The priest’s revolt

I am writing this article after reading a newspaper article whose headline was that our learned judges are asking “the government” for a pay rise. When judges press for better wages (which by the way they deserve), this is what we call the ox has faced the cart (ng’ombe yayang’ana ngolo). It is, in my opinion, like the revolt of the priests. If priests went on strike, who would anoint the dying, officiate at weddings and do the “fumbi ku fumbi, dothi ku dothi” (ashes to ashes, dust to dust) ritual when we close our eyes?

I have put the word “government” in quotation marks because, as you know, we refer to “government” as Madam JB and her team. The Judiciary is a part of government. They are government. But when we have issues of money, one part of government ranks supreme. The National Assembly is a part of government, but they are crying for pay rises.

Now since JB had that church service at Sanjika the other day, I would like to appeal to her through the Bible. From 1 Corinthians 1, the Bible says: “Now if the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?”

My point is: Do we not expect oneness in purpose among the various arms of government? Certainly, purpose does not meet unity in thoughts and all activities. We can differ in everything we want to differ in but not the goal.

Let me also say that while I found nothing wrong for the President to have prayers with her friends and others at Sanjika, I do not believe in the mixing of church and State. These aspects must, in my opinion, be kept as far apart as possible. I am not suggesting that the President cannot belong to a religion or denomination, I am not saying people should not pray (in fact, people should pray more) and I do not feel we should all be atheists. But to bring one’s atheism into State affairs, just as one would bring their denomination into state business, is regrettable in my opinion.

Get me right that I am not calling for chaos like what happened one day at Sanjika under Bakili Muluzi where guest were treated to an endless flow of opaque beer.

I am looking forward to meeting the President one of these days. My questions would be: Where is the A company of the Police Mobile Service? Where is the B Company? Where is the C Company? Where is the D Company? Where is the E Company? Is there an F Company? Aren’t you Commander-in-Chief and yet you do not know these things? 

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