listeners as to how low your thoughts are.
On Friday during the opening of the 47th Session of Parliament, President Arthur Peter Mutharika decided that, instead of prioritizing on giving hope to Malawians on the many hardships that they are currently going through and how he is handling the many corruption scandals rocking his government, it was his good time for a 'comic' show and presenting a lecture to Parliamentarians on their role as representative of the people in the August House.
The title of the address 'Rising Above Macroeconomic Stability' gave hope to Malawian to hear an account and assurance of what their Government has done or is planning to indeed rise above macroeconomic stability, however, our dear President decided to spoil it all by his usual screaming tantrums. To our President, interrogating our current challenges, including corruption which is the core of our many problems, is of little importance. To our President, a priority on the agenda of his Government, needing all the prominence in his speech, was a lecture to Parliamentarians on what Parliament is all about.
Nobody would dispute that Parliament is an important part of Government and Parliament is an important part of the people, and a cornerstone of democracy. Indeed it is true that Parliament should not look at itself as bigger than Government. Actually any sane man knows for sure that among the three arms of Government-Executive, Judiciary and Legislature-none is superior to the others; the three are supposed to be complimentary in nature, supporting each other for the betterment of the people of this country.
I think what Mutharika did not say is his illusion that actually he believes that Government (meaning Executive) is bigger than Parliament. Although, he did not say it but I strongly believe that it is that type of thinking that has breed arrogance in the Executive as it thinks that it is above the other two arms. This thinking is actually the main cause of the many problems that this country is currently facing.
Nobody, will again not dispute that as Parliament, the first reason of its existence is "to make laws" and indeed through a collective process, to enact legislation for the good of the nation. It is true that Parliament cannot, and does not make laws single-handedly-it is a shared responsibility between the Executive and Parliament.
Now his lecture got interesting when he tackled the issue of Parliament existing to represent the people. The President rightly mentioned that Parliament is there to act on behalf of voters and citizens. Now, Mr. President this is where I feel that it is you who need a good lecture on what it means when we say Government (this meaning all the three arms and not just one) exists to represent the people and act on behalf of voters and citizens. You posed a great question here: How many of Parliamentarians truly represent the will of the people?
Mr. President, I believe that as much as the Parliamentarians have a duty to really reflect on this important question, it would also be of paramount importance for you to also reflect on it and ponder whether, this far, your actions, utterances and decisions have been a good reflection of what it means to truly represent the will of the people. For the past three years that you have been in power, Mr. President you have proved that all you look up to in government is your self-interests and those of your cronies and homeboys. And this is why we are talking of endless miseries facing our nation including the ongoing blackouts which of late it has been revealed that instead of solving the problem your men have been busy figuring out how they could best benefit from this situation.
It has been said that these prolonged blackouts and ridiculous load-shedding, are not only as a result of our failure to generate sufficient energy, but also as a result of some callous thinking leaders who are always looking for something to steal whenever an opportunity avails itself. Sadly, after those unfortunate revelations nothing has been heard from you as to what action is being taken to show that you really represent the people and listen to the voters and citizens (and in your speech in Parliament you thought this was not important). Then there have been cries about the mistimed lifting of the maize export ban which many have said that it is only a ploy to steal from the poor farmers. Again no word from you Mr. President.
If you indeed know what it means to represent the people you could not have been looking the other way while the air of corruption is all over your own ministers and aides who most of them indeed ought to be investigated for all the inexplicable wealth they have amassed in the less than 40 months of your reign. Memories are also still fresh on how you handled the Zambia maize purchase saga and nothing has also not been heard from you on the Lake Malawi Water Project which many believe that there is massive corruption going on hence the many shortcuts being advocated. Your inaction in many similar cases and the attitude that seems to tell us that you do not care send questions as to which side you are-are you representing the voters and citizens of this country or you work in cohort with your buddies to fulfill selfish ends.
If you were indeed acting for the good of the people of this nation corruption could by now been dealt with at all levels. As said by Leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera, it is true that because you as the President, your Ministers, and your Aides continue to operate above our nation's anti-corruption laws that some controlling officers, junior level accountants, civil servants, and department directors feel emboldened to continue looting with impunity.
If you really want to show us that you know what it means to represent the people as per your lecture and really want to prove that you are not among the thieves or to show that you care for the people and do not tolerate or benefit from thievery, you should at least move and act on these many corruption scandals. It is clear that in Malawi, corruption has reached a record high with those involved not thinking of the consequences on the nation and its people and as said there is a total collapse of law and order in this country that even the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) are now useless and as our President you have chosen to look the other side while the rot continues. In all fairness, Mr. President we would agree with all those who have said that you are so insensitive to the people's misery and suffering whose only interest is to steal from the same people you are supposed to serve. Or you indeed have no idea what it entails to represent the interests of the people.
Malawi's litany of challenges that need your considerate intervention are endless, however, as has been your style-you burry your head in the sand when your people need you most. Your own brother late Bingu Wa Mutharika in his book African Dream defined democracy as meaning that the government must know what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and who should do it. It seems Mr. President you have miserably failed to do things that really matter to Malawians to show that you really understand your role as the President and why you are on the driving seat of Government.
Lastly it seems where you also need a good lecture Mr. President is on our energy sector. As much as we might agree with you that our development in the sector has been slow to match with the growing population and our development needs, it is a blatant lie to insinuate that for the past fifty years no government has ever made efforts to invest in the energy sector.
For your own information, the records in the development of our energy sector are as follows: Nkula A (24 MW) commissioned in 1966; Tedzani I (20 MW) commissioned in 1973; Tedzani II (20 MW) commissioned in 1977; Nkula B (60 MW) commissioned in 1980; Nkula B (20 MW) upgrade in 1986; Nkula B (20 MW) upgrade in 1992; Wovwe (4.5 MW) commissioned in 1995; Tedzani III (51.3 MW) commissioned in 1995;Kapichira I (64 MW) commissioned in 2000; and Kapichira II (64 MW) commissioned in 2014. What we need as the nation is not blaming those who have been there before us but let us do our part to get ourselves out of this mess.