The hegemony of traditional leaders

Leading or ruling a country as President Bingu wa Mutharika and his DPP are doing in this country is like life itself. It is unlikely that one has a meaningful life without having enemies, problems and challenges, ups and downs and tough times. For Bingu and the DPP, the year 2011 marked one of the most difficult years when Diablos sat on the back of the country. These problems, we must admit, had varied origins, but largely man-made (and I mean man excluding women). Men caused the fuel problems, men caused forex to evaporate and men invited Iblis or Shaytan to sit on our backs. It is only a few women I can point at who joined their male-folk in trying to kill this country.

I am trying to figure out, who is lying between the Honourable John Tembo and Honourable Patricia Kaliati. Let me digress a little if you would allow me to. The name Kaliati reminds me of His Lordship the Mayor of the City of Lilongwe, Councilor Liyati Phiri in the 1980s. In 2012, we do not have councillors and we do not have commissioners in the Malawi Electoral Commission. In place of these institutions, we have a strike of Judiciary staff.

Coming back to what I was talking about as to who is lying between Tembo and Kaliaati. The Hon Tembo has suggested that there is no meaningful development in his constituency because the government is discriminatory. The government is supporting development in constituencies represented by the DPP while Tembo’s constituency, which is an MCP zone, has little development, if any. The Hon Kaliati in her remarks says that the DPP-Bingu government is spreading development across the country and even gave the example of how some MCP constituency in Mchinji is enjoying development.

Now for Tembo, I am confused. It is not long ago the veteran politician was all praises to Bingu for the rehabilitation of the Dedza Town infrastructure, including, I am told, a stadium and a new bus depot. For Hon Kaliati, I do not know whether she is telling the truth by saying that Bingu’s government spreads development across the country. Why am I in doubt? It is because when there is a by-election, we are told to vote DPP because “only a DPP candidate will bring development to the constituency.”

The Botswana Zebras may go down in history as one of the teams conceding the highest number of goals in one game (against Guinea) in the 2012 African Cup of Nations. The six goals, however, were no match for the goals the team conceded on 13 July 1968 when they played against Malawi where eight goals were conceded. The Malawi team of 1968 as you may recall, included former Chief Justice Richard Banda, husband to Malawi’s Vice-President and President of the People’s Party, the Right Honourable Joyce Banda. Will Joyce Banda score eight goals in 2014 against her political opponents? We are yet to see.

Let me finish by recognising chiefs and Members of Parliament in Karonga and Chitipa who have gone ahead of the Executive by naming a road Bingu Highway. This is what we call the hegemony of traditional leaders.

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