One day a farmer going to the nest of his goose found there an egg all yellow and glittering.
When he took it up, it was as heavy as lead and he was going to tahrow it away because he thought a trick had been played upon him.
But he took it home on second thought, and soon found to his delight that it was an egg of pure gold.
Every morning the same thing occurred, and he soon became rich by selling his eggs.
As he grew rich, he grew greedy; and thinking to get at once all the gold the goose could give, he killed it and opened it only to find nothing.
The folly of the farmer’s ways was that his intention was bordering on nothing but greed.
And greed often overreaches itself.
Seriously, Malawians remain subjects of some ancient kingdom and are failing to make the transition to dutiful citizens with full rights to exercise under their new democratic dispensation in their beloved country.
And, perhaps, it is only a whole-system cleansing by ‘2011 Egyptisation’ that can bring or add value to the seeds of democratic governance sown in 1993, and allow the citizenry to confront their unquenchable greed and regain their rightful place as their own watchdog of their affairs and destiny.
Indeed, not some unproductive exercise of ‘ballot-box’ democracy scheduled for May after every five years presided over by an equally sterile and hopeless Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
No wonder, at 51, poverty in Malawi remains deep, widespread and severe while the gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening.
Economically and socially, Malawi is standing exactly where it was 51 years ago, and there are telling signs the country will stagnate economically in probably another 50 years from now.
The considered opinion of many Malawians is that there are so many shocks in the country that it is almost on the brink.
The country is battered so severely of late by the economy which, evidently, is at present paralysed by, among other upsets, skyrocketing headline inflation rate currently at 24.1 percent, high interest rates charged by lending institutions, and erratic water and power supply.
Furthermore, Malawi’s ‘development partners’ who have always breathed some life into the country’s continually ailing economy seem not ready to open their aid taps until the country seriously patches holes through which their money was siphoned—if not wholly and docilely embrace their ‘civilised’ culture.
However, despite all these salient hiccups in the country, commissioners at MEC have chosen to act according to the logic loads of Malawians cannot understand and want a roughly 170 percent pay rise.
The proposed changes include a 150 percent jump in honoraria from K600 000 to K1.5 million for the chairperson—plus a K750 000 house allowance a month, an amount which could cater for almost 10 primary school teachers a month—and K475 000 to K1.2 million (153 percent increase) for the rest of the nine commissioners.
But Justice Link executive director Justin Dzonzi has put it clearly that honorarium “is not a legal requirement and, therefore, it cannot be insisted on … it’s supposed to be a token”.
The demands should make almost every caring Malawian whinge and wonder what kind of water or wine are the learned commissioners at MEC—who can seek well-paying employment elsewhere if they are really marketable—treating themselves to so that they should be not only making such proposals but determining how much they should be appreciated.
The commissioner’s increment proposals smack of greed and insensitivity as they should not come at a time the country is going through a crisis.