It’s shocking some public servants face banishment from their work stations for according prophet Shepherd Bushiri more police officers and pomp than President Peter Mutharika ever gets.
The moment of pomp included the Malawi Police Brass Band blasting the classical music every inch the homecoming prophet travelled from Mzuzu Airport to the stadium.
The culture of having scores of people making music for one person is a colonial ceremony, one of the relics that needed a new dye in 1964 when Malawians clapped in ecstasy as the rising-sun flag went up the mast to the decline of the Union Jack.
Now, only a sick king would need a band of that magnitude all to himself.
Even the mentally troubled King Saul needed just David’s one-man band to calm his deadening anguish and royal demons.
The police service can do better to harness the brass band’s uniqueness and free time to generate income for its operations.
If that’s way overboard, the Zomba-based group might as well consider dishing out music lessons to students at the Police Secondary School at their base.
Bob Marley tells us only fools thirst in the abundance of water.
The learners at the school are dying for bottled water in the middle of a fresh-water pool, dreaming no bigger than becoming law enforcers like their sires and relatives in a wave of nepotism that is partly poisoning the noble service to the core as crime flourishes.
The President does not need the hugely band to soothe him all the time as he grapples with multiple “nonsense”, especially the press and Malawians suffering what looks like the worst shortage of food and leadership in the country.
Actually, the only music the President needs in his ears and skull is an awakening that presidents come and go, but Malawians remain.
To be a good leader, he must also cultivate a culture of reading mind-changing literature instead of intelligence cables that are either embellished or understated to fit what he wants to hear.
To the President of this irritating nation, there could be no better reading than Chinua Achebe’s Anthills of the Savanna.
In the book, the continent’s fallen literary great steps up the power of personification in storytelling to electrocuting levels as anthills addresses surrounding vegetation: “Welcome new grass. Know that your lifespan is too short.
“In summer, when the fires rage across and within, you will be burnt up while we, the antihills will remain throughout the baptism of fire.
“Next year we will tell the grass about you. We’ll say, “Oh grass, there were some grass before you, but they are long gone.”
Oh leaders, ask not: Who is the vanishing grass? Rather, heed the awakening voice from the silent hills scattered across the troubled savannah.
Even the bird that flies the farthest from the earth lands. That is the moral of the story that hits mortal ears that hear louder than any amount of trumpets, crashing cymbals and drums brass bands tend to offer. n