Social commentator Michael Usi has urged government against impunity and selective prosecution of corruption cases if the country is to develop.
Usi, who also plies as a comedian under the tag of Manganya, offered hundreds of Malawians who packed the Comesa Hall in Blantyre yesterday a parable of a poultry farmer who spared his ducks to soil a public stream to show the country has stagnated because the politically-connected who steal public resources keep going scot-free while those with no political connections suffer.
The unorthodoxy talk, largely drawn from the Bible, coincides with revelations that some Cabinet ministers were actually involved in pilfering K577 billion from State coffers.
Opposition leaders and other analysts have criticised government of targeting small fish and unconnected suspects.
The State may have opted to keep the names of the K577 billion Cashgate culprits under wraps for fear of lawsuits, but Usi took it upon himself to warn Malawians that the incredible theft of national resources will continue until all corrupt hands are treated equally.
He said: “A village tasked a woman to go and draw water for a whole village. Every time she went to the well, they were angry because she brought them dirty water. Later, a stranger took her upstream where they found ducks soiling the river. To the surprise of the onlooker, she only killed three ducklings, leaving the big ones to continue dirtening the river.
“Actually, the stranger later discovered she had left the ducks because they were hers. As a country, we are suffering because the sacred ducks are still polluting our river. Abakha otsalawo ali ndi ambuya awo.”
Beside insisting on equality under the law, Usi asked parties polarised by power struggles, backbiting and intolerance to give dialogue a chance.
He received a standing ovation when he described the country’s history from colonialism to democracy as simply “Malawians March to the promised land”.
“Moses death did not prevent Israel from proceeding to Canaan. Some of our leaders are dead, but Malawi keeps moving,” he said.
He wants leaders to listen even to opposing views, saying politics of intimidation is retroggressive because it only scares away the wise and leaves leaders surrounded by backstabbers with nothing to offer.
This echoes the cry of Salima legislator Felix Jumbe who was repelled from a Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Dr Lazarus Chakwera’s rally along with outspoken spokesperson Jesse Kabwila.
Jumbe recently told MBC the longest serving party is in trouble because of praise-singers who do not tell Chakwera the whole truth as they jostle for positions.
Analysts have also spoken of lack of intra-party democracy in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) following the ejection of Mulanje legislator Bon Kalindo who staged semi-nude demonstrations calling for stiffer penalties against those convicted of attacking persons with albinism.
A recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit shows DPP is likely to retain the presidency in 2019 polls unless the opposition puts its house in order by, among other things, ironing out the simmering internal wrangles.