Esteemed Blues’ Orators, the “Daniel Phiri” saga, Daniel Phiri being the nom de plume assigned to the ‘flying’ carcass of former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika was by any standards, culture and tradition an atrocity.
No two ways about that.
When a person dies, Malawian culture dictates that whether we hated or loved the deceased, we should pay last respects and not final disrespects as done by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) gurus in 2012.
Flying a dead person as “cargo”, to this or that place, under any charade, is impertinence of the worst type, no matter the rationale for the horrid act.
Given that Bingu was very dead by the time he was being rechristened “Daniel Phiri”, to be shunted around by people he had trusted and loved, he shares no iota of guilt to the madness of April 2012.
I pray that he continues resting in peace.
Now, having offended us by disrespecting our deceased president in that manner, even in my worst nightmares, I never dreamed I would live to suffer that ignominy again. And for Christ’s sake, not from the same ensemble, no.
Not after those ‘hearty’ confessions and ‘repentances’ by the likes of Henry Musa, Nicholas Dausi and company.
Sadly, DPP’s obscenity knows no limits.
These people will sink as low as gravity permits when personal survival (read: dodging imprisonment due to corruption charges) is at stake.
Four plus years after the Daniel Phiri prank, here they are with yet another sick joke, the idiocy of claiming President Peter Mutharika is enjoying “robust health” when medical experts, family members, well-wishing Malawians, the Talking Blues community and the good Lord above, say and know otherwise!
Blues’ Orators, I have never hidden the fact that I do not agree with the direction Malawi has taken under Mutharika.
My views are well documented.
But having said that, I cannot be a spectator when injustice, disrespect, needless torture and life-threatening antics are putting Mutharika’s life at risk, at the behest of people who have been stealing our hard-paid taxes and are now afraid that when Vice-President Saulos Chilima takes over, their addresses will be care of Chichiri, Maula or Zomba Prison.
I, Mapwiya, will not watch over Mutharika being sent earlier than scheduled to his maker, without a fight.
You, Blues’ Orators, should not stomach another Mutharika being reduced to a cabbage just because some people have issues they want to remain buried.
Before I proceed, a bit of our short history helps set the full context. End of the one-party era in 1993 changed rules of the game.
While Kamuzu got away with governing without a deputy, the multiparty Constitution demands a vice-president, elected together with the president.
This opened the running mate Pandora’s Box.
If they win, under Section 87, and should something – God forbid – happen, the running mate (now vice-president) assumes the presidency.
Our first state vice-president was the well and widely respected Dr Justin Malewezi, who served Malawi and Bakili Muluzi faithfully (1994- 2004), only to fall out of grace when Muluzi fell for the forbidden fruit of the ‘garden of the third term’.
After the fallout, Muluzi and the entire United Democratic Front (UDF) machinery went all out, calling Malewezi unprintable names.
A person of integrity, however, cannot be put down. And Malewezi today towers as a giant among us while others are chasing court dockets or feigning sicknesses.
The second state vice-president was Dr Cassim Chilumpha (2004- 2009), who was paired with Bingu, a UDF rank outsider, in aid of an agenda only the political engineer knew about.This partnership of convenience did not last.
Because it had never, in the first place, been founded on mutual respect and trust.
Then, Bingu in 2009, for want of women vote, partnered Mrs Joyce Banda (JB).
This, Blues’ Orators, was ‘Scene 1 – Act 1’ of the drama now in motion and the genesis of the DPP’s nightmare now threatening an encore.
We all know the narrative; I do not need to say more.
Come the 2014 election, to tap into the youth vote and ‘high-tech’ in his desperation to win, Mutharika picked Chilima, a rank DPP outsider.
Analysts cautioned of a potential fallout but, undaunted, with smiles running from ear to ear, Mutharika and Chilima each said, ‘I do’.
The truth is now out.
Chilima has, to date, not been accepted by some other DPP sultan-cum-cabinet minister who behave as if they were the de factoVPs at worst or are always shadowing the VP at best.
Complicating matters further, it appears from the word go, DPP gurus engaged high gear, looting with impunity under the conviction that Mutharika is either dumb or owes them and cannot fire, let alone embarrass them by letting the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) pursue them.
And this explains the stinking malaise at the ACB.
Imagine that Section 87 were invoked, how many will remain cabinet ministers or directors general of this and that, under Chilima who does not, by the way, subscribe to “breeding snakes”?
The very thought of what would follow is why Mutharika, who needs a long break to fully recover, is now being held prisoner in the presidency.
Just as heads of corporations take sick leave to recuperate, Mutharika does not only deserve better but from the way he looked at the Airport, he has no business sitting in or occupying any demanding office whatsoever.
Mutharika needs a break, to rest and recuperate so that he can live long.
But with skeletons rattling loudly in various cupboards, the gurus cannot let him follow doctors’ recommendations.
The thought of someone on record condemning the foolhardiness of breeding venomous snakes in one’s backyard taking over is giving people sleepless nights.
And typical of a tortoise defecating onto those who pick it up, paying the ultimate price is poor Mutharika.
Blues’ Orators, this may seem classic and limited to DPP but it is not. Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President Dr Lazarus Chakwera, among others, should draw lessons and get wise.
In fact, all future presidential contenders should learn that poorly selected running mates, chosen for their perceived following, bags of money, religion or what have you, are time bombs and such running mates, when complications begin, cannot be blamed.
To stress this point, just as Chilima’s sidelining is not his making, so was JB’s persecution, and before her Chilumpha, and before him Malewezi.
Complications were conceived and incubated by those who picked them with the intention of discarding them like one dumps a condom.
For MCP, in particular, desperation to win the 2019 presidential elections is the perfect instigator of an MCP version of “Daniel Phiri” or the recent “robust health” rubbish.
A stitch in time, Blues’ Orators, saves nine.
Therefore, Blues’ Orators, let us not be duped by presidential pairs of convenience. The only combination that will deliver for Malawi, without these unnecessary distractions and with the president sleeping well all the nights of their term, will be that which has been tested by time.
Quick fixes and short cuts, as you have all seen, are a recipe for chaos, “Daniel Phiris” and worse.
Get well soon APM, rest, recuperate and live.