This week we have been condemned to a pack of lies. Then, as if that is not enough, we saw a dose of paranoia—not very surprising—from our government. Then, we learnt how hypocrisy in this tiny republic is now fat and kicking—seeing no boundary, fearing no foe.
We saw the clergy (a former pastor turned-politician) playing the hypocrisy game with as much vigour as the ordinary politician. But our hearts sunk even further when this hypocrisy and paranoia spread so fast that engulfed some corporate gurus as well.
We have also seen hypocrisy reigning on faces of very reputable people and institutions. We have seen it in football and politics—and the unholy shaky alliance that unites the two—all the way to the corporate boardroom where for very flimsy hypocritical reasons, one corporate giant decided to punish the beautiful game because some institution that promotes fair trade has ruled against it. Shame on you!
Well, we were not surprised that government’s run-in with prophet Shepherd Bushiri went all the way to the realm of football, as well. Yes, the same non-political game promoted as sport for all by Fifa (that body that epitomises virtue formerly led by the virtuous knight of armour Lord Sepp Blatter! (Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!) Bushiri and DPP-government have had unpleasant encounters—countless! So no prize for anyone for prophesies about it.
By now, we know football administration is crap all over the world. The game is not clean; not sane; not innocent. Its leaders, such as Blatter and Walter Nyamilandu, rule it like despots. Hypocrisy is the order of the day.
But we were least surprised this week that when government’s hypocrisy followed Bushiri’s wading into the affairs of ‘the beautiful game’ by virtue of his pledged financial support to the Malawi national team, Major One, as the prophet is extravagantly christened by his followers, was not smart enough to avoid the bait.
This column was in the least not surprised by meek actions of the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
Mpira Village was not just caught between a rock and a hard place, once Bushiri dangled a carrot of his offer when Treasury had indicated it had no funds to finance forthcoming assignments of the perennially underachieving Flames, it had choices to make.
Well, the prophet, ever looking for a publicity stunt or two, saw an opportunity and immediately contacted FAM through his spin doctor and my former colleague at Nation Publications Limited (NPL) Ephraim Nyondo. Nyamilandu saw the sense of the move and immediately announced the rescue package from Major One.
Immediately, Capital Hill felt rattled. Somehow, Sports Minister Henry Mussa—not surprisingly—tells the media Bushiri has used a wrong channel to support the Flames and volunteers: “The prophet should have involved me,” he gloated He disingenuously claims he has no problem with Bushiri supporting Flames but faults his channel of announcing the offer.
And it gets more interesting, Bushiri reads newspaper accounts of government scoffing and trying to pour cold water over his offer and immediately changes tune, saying he will no longer support the Flames.
Really? Didn’t Bushiri anticipate this? Who is the self-styled prophet punishing by withdrawing his offer? The paranoid DPP-led administration that sees him as a political threat or millions of the soccer-crazy Malawians who love the beautiful game and hope that Gabadinho Mhango’s skills can vanquish all the miseries that come as part of the package of being citizens to the world’s poorest nations?
Well, Nyamilandu’s language, too, was not all that convincing once it was clear Capital Hill was getting political with the Bushiri thing.
Yet, to me, nothing in this game of hypocrisy beats me more than one corporate company pulling sponsorship from the top flight league because the terms of its contract with the league were adjudged to be detrimental to the growth of football. Crying shame! n