Two frogs lived together in a marsh. But one hot summer the marsh dried up, and they left it to look for another place to live in: for frogs like damp places if they can get them.
They came to a deep well, and one of them looked down into it and said: “This looks a nice cool place. Let us jump in and settle here.”
But the other, which had a wiser head on its shoulders, replied: “Not so fast, my friend. Supposing this well dried up like the marsh, how should we get out again?
“Look before you leap.”
In fact, the second frog had vision – the very attribute that post-one-party Malawi leaders have been deficient in.
However, the quality of life and success of a nation depends on the quality of its leaders’ visions.
Whenever a nation lacks visionary leadership, it cannot escape national stagnation and deterioration, underdevelopment and impoverishment.
The nation and the people cannot prosper, they are at the mercy of all manner of tribulations and exploitations; it is all doom and gloom for the country and the people, the glue and bonds of nationhood are weak and fragile, and the people and the nation have no destiny.
But listening to President Peter Mutharika recently speaking in an interview with British Broadcasting Corporation HARDtalk programme with Zeinab Badawi, some would be obliged to reason that the President does not know that national visions are always for the benefit of others and never personal.
Mutharika, in the interview that largely bordered on bad governance, emphasised that he is the ‘only’ President in Africa who flies commercial in his foreign trips, perhaps implying that it is a must that he hires private jets or the country simply have to buy one.
And sadly he has been joined by a troop of Mutharikaists who, while claiming not to be the common herd, are all over quacking the need for Malawi to have a presidential jet citing some celebrities who own one.
But the President and Mutharikaists ought to know that nobody can gainsay the fact Malawi needs a presidential jet.
And logicians remind that it is a form of ineffective logic to offer an argument in a context in which the conclusion is already known to be true – in which case there is no point in trying to prove it.
It is defective reasoning as well if an argument aims to appeal to everyone’s sense of wanting to belong or be accepted.
By suggesting that everyone else is doing this or flying that way or Madonna and other celebrities all have private jets, one can avoid the real question – “Is this idea or claim a valid and sound one or not?”
Leadership is about responsibility, and responsibility entails putting the people first by providing them with adequate and decent public services.
Would it really be wise for Mutharika and Mutharikaists using borrowed or taxpayers money to buy or hire a jet when the country’s economy is in a tailspin as confessed by the President himself before Badawi; when the Democratic Progressive Party’s administration is failing to provide the public with adequate health, education, security, water, electricity and so forth; when people in villages are eating wild roots to survive, and when majority Malawians are dropping dead daily, like flies, from curable diseases and hunger?
Visionary leadership, like that of the frog with a wiser head on its shoulders, is the key to a prosperous nation and the missing key in this country’s affairs.
If Mutharika wants to be counted as a wise leader, he should focus on fashioning a national vision that involves all manner of sacrifices including flying commercial. n