Someone said that if you want to become rich overnight try politics. To a large extent this is true, but where there is honey, there are stings.
In The Economist of April 7 to 13 2018, we read of corruption and conviction in South Korea and Brazil. Those convicted are presidents and other slightly below ranks
We read: “All four of South Korea’s living ex-presidents have now either been convicted of corruption offences or are in jail being tried or investigated for such crimes.”
The article is authenticated with four snaps of grim-looking ex-presidents. One of them, MS Park, a daughter of South Korea’s president who transformed the economy in one generation.
How do corrupt presidents get hold of the money? In Seoul, South Korea’s capital, three former spy chiefs were accused of funneling $3.8 million from the National Intelligence Service to the office of the former president Park Geun-bye, who was impeached a year ago. Before MS Park, no president was vigorously investigated while in office.
The presidents got the corruption money by offering special favours to executives of conglomerates known in South Korea as chaebols.
In Brazil, there is the same determination to punish former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was convicted last year for corruption for abuse of office. He was a popular president of the Workers Party and Brazil. Never mind by six judges’ vote to five, it was decided he should remain in prison pending an appeal.
In Brazil, corruption took the form of overpaying contractors and then the excess getting back into the pockets of the officials. Both in South Korea and Brazil, former presidents have been arraigned when their former political opponents have won the elections.
The latter have pulled no punches in the prosecutions. It is no wonder that in the Republic of Abanturika, constitutional reforms such as the 50+1 are resisted tooth and nail. It is a question of no opposition party leader should win the presidency during my lifetime.
Why do some people remember the Kamuzu/Malawi Congress Party era with nostalgia? For a variety of reasons. Quite a few were Kamuzu’s lifetime associates and he enriched them, quite a few went about demanding money from the public to allegedly go and give it to Kamuzu as a present but pocketed most of what they got.
Some people including the writer of this article remember the cinemas that they visited every week end, but now are nowhere to be seen. Others still miss the numerous quality magazines from United Kingdom, United States of America and sometimes from India.
These magazines fertilise their minds and kept them informed about important discoveries in knowledge being made abroad. Such magazines are nowhere to be seen. You won’t find American Time magazine and Scientific American.
I am thankful for my British friends who have for several years made it possible for me to access the exceptionally good magazine called The Economist.
On page 66 of The Economist dated April 7 2018, there is a heading African Science: Count Down. We read that Africa may be home to the world’s oldest counting tools. These artifacts were cited recently at a gathering of the Next Einstein Forum held in Kigali, Rwanda, as examples of Africa’s historical role in developing mathematics.
The conference was attended by 1 600 scientists. How many Malawians were there? The forum seeks to promote both science in Africa and African scientists.
The first meeting of this kind was held in Dakar, Senegal in 2016 at which Elsevier launched Scientific African, a magazine intended specifically as an outlet for African science. Has this magazine ever been stocked by our bookshops?
Carnege Mellon University in Pittsburg, USA, established a campus in Rwanda in 2011 called Carnigie Mellon University Africa. It awards masters degrees. Its director MS Crystal Rugege laments the fact that African university professors spend most of their time on teaching less on research.
How many Malawians are aware of these developments and what Dr Turock is doing?
I heard with dismay that the new president of Zimbabwe has sacked thousands of nurses who went on strike for pay. Strikes by nurses and doctors endanger the lives of innocent third parties and should never be encouraged. Hopefully by the time this article is printed, the next best solution is found for both the nurses and their employer, the government.