Iran is back into the global family of commerce and diplomacy thanks to the acumen of seven years of Democrats’ leadership in the White House. It championed determined and dogged six party talks that saw the resolving of the long-standing and sticky challenge of Iran being a State pursuing nuclear weapons and in return a diplomatic and commercial pariah.
The resolution culminated into the lifting of most but not all sanctions against Iran. In return, Iran gave up the pursuit of the bomb; a triumph of diplomatic prowess over the machismo and egoism of hardliners’ self-centered posture by both the right wings of Republicans in United States of America (USA) and Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
President Barack Obama, Secretary John Kerry and Hilary Clinton before him; have demonstrated to the world that with mature and benevolent leadership, we can make the world a better place of less conflict and bloodshed.
History, past and recent, has taught us that the triumph of hardliners only bleeds pain and suffering. The proof of that is with the world today where the Middle East is in perpetual quagmire, burning and destruction. Western Europe is squealing to almost the point of the Schengen breaking up’ thanks to the heavy influx invasion by refugees from the burning Middle East fleeing from the horror of Islamic State (IS). As we know it, IS and all this pain are the fruits of the seeds sown by George W Bush when he thoughtlessly invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, the world is paying for the bravado of the Bush legacy of wars waged under the guise of hunting for Bin Laden, who he failed to find. Ironically, intelligence, wisdom and patience under Obama finally found Bin Laden.
The gist of this is that when giants fight, it is the weak and the small that pay the price. It is very exciting now that when Iran has come out of its fight with the US, acting as a proxy of Israeli and Saudi oligarchs and monarchs on one hand versus Iran on the other, the world is already progressively moving in the right direction.
The Iran leader has already exploited this thaw in relations with the west. He has gone into commercial diplomacy, visiting Italy, the Vatican and European Union (EU). By January 25 2016, he had already signed up trade deals worth over $17 billion in Europe. As we speak, Iran is set to buy 140 Airbus aircrafts to overhaul its antiquated fleet and rumour has it that 100 Boeing aircrafts are also in the pipeline. Oil prices are also stuck on the southward trend. That’s progress.
Coming back to sweet home, Malawi, one was frightened to read the story carried on page 10 of The Nation of Wednesday January 13 2016, where two highly regarded entities, all belonging to the State; Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) and Blantyre City Council, took their fight over Njamba Freedom Park into the public domain; reminiscent of the real life incarnation of the observation that “when two bull elephants fight, the grass suffers”
This fight resonates with the painful reality of what has become common in Malawi, where institutions belonging to the State seem either not to be talking the same language or are fighting while the greater good of the Malawian state is languishing.
The pain of this specific fight is that Njamba Freedom Park is slowly being decimated into a den for thugs, a dumping site and a wasteland purely because two important and equally powerful institutions, both belonging to Malawians and that should thus have been easily collaborating and working together have chosen to flex their egos and fight for supremacy.
Since both are powerful and equally important institutions, this promises to be a long and excruciatingly painful fight of attrition, at the expense of the common citizens unless if the two learn the power of collaboration and synergies and decide to work together for the betterment of the greater; aka leadership.
To put the burden of blame and fault on only these two for this unhelpful behaviour will be most unfair. The culture of inflated egos and misguided selfish centred silo mentality is atypical of how we do things in Malawian institutions; including the private sector. We, therefore, are all villains in this tendency. But then if we seek to achieve greatness, we must all confess our ”sins” and learn to be firm on principles and values but humble.
The fight for territory, aka turf wars, is not a preserve of those in government and quasi government institutions, it is pervasively ubiquitous, everywhere and naturally so. It is a disease we must rid our nation of because it’s blocking Malawi from achieving greatness. n