“Jacques Chirac (President Chirac 1995-2007) could have his mouth full of jam,” once mocked d’Estaing, who was France President between 1974-1981 when Chirac his rival was mayor of Paris, “his lips can be dripping with the stuff, his fingers covered in it, the pot can be standing in front of him. And when you ask him if he’s a jam eater he’ll say: “Me, eat jam? Never.”
Nothing strange about politicians lying even when caught red-handed in the act. And this week, I was reminded about this phenomena, (let’s give it a name, Jar Jam politics) by a series of rebuttals by the immediate past ruling party—mighty Democratic Progressive Party (DDP)—on myriad allegations about corruption –and other excesses of power—during its era in power.
Revelations—or let’s call them allegations—of wrong doing; underhand dirty tactics, abuse of office, theft, embezzlement, murder, arson that leads to murder or homicide, conflict of interest in procurement deals, tax evasion, over pricing of contracts, using government property for katapila (as collateral for loan sharks), putting party cadets, including those fools who paint their faces dance silly at party rallies, using state parastatals to fuel private vehicles of party functionaries (really, simply to siphon funds) and many other dirty things—are emerging and violently bubbling to the surface on daily basis.
All the revelations or allegations, depending on which side of the political fence you sit (or whether you feel you are a victim or beneficiary of the DPP’s decade of economic genocide and endless impunity), have been thrown into motion by the change of guard and indeed, are emboldened by that declaration by the new sheriff in town, poor resurrected Lazarus!, that it’s time to clear the rubble.
So indeed handcuffs (whose cost we heard the other day could’ve been as high as K100 000 each) are dropping on people, from the air, like confetti.
But instead of giving us their account of what happened. Or better still just apologies for turning the country into a crime scene and our government into a criminal enterprise, as one cashgate suspect once memorably told me and my friend from across the great ocean, (or just shut up), mighty DPP is busy cherry-picking small facts to dispute without telling us the big picture.
Shamelessly, they are not confronting the reason why they, up to the time we shoved them out of the door on June 23, nobody gave us a plausible reason why Issa Njauju was brutally murdered like a thug, for example.
Or why a few folks close to power, and their girlfriends, suddenly accumulated so much wealth albeit without attracting the interest of the ACB or police.
Yes, the DPP is busy disputing that a trillion was stolen from government coffers, but they are not explaining how much was stolen according to their calculations.
Or they can simply explain why drugs were perennially scare, hospitals always underfunded, our roads became a deathtrap, schools decayed to the extent that crumbling walls killed innocent students, etc, while we were paying exorbitant taxes all the time.
The DPP has no answer because it didn’t care about these things. It sole purpose of existence was to enrich its members.
When elections came around the corner, it wanted to corrupt its way to power, too—supplying Tippex to its narcissist and incompetent puppet masquerading as the Electoral Commission only for poor resurrected Lazarus and brother Saulos, to cry wolf before the incorruptible five wise judges.
Try as DPP may, there is no spinning the fact that DPP’s rule was a misrule, an error and a crime in itself. There is no disputing the fact that many Malawians today are happy that, at least, finally, the day of the reckoning has arrived for a party that governed with wanton disregard to rule of law or common sense.
Thanks to the beauty queens who irked Malawians by flaunting—advertising—their ill-gotten wealth on social media, the taunted Malawians who were made to believe that they don’t work hard enough to warrant hope in this wreaked economy, are now eagerly watching the long arm of justice asking a few questions, laying down a few charge sheets, bailing and remanding, and asking those who taunted them to respond to the refrain: “guilty or not guilty?”
And it’s the same long arm of justice, ultimately, that will determine whether those accused are guilty or innocent. But for a party that just watched as some ruffians beat up Billy Mayaya for simply protesting—a constitutional right by all means—yet those ruffians had audacity to film themselves in their cowardly and petulant acts, has no moral ground, whatsoever, to come around and cry persecution today.
For a party that stood silent when poor Lazarus’ bodyguards were hacked merciless with pangas in Mzuzu, without a single arrest being meted, has no moral ground, whatsoever, when its ranks are belatedly arrested. Or does it?