19 May 2022
President Lazarus Chakwera has a particular way of sloganeering. His way with playing with words is his game. His greatest asset is twisting the tongue to sway and unsway who gives him an ear for a moment.
Only time can tell how effective that jive talking is for the populace as he controls the affairs at Plot Number 1.
It is very interesting how during the campaign Chakwera came up with that eye-catching and thought-provoking slogan: Super Hi-5. It was a real propagandist who worked all this out as we were meant to believe that the Chakwera leadership would be about the Super Hi-5
Just to remind you, the Super was an acronym, ay abbreviation, for the Chakwera rallying points. S for Servant Leadership; U for Uniting Malawians, P for Prospering Together, E for Ending Corruption and R for Rule of Law. Super. Very sweet to the ear.
These five letters in the sweet coat to the bitter Tonse Alliance pill will give you another word that can be synonymous with greed and avarice. PURSE. On the street, when you land your hands unexpected gold, when your purse is suddenly overflowing, we say ndatola chikwama.
Most of the times, wotola chikwama does not think twice about where they are coming from. Their eyes are on the purse and nothing else matters.
As it were, Chakwera’s Super Hi-5 is slowly, and sadly, degenerating into a Purse Hi-5. Politics of kutola chikwama is here, again.
‘S’ is for ‘Servant Leadership’. Forget it. ‘S’ is for ‘Self Aggrandisement’.
Self Aggrandisement makes you puffy that nobody else matters. When somebody tells you that you are going about too much at a cost too hard to bear, you can scarcely listen. If people tell you that much as you put on an air of being busy doing nothing but move around to be seen to be in controlling. Management by walking around works, but it works on walking around where you are supposed to do so.
‘U’ is for ‘Uniting Malawians’. Maybe. ‘U’ for now is ‘Uncertainty’.
Slowness in acting on problems is the in-thing today. Whether that uncertainty comes from not knowing what to do or deliberately waiting for the opportune moment to do what is right, one would not know. But then, how can one act nonchalance when forex continues to be as scarce as the Holy Grail?
Why would a leader look the other side when pharmaceticals are raising the red flag that scarcity of forex essentially means no drug importation?
We hear mega retailers that are mega importers and mega employers are feeling the pinch as they can no longer import goods as they would want to. Read that to mean, scarcity of those goods and high prices. On the other hand, some of our brothers and sisters who polish those shelves in the mega-stores will lose their jobs. So, creation of one million jobs becomes destruction of one million jobs.
P is for Prospering Together. Nay. P is for Polytricks. On the street polytricks is the politics where you play more political tricks than necessary. It is a kind of politics that presents a plethora of lies that things are alright, when everybody knows the opposite to be true.
When everyone sees that the food situation is so bad this year, you go down to the National Food Reserve Agency to show the world that there is maize in the strategic grain reserves. When everyone knows full well that what is evident from this year’s harvest is what is the reality in our midst.
There is looming hunger, and maize being a crucial component of the inflation, its rise to sorry sights is clear. With the inflation, officially hovering around 15.7 percent from about nine years, one can only call a spade a big spoon that polytricks are blinding us to the reality.
‘E’ is for ‘Ending Corruption’. My foot! ‘E’ is for ‘Elevating Corruption’.
That corruption is rising is not coming from the media. Even donors know. It is the very reason they are not willing to assume direct donor support. The European Union ambassador Rune Skinnebach did not mince words on the celebration of the Europe Day on May 11. He cast doubt the bloc would resume aid due to rising corruption and poor debt and financial management.
Well, may be when Chakwera and his team will convince the International Monetary Fund delegation corruption should not be considered in the terms and conditions for their contribution in economic recovery.
R is for Rule of Law. Here, we choose to agree. R is for Rule of Law, only in reverse!
Civil society organisations warned parliamentarians against passing the NGO Bill as there was an injunction in the courts.
The MPs went ahead and passed the Bill. And Chakwera signed the Bill into law when the matter was not yet resolved in the courts. Whether he is in contempt or not is a question for another day, since there are immunity clauses over his head.