A stork of a very simple and trusting nature had been asked by a gay party of cranes to visit a field that had been newly planted.
But the party ended dismally with all the birds entangled in the meshes of the farmer’s net.
The stork begged the farmer to spare it.
“Please let me go,” it pleaded. “I belong to the stork family who you know are honest and birds of good character. Besides, I did not know the cranes were going to steal.”
“You may be a very good bird,” answered the farmer, “but I caught you with the thieving cranes and you will have to share the same punishment with them.”
At times a person is judged by the company they keep
Clearly, it is known that kinsmen and greedy, recycled personalities’ template President Peter Mutharika has perched on is playing a tragic role behind his governance style.
As such, a move to permanently consign to the graveyard mediocrity – with all the national evils associated with it – that has served only to thwart the country’s reasoned existence cannot come quickly enough.
And Malawi needs a restorative rebirth in how the leaders perceive public service to satisfy the public’s current needs, much less future needs, for the country to make any headway with any development agenda it may aspire to.
Evidently, the country, politically, continues running around in circles just like mad chickens.
No wonder, a sick snail’s pace seems to characterise development after 52 years of independence. The country ranks among the poorest of the world despite being a recipient of aid for more than half a century.
Many would have had no problem with the recycled ethnic Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), with its dark history, that Mutharika ensured he surrounded himself with provided at the end of the day his government delivered the desired results.
But the President and his surrogates appear clueless and hooked on World War I economic indicators which for decades have failed to graduate people from poverty to wealth.
Currently, the country is rocked by myriad problems ranging from economic, social, hunger and so many more.
Yet there is without doubt a sign of leadership bankruptcy to extract the country from the incisors of such predicaments.
Though many factors contribute to this, the major one is that Mutharika has modelled his leadership on bad political practices and policies which were put in place some four five decades ago.
The President’s failure to change is partly being manifested by his hiring of tried-and-tested-and-found-wanting personalities to work in various positions.
The appointment of politician-cum-medical doctor Hetherwick Ntaba as Mutharika’s chief adviser responsible for domestic policy and Bright Malopa as technical adviser on broadcasting at the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority serves as an example.
It needs a lot of effort to believe that Ntaba and Malopa, whose utterances and display when they served as former president Bingu wa Mutharika’s spokesperson and Malawi Broadcasting Corporation director general respectively was not so inspiring, is relevant furniture added to the government machinery.
But the use of same old hopeless writers, directors and actors in the new political play not only has ruined the country but has had led to the shrinking of Malawi Congress Party, United Democratic Front, Bingu’s DPP and People’s Party in both size and importance.
Though Winston Churchill, Britain’s legendary Prime Minister during those dark World War II years, observed that those “who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”, this telling warning seems to be lost on Mutharika.
So the President might work hard to appear a bravura leader, but a coterie of sycophants he is framing himself with tells a different story. n