Good people, I am always thrilled by wishes of Malawi’s octogenarian singer Giddes Chalamanda.
“If I had money, I would have gone to America,” he sings in his rendition of Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier.
Like most Malawians, the 2012 Malawian Music Awards’ best folk musician can only long for luxurious things that presidents do without wrinkles on their faces.
Here, presidents cross the Atlantic Ocean many times with more than the K34 million President Joyce Banda pocketed on her trip to Equatorial Guinea when civil servants were striking and being tear-gassed in protest to their devalued peanuts.
Simply put, the presidential handbag carried more than 3 400 bags of maize, the grain Malawians are queuing, collapsing and praying for in empty Admarc depots.
JB can save even more by reducing her trips, including the local safe ‘maizehood’ spree that only benefit surplus cabinet ministers and principal secretaries who make presidential rallies look like an idler’s paradise—a swindlers’ list.
Man shall not live by bread alone, says the Bible. But that does not mean Malawians should live without food.
Equally important are matters of health with some doctors diagnosing major hospitals of “worsening drug shortage of essential drugs” which has left Malawians dying of treatable diseases.
As if her trips were cheap, the president has dangled a K2 million reward for anybody who will bring her the head of the author of a fake resignation letter purportedly bearing a presidential seal and her signature which went viral last week.
Even popes resign, but forging presidential resignation letters is a crime that would have sent killers of Cina, the poet in Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar, screaming at the forger: “Kill him for his bad verses!”
But Iwonder why government does not impose such stiff penalties on those who have left shelves sagging with illegally reproduced music, videos and other artworks.
By the way, why should the president pay civilians K2 million when reporting crime is a duty of every good citizen? Why that amount when police and intelligence officers who are employed to investigate criminal acts get much less every month?
If she doesn’t know what K2 million means in these times of austerity, she should donate it to Giddes Chalamanda of “If I Die Today, I Will Not Music Again” catchphrase.
Amayi Chiongolero! Boma ndilimeneli!