There was a very large, dense and dark forest.
A group of monkeys arrived at the forest.
It was winter season, and the monkeys struggled hard to survive the freezing cold nights. They were hunting for fire to get warm.
One night, they saw a firefly and considered it a dab of fire. All the monkeys in the group shouted: “Fire, fire, fire, yeah we got fire!”
After several attempts, the monkeys caught a few fireflies. They put the fireflies in a hole dug in the land and tried to blow the flies.
They blew the flies very hard without knowing that they were flies!
An owl was watching the activities of the monkeys.
It warned the monkeys and asked them to stop their foolish act, saying: “Hey those are not fire! They are flies. You won’t be able to make fire from it!”
One monkey shouted at the owl and the owl left the place.
The monkeys did the foolish activity for several hours and it was almost midnight.
They were very tired and realised that the words of the owl were correct and they were trying to blow a fly.
They sheltered themselves at the cave and escaped from the cold.
It is just human to go wrong many times, but wisdom is to seek and accept the advice or suggestions provided by others.
In fact, Josh Jenkins said: “To err is human, but when the eraser wears out ahead of the pencil, you are overdoing it.”
Certainly, the quality of leaders who have monopolised the show in the new democratic dispensation leaves a lot to be desired.
Many stakeholders are far from being impressed with the disposition of these self-acclaimed born-again politicians, chief executives, managers and so forth who graduated from the post-independence school of dictatorial regimes.
Malawi, accordingly, has a policy of benign neglect that is tantamount to an endorsement of ‘foolish-monkeys-like’ mediocrity in everything from leadership all through to least persons in command of almost any public service including private institutions.
For all its rich potential and great promise, the country remains plagued by mediocrity, and the sad thing is that majority Malawians would rather make excuses for it than to actually take practical steps to rid the country of it so that the State can fulfill the immense potential that it actually possesses.
Examples of mediocrity are abound.
Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority recently gave Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) a go-ahead to hike tariffs which would see consumers paying K53.69 per kilowatt hour from K40.69, representing 30.6 percent increase, citing the impact of inflation rate and exchange rate movement that resulted in a 6.6 percent increase.
But the country’s sole electricity supplier has followed with a message to Malawians; ‘promising’ of prolonged hours of blackouts following the same story of dwindling of water flows in the Shire River and Lake Malawi – and obviously, all things being equal, soon the basis will be high water levels in the same sources.
And that Escom board members, chief executive officers, managers, technocrats and many other staff touched by such mediocrity of failing to find a lasting solution to the perennial problems facing the parastatal – the job they were hired to do – are allowed to live another day on the same positions is just another sign of the country’s paralysed reasoning.
Otherwise, Escom ‘promises’ of persistent blackouts should have engendered some public vitriolic anger: enough to set the country on fire and make decision makers at Escom to never ever contemplate taking consumers, who so happens to be taxpayers that partly fund the parastatal, for granted.